About Art Matthews

We learn to speak before we learn to read or write. Vocabulary and the expressive nuances of speech are learned through listening and imitation (ear training). Later, we use our eyes to learn to read & write. I have my students play simple songs by “ear” first. Nursery rhymes, “Heart & Soul”, and even major scales will do, if played musically! My approach to teaching music reading comes from a synthesis of rhythmic and pitch reading studies.

I have taught hundreds of music students, both privately and at three major universities between 1970 and 2015. I’m very experienced in teaching from traditional texts like Alfred, Burgmiller, Clementi, Lichner or with methods I developed and refined while working with students who preferred a non-traditional path that was designed and tailored just for them. With me, you can choose either approach or a synthesis of both.

I taught jazz arranging and jazz piano as Artist-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Hampshire College, and Tufts University.

I’ve been across the country and abroad on extensive tours with Archie Shepp, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Lester Bowie, and Fontella Bass, to mention a few, and was featured at the Montreux Jazz Festival as pianist with a quartet that had Lou Donaldson on alto, Eddie Gomez on bass, and Billy Cobham on drums. I have also played many pick-up gigs with a variety of musical artists like Etta James, Kool & the Gang, Sonny Stitt, Arnett Cobb, Junior Cook, Dizzy Reece, Bill Pierce, Charlie Rouse, Wallace Roney, Bob Mover, Alan Dawson…again, to name a few.

Matra Productions is the parent company I began in 1980, to offer a wide range of music services. We’ve done musical transcription, jingle and sound-track writing and composing, video production, and arrangements.