In all of his educational endeavors Matt draws upon his personal experience as an active live and recording musician and his 30+ years in music instruction. He has personally taught students from beginner through advanced levels, ranging from five to 75 years of age. Matt's student guitar ensembles have been the recipients of educational grants and awards and have performed in locally-based events and festivals. His guitar-focused workshops are featured both in conjunction with his performances and as standalone events. Matt's collaborative workshops with drummer Kenwood Dennard have been presented at Berklee College.
Matt is only providing online, one-on-one instruction for players of all levels of experience. Contact Matt for further information and to discuss the arrangement best suited for you.
Lesson inquiries: lessons@MattRichardsMusic.net
Please note: Matt is working with the possibility of online workshop programs in the upcoming months. For information: workshops@MattRichardsMusic.net
Improvisation – Taking the Solo
Matt takes on the concept of improvising and creating a spontaneous solo within a musical context. He
relates the often-daunting consideration of making an unique musical statement to engaging in a friendly
conversation and explains that music, like spoken language, is a means of communicating. He points out
that the technical aspects of chords, scales, rhythm and harmony relate to words, phrases and grammar
and can be similarly utilized when 'conversing' in music.
Matt shares his own approach to the skills and understanding that can help develop an aspect of 'fluency'
in expressing oneself through music. In addition to the technical considerations that contribute to 'musical
fluency', he discusses different ways of perceiving and approaching improvisation and how they can
The material relates to most genres of music and all references are guitar-based. While it is suggested that
players be of at least intermediate level in terms of playing skill, 'advanced beginners' can benefit.
Arranging for Solo Guitar
Matt is well-regarded for his signature solo renditions of both contemporary and 'standard' music as well
as his own original compositions. His highly-developed approach to arrangement and harmony enables
him to create a very musical signature sound that is uniquely his own.
Matt explores every aspect of his process, from harmonizing and arranging to voicing chords and
creating cadences that open up new possibilities. He includes some concepts in music theory and shares
playing techniques that allow him to bring out unique qualities in his arrangements.
The material relates primarily to solo guitar performance and incorporates fingerstyle technique, though
it is not limited in application to fingerstyle players. It is suggested that players be of intermediate to
advanced level in terms of playing skill. Basic knowledge of music theory is helpful but is not mandatory.