Classical and Jazz Flute Lessons

Classical Flute Lessons:

Classical Flute LessonsStudy with an experienced classical flutist (or classical flautist if you want me to wear a tie) and flute teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area whose passion for music is infectious. Beginning to advanced, all ages. Matt meets each student at their individual level, creating a partnership that unlocks the mysteries hidden in the music of the masters. With an emphasis on repertoire and foundational studies that develop tone production, finger technique, rhythmic accuracy, breath control, and dynamics, Matt’s flute instruction equips the student with the skills necessary to reduce the most difficult passage to a series of manageable steps.

Matt’s approach is anchored in the belief that music is a language. Any musical phrase can be transformed into a theatrical question, or assertion, to help the student bring their own emotional meaning to the composition. The goal of his classical flute lessons is to help flutists discover their own voice and musical sensibility within the music of the great composers.

His familiarity with classical flute repertoire from baroque to new music allows Matt to suggest appropriate and accessible pieces for students at all levels. Owing much of his technical virtuosity to his adherence to a practice regimen that includes the “flutist’s bible”, Taffanel and Gaubert’s Daily Finger Exercises, he recommends the same regimen to all his students.

Matt enjoys the process of discovering the learning style and interests of his students and tailoring their flute lessons to what works best. It all starts with great fundamental technique. Progressing from this foundation, Matt will help you hone the skills you’ll need to fully experience the joy of playing classical flute.

  • 40 years experience as a classical flute instructor
  • Beginning to Advanced classical flute lessons; all ages
  • Classical Flute Instruction: Style, Technique, Tone, Repertoire
  • Professional performer with Ballet, Opera, and Symphony Orchestras

Jazz Flute Lessons:

Jazz Flute LessonsThe first song Matt learned, at age 12, was Bobby Hebbs’ Sunny, and he’s been learning music by ear and improvising ever since. His experience of studying classical flute while simultaneously playing mostly by ear in rock and jazz groups gives Matt a special insight on how, as a jazz flute teacher, to transform classical technique into jazz chops. Matt loves teaching jazz flute lessons in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The first job of a jazz flute instructor is to introduce the student to the music of the jazz masters. Matt’s biggest jazz influences are the famous sax, trumpet, piano and guitar players. He feels Hubert Laws stands alone among jazz flutists for great technique and a jazz sensibility.

Matt studied classical flute with a brilliant teacher, but his early jazz education was largely on stage performing. His long partnership with guitarist and jazz educator, Davis Ramey, in a trio that included Mark Summer, perhaps the best jazz cellist of the time, opened the doors to Matt’s practical understanding of jazz harmony which he now shares in his role as a jazz flute teacher.

Matt wrote Daily Finger Exercises for the Jazz Flutist (DFEJF) to integrate the blues scales, jazz scales and altered modes used in jazz improvisation into what had been a classical practice regimen. For example, he took an old classical major/minor scale exercise and transformed it into a major/minor blues scale exercise he calls 7-up.

His technique for playing scales reinforces the student’s understanding of the chord changes built into the diatonic scales. Matt calls this chord progression the dominant direction of the diatonics and his students incorporate this approach into their practice routines.

Matt enjoys the process of discovering the learning style and musical interests of his students and tailoring their flute lessons to what works best.

From his San Anselmo Studio, Matt offers jazz flute lessons and classical flute lessons to students in Marin, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Sausalito, West Marin, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Orinda, Fairfax and the San Francisco Bay Area.