As a self-taught pianist I have interests in the traditional Roman and Greek literature of music dating from 1200.c to 1900 (Classical Music) and its contemporary forms by composers such as Edward Elgar to Joe Hisaishi (Modern Classical, minimalism, surrealism, anime/film/game). I also arrange, compose, transcribe and midi orchestrate music.
Growing up, I was never introduced to any classical music. My family was mostly interested in music from the 50’s to 80’s. I arrived to the point I disliked music a lot; that was until I heard Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and furthermore, Chopin’s works.
When I was 7, I taught myself to read music by seeing a few children’s sheet music, arranged for the candy penny flute such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” by Mozart, and matched the sound I already knew in my head onto the two octave keyboard I had. This even lead me to name the keys with numbers and letters (e.g: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, a1, a2, a3, a4, a5 etc…), until I found out when I was 11 they were named A-G.
My first exam was held on the 28th, March 2007 while I was at high school in year 10. Since the first and second grades were too easy, I entered the Piano Grade 3 exam of ABRSM (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and passed with a Merit.
My recent exam at Grade 7 was on the 19th, June 2018 at the Cottingham Methodist Church organised by Mr. Lester Hough. I even passed with a Distinction. Since Trinity college doesn’t do singing in the exam, the aural test was a lot more successful.
I rushed through grade 3 in spring 2007, skipped 4 and passed with a merit at grade 5 in summer 2008! This was so I could get the college I wanted… Unfortunately, because my English and Maths wasn’t up to the requirements, I failed.
For the next 3 years at a college I didn’t really want to go to I studied “Popular Music” (not my area of interests) and it wasn’t much about music either. More like politics and society.
I eventually left college, unable to continue getting where I wanted due to the new £9,000 fee that was brought in by the Government… I struggled to find work and spent a long time on JobCentre Plus. Most advisers, key workers and work programmes were very discouraging.
I had been told many times “You’ve got no chance”, “You don’t have the gear”, “It’s an unrealistic goal”, “Do something like web development”, “become an administrator or telemarketer” etc.
I eventually started to give up music.
Around 4 years later (Spring/Summer 2015) I was at the point of completely giving up altogether, I didn’t spend much time playing and very rarely uploaded videos on YouTube.
While I was volunteering at a shop. A kind man came in and asked if anyone could play the piano as his local church needed one. It so happens that this was the first place he’d asked and I was right there.
From there on, I’ve continued to play the piano again, with lot’s of support from my friend and the Church.
Read more: https://www.theclassicalmatt.co.uk/about/