Matthew Mazanek is a guitarist from New York and considers teaching one of his primary passions. With experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds Matthew considers teaching and mentoring one of the most important musical activities a trained musician can engage in.
While in New York Matthew maintained a busy private studio teaching guitar and music theory and has worked with students with varying disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, and ADHD and autism.
Matthew is currently in Ireland pursuing his doctorate in music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he is on the musicianship and strings faculty teaching classical guitar lessons and musicianship classes.
Bringing together a wide variety of influences in his pedagogical approach Matthew has cultivated a style of teaching that believes in total musicianship training, not just instrumental prowess. Ear training, analysis, training a students musical judgement and creativity are all of primary focus and he views technique and instrumental ability as stepping stones to their cultivation. Some of his biggest influences are the teachings of Dalcroze, Kodaly, and more theoretically, Paulo Freire.
These sources produce a pedagogy ripe with not only instrumental learning, but composition, improvisation, chamber music techniques and ear training.
Matthew’s doctoral research topics include classical guitar improvisation and guitar pedagogy however he began his studies with Mike Belajonas on Long Island, New York. He then went on to receive his Bachelors in Music in classical guitar performance from SUNY Fredonia studying under Evan Drummond and Jim Piorkowski. He received his masters degree in 2016 from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Delpriora.
As a performer Matthew has performed at the collegiate level in festivals and has performed in the United States and Europe in both solo performances and with various ensembles including the Fredonia Guitar Quartet, the SCCC Jazz Ensemble, the Royal Irish Academy of Music Baroque Opera, in duo with voice, violin, as well as in an eclectic indie rock band Sleepyhead.
His solo performances include the standard classical guitar repertoire but Matthew specializes in new music and includes free improvisation as an artistic pursuit.