Teachers at the Old Town School

Matt Brown

Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar

Styles - Old-Time, Bluegrass, Early Country

Matt teaches traditional music the way he learned it, in a call-and-response fashion with strong emphasis placed on the history and context of the music. He believes wholeheartedly in the power of aural learning, and uses tablature and other written methods to reinforce the initial work of passing along the music by ear. This is a method that can be intimidating at first, but it instills the music deeply and results in instant memorization. It also allows us to work immediately on musicianship and expression, since our noses aren't constantly buried in a piece of paper. His classes are fueled by laughter and camaraderie, and they prepare students to play musically socially at the School and beyond.

Thanks to his banjo-playing father, Matt grew up with old-time music. He studied classical violin with Linda Litwin and Richard Amoroso, and old-time music with Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky, Paul Brown, Ginny Hawker, and Tracy Schwarz. He has appeared at The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, has toured as a soloist, with Rhythm in Shoes and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, and has made guest appearances with Tim O'Brien, Della Mae, Uncle Earl, and performed twice with Mike Snider on the Grand Ole Opry. Matt has released five albums under his own name, including "My Native Home," which features collaborations with Tim O’Brien, Ben Krakauer, Brittany Haas, and Mark Schatz. Matt's latest releases include "Speed of the Plow" with guitarist Greg Reish and "Keep Me Waiting" with the Chicago band Big Sadie. He has taught at the American Roots Music Program at Rocky Ridge, The Colorado Suzuki Institute, The Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, The Swannanoa Gathering's Old-Time Week, Southern Week at Ashokan, and he has taught workshops at Boston's Berklee College of Music, the Music Institute of Chicago, Music for Youth in Arlington Heights, and Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Education: B.A. in Philosophy from West Chester University in West Chester, PA

Started at the Old Town School in September of 2011

Upcoming Workshops

Improve Your Bluegrass Fiddle Solos

Intermediate

$25 ($24 members)

Sat. August 04, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Want to make your bluegrass fiddle solos better? We'll discuss and explore several ways to make your playing both idiomatic and memorable.

Learn a Kenny Baker Fiddle Tune

Advanced

$25 ($24 members)

Sat. August 04, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

In the inaugural edition of "Learn a Kenny Baker Fiddle Tune," we'll tackle Matt Brown’s second favorite Kenny Baker tune, "Grassy Fiddle Blues." Be ready for a challenging and fun time!

Round Peak Clawhammer Banjo

Advanced

$25 ($24 members)

Sat. August 18, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

This workshop will introduce you to the wonders of the Round Peak style of clawhammer banjo playing which is associated with Charlie Lowe, Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Dick Freeman, Kyle Creed, and younger players such as Paul Brown, Riley Baugus, and Dirk Powell.

How to Fiddle The Kentucky Waltz

Intermediate

$25 ($24 members)

Sat. August 18, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Learn Matt's arrangement in D major of Bill Monroe's iconic melody. We'll play double stops, shift to third position (gasp!), and play just a few notes that aren't normally found in D major. No shifting experience is required. Familiarity with the key of D will be very helpful.


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 06/25/2018

Mondays 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Mondays 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Tuesdays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Wednesdays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Sundays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 09/03/2018

Mondays 10:00 am – 11:00 am at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Mondays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Tuesdays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Wednesdays 2:30 pm – 6:15 pm at 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Thursdays 2:30 pm – 7:30 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave
Sundays 10:30 am – 5:00 pm at 4545 N Lincoln Ave


Group Classes for the session beginning 09/03/2018

Two-Finger Banjo 1 with Matt Brown

$202 ($192 members)

09/10/2018 – 10/22/2018 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Fiddle 2 Repertoire with Matt Brown

$177 ($168 members)

09/10/2018 – 10/22/2018 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Introduction to the Banjo with Matt Brown

$177 ($168 members)

09/11/2018 – 10/23/2018 (7 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

21st Century Banjo Repertoire: The Oh Hellos with Matt Brown

In this session, we'll work up banjo versions of "Second Child, Restless Child" and "Wishing Well" from the folk rock sibling duo The Oh Hellos.

$177 ($168 members)

09/11/2018 – 10/23/2018 (7 meetings)

Tuesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Two-Finger Banjo 4 with Matt Brown

$202 ($192 members)

09/05/2018 – 10/24/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Introduction to the Violin/Fiddle with Matt Brown

$202 ($192 members)

09/05/2018 – 10/24/2018 (8 meetings)

Wednesdays · 8:00 PM – 9:20 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave