Your reviews on the CD's and concert experiences
Evelyn and Gerry Gardiner, Illawarra, say ..."We have been enjoying Opus 3, which joins 1 & 2, of an evening before drifting off to sleep"
Silva Bramblett - Illawarra My friend and I attended the 35 Years Gala Concert of Music Illawarra at the Ribbonwood Centre, at which you were MC and performed on the piano – I always listen to you on 97.3 ABC Illawarra, but I did not realize how gifted you were until I watched you in action, I enjoyed it and I also applaud you for making people aware of RedKite
Nadya Marcinkowski, Educator/ Nail Mart Australia. Congratulations on the launch of OPUS 2…It truly was, an amazing experience that was absolutely breath-taking. I became so absorbed throughout your performance, that I felt it in my own “Heart and Soul”…thank you for sharing your special gift.
Vicky Dedda, Woonona – NSW - Australia “I bought your CD and it is just wonderful. I play it just about every day. Thank you for the wonderful music and please let me know when your next cd is released and where I can get a copy.”
Peter Scrine, General Manager WIN Radio says…“the CD is awesome!!”
Christina Farrugia – “Nailmart” - Sydney, Australia - "Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy your ‘Music for the Heart and Soul’ CD. We play it most days at work and it is truly a credit to you. We absolutely love it!!!! Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement. Take care. We look forward to Opus 2"
Lorraine & Terry Stretton of Dapto NSW - Australia ‘We really loved you playing in Dapto, we couldn't wait to hear your CD, so we played it in our car immediately, we love it. We feel if more folk listened to your music whilst driving there wouldn't be any road rage! It is a very calming experience. God has given you a wonderful gift Mark THANKS for sharing it with us.’
Lesley Hentschel - Wongawilli New South Wales after already having purchased a copy, buys another as a gift and comments… “your CD is beautiful, can I have another?!”
Mary Monaghan – Music Lover from Dapto, New South Wales ‘Your album ‘Music for the Heart and Soul’ is delightful, I truly enjoy it very much. It is so comforting and I feel that you have played the album with your Heart and Soul.’
Jenny Puglisi – From Ulladulla, South Coast, New South Wales says – ‘Thank you for some peaceful reflection in a very turbulent world”
Jade McKendry - Music Lover from East Corrimal, New South Wales, says – ‘His music is so soothing and relaxing that you can just zone into meditation… praying or just contemplating thoughts’
Louise Ahearn – Child Care Worker and Mum – Illawarra, South Coast, News South Wales, says “my daughter (5yrs old) wants to listen to ‘Music for the Heart and Soul’ when she goes to bed…thank you so much for the beautiful gift of music you have shared with us”
Lory Reyes - Former Student - Sydney Australia - 'The CD sounds great - very nice background music whilst I'm trying to unwind from work'
Virginia Gerada – Cooma NSW, talks about the CD “I cried when I heard ‘A Prayer for You’. It is just beautiful.”
John McKenna Mac Music Warilla - “Love the Piano Score and the CD, thought you’d like to know I’ve got a 5th grade girl doing “The Kiss” as an extra in November AMEB”
Andrew Zicker - Keyboardist from Corrimal says "the CD is fantastic!"
Ashraf Saleh – Annerley QLD. Who recently purchased the CD says…”This is the kind of music to study to, to relax to, and simply to listen to…’
Reviews about Marks teaching
"Mark Matthews took me on as a well trained classical pianist who was struggling to find enjoyment playing in the styles I had been taught. He taught me some great improvisation skills and gave me renewed enthusiasm for the piano which may well have prevented a tragic waste of many years of practice. I now play regularly for my church and enjoy jamming with other musos by ear, or just from a couple of chords on a piece of paper. A couple of years under Mark's tuition helped me to appreciate my classical training and unlock a new dimension in playing the piano."
“Mark Matthews taught me the concepts of Jazz Piano with teaching skills that are second to none. Mark's ability to make you feel as though you have known him for a lifetime and in a friendly learning environment were very important and appealing to me as a student. His teaching methods are both relaxed though expectant all at the same time, resulting in students wanting to please and succeed, this approach worked well for me. Mark's use of musical technology was a very exciting tool which he incorporates into lessons and uses as an incentive for students to create musical works that can be applied to a score format for visual pleasure. I have nothing at all negative to say about my time learning under Mark. I enjoyed each lesson and feel as though i gained an abundance of ideas and techniques that inspire me to continue playing the beautiful music that is Jazz.”
“Through my studies with Mark I always found it fun and new and I truly do believe that without his tuition I would have never been able to express myself the way I do today through music. He always knew what songs to pick and was always open for suggestions. It was easy to dedicate myself to my music because studying with Mark was always a laugh! I would not be the musician I am today without his teachings and I know I wouldn't appreciate it as much as I do without sitting down with him in that very first lesson and not only learning that I was actually semi-good at something but also that I was a lot better than my mum, a former student also! I have no worries or concerns in recommending Mark as a teacher because although my lessons have ceased I still have a friend in him and I still have "Lucy's Song" Sitting next to my piano, something he quickly scribed in showing me how important it was to learn my scales and chords!
His passion for music is contagious and now it’s something that I can share with other people because there was no way of getting out of those End of Year Concerts! So there you have it, not only will you become the best piano player you can be, but you'll also become more confident! So go to Mark Matthews because you should never settle for second best!”
"My son wanted to learn how to play guitar & a good friend highly recommended Mark Matthews. On meeting with Mark I find him a very warm & friendly person. It means a lot to us to such a dedicated, extremely organised & wonderful teacher. My son looks forward to his lessons each week. I thank Mark for creating such a happy environment for all students. "
"Mr Matthews is a really great teacher. His theory class is lots of fun and I love going every week. He has a wonderful sense of humour and he explains the work in a way that I can easily understand."
Ali C - Student
"I believe Mark Matthews has a natural gift for teaching. I've watched my daughter Ali's confidence and self esteem grow in the months Mark has been teaching her music theory. Mark makes the lessons interesting and has a unique approach to teaching a potentially difficult and boring subject."
Lina C – Parent
"Mark Matthews has been teaching my son, Joel, to play the organ for the last 18 months. I have been amazed at Joel’s transition from a shy, uncertain student to a confident player who will try all kinds of music, and improvise as well.
Mark shows sensitivity in relating to his pupils and makes learning fun by incorporating their favourite music into lessons, and using his great sense of humour. He has an excellent focus on what children need in order to develop their musical talents. Mark also develops a great rapport with parents, working closely with them to help advance the child or work through any difficulty.
To build the children’s confidence and involve their families and friends, Mark creates performance opportunities for the students, whether in music school concerts, district eisteddfods, or by often encouraging them to perform for family and community organisations. Thank you for your expertise in musicianship, Mark. You certainly are – remarkable!"
Ellen van Haren
"Recently I decided to find a piano teacher for my ten year old son, Jade, who wasn't really interested in taking extra lessons of any kind. I wasn't sure I could find someone who would understand his particular needs and make learning fun and interesting for him. The first lesson my son had with Mark was wonderful and I knew instantly that my son would actually want to come back.
Mark made the lesson exciting for Jade while carefully observing his abilities and assessing his capabilities. By the end of Jades third lesson he was playing with both hands - something I thought would take months. I believe that the reason Jade has done so well is that Mark included Jade in the choice of music he would learn, making it appeal to his personal taste. Mark also has the patience to bare with Jade when he is feeling out of sorts and an understanding that Jade needs to be gently challenged.
As a parent I am happy to have found a music teacher who has the ability through his unique approach to encourage and guide my son in his weekly piano lessons."
Pureart Creative Projects.
"Marks unending patience, humor, calming influence (prior to my performances), and generosity of spirit are qualities that are truly inspiring. He is one very cool guy.’"
"The "Marked Man" Mark Matthews was officially my music teacher for the best part of 11 years. However, just being my music teacher totally limits the boundaries of one of the most important relationships I have had, and still have to this day of a fellow friend.
I am sure that most of you who will be reading this can appreciate Mark's talent and ability not only as a teacher, but also as a musician and performer - otherwise you would not need to take the time to read on. I experienced with Mark however a relationship beyond the bounds of teacher/student, a mentor who's influences still drive me today to strive for greatness as a person and performer.
I could tell you about his compassion, but it was his passion that inspired the person within me. I could indulge you wih his qualifications, but no one can qualify Mark's gift that lives beyond the academic. I could advise you of how good he is, not just as a performer but also as a person - but what would I say............? Some things cannot be written but only felt through the experience of time. For this time I have been blessed.
When I began as Marks' student way back in 1989 I had a goal as an Electonist - to represent my country, to show to the world and my loved ones that I could achieve greatness within the realm of keyboard music. Through Mark's guidance, passion, compassion, persistence and love of the work I was assisted in achieving my prize. This was a moment in my life, a snapshot that still sits at the forefront of my mind everyday as a performer.
However, hindsight is a wonderful thing for what resonates most with me now about those days is not the Yamaha Electone, it's not the smorgasbord of gold plastic music notes on wooden bases, nor is it the collage of colour created by the red, blue and white Eisteddfod ribbons that still dons my parents living room wall. What resonates most within me is that through those times I found more than a mentor in music, but a guide in life.
This is why I call Mark Matthews my Friend.
Enjoy his music, for through his music I am sure that you will also enjoy the man."
1996 Yamaha Keyboard Festival Australian Representative in the Asia – Oceania Finals
After purchasing a new organ some years ago I was directed to Mark as a prospective teacher. I found Mark (although young and just starting out in his teaching career) as a caring, disciplined, capable instructor.
Although I had previously had lessons I felt very inadequate but with Mark's tuition I soon started to develop skills with music I never thought I would have. Some 20 years later I am not currently involved in playing music publicly but have been able to encourage my own children in their musical gifts and abilities. Mark played a key role in my life when I was his student and he and his family continue to be good friends of mine today.
A warm friendly smile, dedication and amazing patience is what our son and daughter receive each week when they attend their piano lessons with Mark Matthews. He has introduced an appreciation of music into each of our lives and for this we are extremely grateful.
Gary and Kim Brassington
Mark Matthews teaches my two boys piano. He is a fantastic piano tutor and an accomplished musician. His approach to teaching aims to always keep the students interested. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to learn piano.