Guitar Lessons | Artist development, Aural Lessons, Song Writing Workshops, Theory Lessons, Composition Lessons, Jazz Improvisation Lessons
- Qualifications: First Class Hons. Degree BMus
- Pricing: $60 for 1 hour lesson, $35 for half an hour lesson
- Styles: Jazz, Improvisation, Rock, Blues, Pop, Folk
- Suitability: Beginner to Advanced
Since tumbling over the keys of his grandmother’s piano at the precarious age of 5, Matthew Roche has spent his life immersed in music.
Drawn to guitar at age 15, he completed a Bachelor of Music at NMIT Fairfield in 2013, studying with Stephen Magnusson, Tom Fryer and Doug De Vries. The same year he was accepted into the Melbourne Youth Jazz Orchestra and joined them for a month long residency at The Famous Speigeltent which featured special guests including Julie O’Hara. In 2014 he did Honours at Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music where he graduated with First Class Honours continuing his studies with Stephen Magnusson and writing his thesis on 12 tone composer Alban Berg. With Monash University the same year, he played at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival with Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland, The Stonnington Jazz Festival with Vince Jones and travelled to New York to attend the NYU Summer Jazz Improv Workshop and study with Lage Lund. In 2016 he was successful in being selected to be a part of the Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensive where he studied with Bae Il Dong and Sunny Kim from South Korea, David and Daniel Wilfred from Arnhem Land as well as musicians from Australia such as Peter Knight, Chris Hale & Simon Barker.
Now a full-time performer, composer and educator – his career has seen him share the stage with a range of international and national superstars. From playing on illustrious stages such as the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City to local venues such as the Melbourne Recital Centre, Stonnington Town Hall, The Wesley Anne, The Gasometer, The Grace Darling, The Curtin, Northcote Social Club, The Workers Club, Howler as well as Jazz venues such as Uptown Jazz Café, Paris Cat Jazz Club, Bennetts Lane, Bar 303, Lebowskis, Open Studio. Over the years he has has also performed at Paradise Music Festival, Adelaide Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Stonnington Jazz Festival and Brunswick Music Festival.
In 2016 Matthew formed the Melbourne post-rock jazz band Soft Power. A critically acclaimed instrumental group, Soft Power have recorded and released two albums A Breath is like a Swinging Door (Independent 2017) and Easy Listening (Newmarket Music 2018) all featuring Matthew’s original compositions. In July – August 2018, Soft Power completed a 7 date east-coast tour in support of their new album Easy Listening with performance highlights including an album launch at the Golden Age Cinema & Bar in Sydney. Recently in October 2018 they toured Hobart with a headline performance at MONA – Museum of Old and New Art.
Matthew also plays regularly in Biscotti, Shayan, Hydra Fashion Week, Lilly Tunley as well as freelancing in the Melbourne music scene. Recently Matthew has been writing music for a new project JOYING – his take on the classic jazz guitar trio.
Matthew is currently teaching from his home studio located in Alphington. As a passionate teacher he believes strongly in the power of music to enhance students well-being and mental health and is commited to delivering accessible, practical and engaging guitar lessons to students of all ages and experience.
Matthew’s teaching philosophy is based on the understanding that music is not just an otherworldly talent that ‘you either have or you don’t’ but something that can be crafted from the ground up with proper instruction and deliberate and regular practice. He caters for all levels and abilities, whether you’re a high school student trying to get through your next AMEB exam, a person who has never played one chord before in their life or someone who has been around the traps but has reached a plateau in their playing – he can help take you further on your musical journey.
Matthew is dedicated to giving his students not just a strong understanding of music fundamentals such as chord/scale theory relationships, rhythm/time feel, sound production but also how playing music can greatly relieve tension/anxiety and enhance your own self-awareness.
For beginners an hour or even 30 minute lesson can seem like a long time but after an introductory meeting and depending on students individual interests – you can expect the lessons to be structured on learning and playing through different jazz standards, chord progressions of pop songs, learning the melody to songs, how to improvise, chord/scale relationships, modes, rhythmic principles and subdivisions, ear training, how to create a personal practice routine etc.
Due to the physical nature of guitar, Matthew doesn’t have a strict ‘by rote’ approach to navigating the guitar fretboard and is instead interested in getting students beyond the point of imitating others – the goal is to get them to sound more like themselves.