My name is Matt Skepasts and my relationship with music began when I was three with the piano. Although I still use the piano to compose or arrange, drums have become my primary instrument. For over a decade now I have been teaching and performing in a variety of settings. As a performer, I have played in several groups, from the classics of our culture to completely improvised music, from music festivals to lounges to bars to coffee shops to music classrooms. My favourite music to teach is jazz, however I have had years playing and teaching a range of students in rock, latin, rudiments, technique, reading, transcribing, and many other musical concepts. Whether you’re brand new to the drums or are an experienced musician, I’m looking forward to working with you!
I believe having a strong foundation is vital when imparting knowledge of any kind, but something more important is the ability to connect and inspire students. My other passion in life is psychology. I recently graduated from City College, a school in New York, where I studied both of these subjects as majors. One of the reasons I am passionate about this other field is because of its mix of the subjective and objective. In other words, no two people are the same, which is also true of students. I have had students who have gone on to pursue music as a career, and others who were full of joy to be able to play a rock beat after five lessons. My job as a music instructor is to identify the student’s destination, to create manageable steps toward that goal, and to inspire creativity and instill knowledge in a healthy mix—not to dictate a goal or try to change preferences. The destination is always different, and the path is never straight, which is one of the reasons I find teaching so engaging.
I’ve been honored to receive the following: Best Overall Senior Musician Award at the Envision Jazz Festival, Top Student Performer at TD Jazz Festival, Dal Richards Scholarship,Top Combo Award – Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, University of North Texas Entrance Scholarship, City College of New York Entrance Scholarship, BC Arts Council Scholarships, and the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship.