Matthew Attard

Instructor

  • Instrument

    Drums, Piano, Guitar

  • Education

    I did my undergrad at the University of Waterloo, doing a Joint-Honours Music/Business with co-op. I graduated on the Dean’s Honours list. I majored on percussion and saxophone. I then got my bachelor of education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

Biography Matthew Attard

This week we spotlight South Brampton Instructor Matthew Attard.

Matthew Attard is an Ontario Certified Teacher with the Peel District School Board, recently completing a contract teaching music at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga. With degrees both from The University of Waterloo and The University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) he has had a passion for teaching that students are quick to see.

Matthew is a multi-instrumentalist, with proficiency on drums and percussion, as well as saxophone, guitar, piano, and a variety of band instruments taught in a high school setting. His love for music is apparent in his teaching pedagogy and believing that we are all lifelong learners when it comes to music. There is always a new technique or skill that can be developed, and even as educators we can learn a lot from our students.

Matthew is also the drummer in the Mississauga Indie Dance Rock band Dan Daly. A dynamic powerhouse of driving guitars, robotic synth leads and a pounding drum and bass backbone, their humble lineup of musicians has proven to be anything but lacking in energy, excitement and passion. Their first self-titled EP released in December of 2013 showcases their knack for melodic layers, emotionally-fuelled lyrics and a love of all things music. They followed initial success with the release of their single “Sirens”, which reached #1 on CBC Radio 3’s Top 30; as well as gained the band entry into the top 20 bands of 102.1 The Edge’s Next Big Thing contest. The band has since reached the top 20 again in the 2015 102.1 The Edge’s Next Big Thing contest.

The band released their second EP Kenavo in the summer of 2014 – an energetic and refined progression of their trademarked electro-rock sound. Following this release, frontman Josh Fumo moved to St. John’s, NL; the new distance between band members meant the writing dynamic was now changed, forcing the members to collaborate online when they are unable to all be together. Regardless of the distance, Dan Daly has recently met great success with their newest single “King Cool”, released in February of this year. Along with the single, the band also released their first official music video – capturing footage of the band from their respective current hometowns of St. John’s, NL; and Mississauga, ON. Following this, they released their latest single “Careless” along with another music video.

How did you first hear about Arcadia?

I was in teachers college at the time, and was friends with the previous owner of South Brampton. At the time, they were looking for a drum teacher and asked if I was interested. I agreed to start in May after I finished my degree. The need for a new drum teacher was urgent though, so I decided to take on the position a little earlier than planned. I started off with four students a week, and now I do almost thirty.

How long have you been teaching with Arcadia and how has your experience been with Arcadia so far?

I’ve been with Arcadia since January 2014. So far, it’s been a great experience. When first coming to the school, many of the students and parents were worried because there was high turnover with previous drum teachers. So far, I’ve been there for almost two years and have developed great relationships with both students and parents. It’s been rewarding to see students grow and succeed with their examinations and Musicfest results.

Do you have a social media/webpage where our readers can go and listen to your music?

www.dandalyband.ca or www.facebook.com/dandalyband (See links above)

We’re also on Twitter and Instagram, both which are linked to our official website. You can stream our music from www.dandalyband.bandcamp.com or simply search Dan Daly on iTunes.

If you had to recommend to a student a great song (any genre), what would it be and why?

One of my go-to songs I show students is by a band called Intervals. Their guitar player Aaron Marshall (based out of Toronto) is one of the best musicians I have ever heard. Every time I hear their music, I am met with a new drive to become better at what I do. Check out a tune called Epiphany by Intervals and you’ll see what I mean. This tune has it all; shifting meters, polyrhythms, a wide range of dynamics, and most of all, excellent musicianship.

Tell us about the Dan Daly band and what your role in it is.

Dan Daly started around September 2013, just when I was starting teachers college. Many people will always ask us who is Dan Daly, and ask when he will be arriving to the show. He’s actually a United States Marine who has received the Medal of Honour twice. The old band I played in with some of these guys was called Belleau Woods, and Dan Daly fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood. It was pretty fitting at the time and the name stuck. I’m the drummer in the band, but I also help out with a lot of the songwriting and recordings. I will often record guitars and keyboards at my home and finish off vocals and drums in a professional studio. Recently our guitar player was unable to be in the province when it came time to record guitars for a new song, so I got to step in and play his parts. On our track “Careless” I’m actually playing all the guitars (minus bass) plus the drum parts. I had a lot of fun with it, and it was neat to be in a different (although temporary) role in the band.

Do you have any songs, performances, or videos of your music anywhere online that you’d recommend?

Here is our official music video for “Careless”.

And here is a cool lyric video we made for our track “King Cool”.

You’ll notice I’m playing in the snow, in shorts and a tank top, in the middle of a football field (it was -30 with the wind chill).

Do you teach other Instruments aside from your main instrument?

At Arcadia I teach drums, piano, and guitar. Thanks to teachers college, I ended up learning a lot of the band instruments as well, so I can teach band classes. I’ve worked with flute, trumpet, alto/tenor/baritone sax, clarinet/bass clarinet, baritone (euphonium), trombone, and tuba. I also did half my university degree in alto saxophone and the other half in drums/percussion, including vibes, xylophone, timpani, snare, and drum set studies. I’ve been fortunate enough to be put into a variety of teaching situations, and have had to learn in order to teach. I love teaching music theory and all types of band programs.

What can you tell us about your current projects, and are there any upcoming events?

Currently I am the drummer in the Mississauga Indie Dance Rock band Dan Daly. I started this band with some friends from high school a few years ago, and things have been moving at a fairly good pace. We were featured on 102.1 The Edge two summers in a row for their Next Big Thing contest, cracking the top 20 out of a few hundred bands. Our track “Sirens” also was #1 on CBC Radio 3 in the summer of 2014, which opened up some doors to us as well. We released a single this summer titled “Careless” and launched our first official music video with it. Our guitar player recently moved to Newfoundland with his girlfriend but will be coming back this summer. We have a small tour that is being planned for December with show dates potentially in Mississauga or Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec. We should have a new song and music video coming out in December as well. Stay tuned!

How has it been balancing your professional music career and your teaching career?

It sometimes poses a challenge, especially working with the Peel District School Board. I have found over the years it has become acceptable for me to share my music with my students, and some of them really do enjoy it. I just need to always remind myself that I have a priority to their education, and need to put that first. So far it has never been an issue, but it is always something I am careful with.

What advice would you give to young musicians who want to attend/audition at a college/university music program?

Practice. There really is no other alternative. Also, knowing music theory and history does help a bit. When I auditioned for my program, my performance at the time was slightly below the requirements, as I made a fairly last minute decision to pursue music education as a career over Honours Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. However, at the time, a 98% in music theory and history on my transcript showed my drive to succeed and they let me in, knowing I could buckle down and practice. In the end, nothing will ever come close to the time you spend on your instrument.

Are you working on anything new? Any plans for travelling, education, album recordings?

Dan Daly will have a new track coming out in December, along with an official music video. We should have a small tour planned for it as well around the same time. Our social media pages will keep you up to date. As for my teaching, I just finished six weeks with Cawthra Park Secondary School teaching music, and have been supplying at schools all over the school board. Teaching at an Arts school was an amazing experience, and the kids there pushed me to be a better teacher. They were simply learning material and developing their technique faster than expected, and I had to adjust my strategy in order to challenge them more. I’m planning to do some additional qualification courses in special education, alternative education, and guidance in the upcoming year.

Any last thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Thank you for taking the time to read my babbling life story!

Thanks Matthew!

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