With 5 semesters of teaching experience under his belt before having finished his first university degree, Matthew has taught music history in a variety of educational contexts, ranging from mentorship of pre-university applicants to Ph.D. students. A full-length statement about his teaching philosophy is available upon request.

 


On the humanities

'One of the main reasons why employers are keen to recruit arts graduates is not to do with "skills" at all, but because they know that these are the kinds of subjects many of the cleverest students choose to study. A lot of bright 18-year-olds find courses in history or English more interesting than courses in marketing or manufacturing, and employers also know that spending three years in the company of other clever people studying something that is intrinsically interesting and challenging certainly doesn't reduce those students' native intelligence. [...] Those employers also know that such graduates are likely to be able to see issues in a very broad perspective'.  (Stefan ColliniWhat are Universities For?, 2012:143)


On music

'Music may work even better as a gateway to cultural history than literature, or any other art form for that matter. The impossibility of establishing a single concrete meaning in music guarantees that every critic who attempts to supply meaning or make an interpretation will reveal something about his or her assumptions, values, background, culture, or motives. Music's ability to sustain a multiplicity of meanings, therefore, should be viewed as an asset, with its reception providing a powerful lens on the past.'  (K.M. Knittel, 'Beethoven as History', Beethoven Forum, Vol. 8, 2000:193)

'Music analysis and historical research work beautifully together.' (Leon Botstein, The Musical Quarterly, 86/3, 2002:370) 


On teaching

'Much more important than the issue of which "facts" are to be transmitted is the question of attitude - the manner in which one approaches an evolving body of knowledge at the undergraduate level. [...] That is, although one does not often engage specialized intricacies in lower-level courses, one must nevertheless sensitize students to the existence and the texture of the "higher" musicological enterprise that they might wish to touch more directly one day.'  (James Hepokoski, '"Music History" as a Set of Problems:  "Musicology"  for Undergraduate Music Majors, College Music Symposium, 1988:12)

'Lehren heißt: vom innern Reichtum abgeben; man muß am Ende stehen, wenn man andern den Anfang zeigen will.' (Kurt Tucholsky)

'Supervisors should be functional humans. They can be - and should be - quirky, imaginative and original. That non-standard thinking will assist your project. But if there is a whiff of social or sexual impropriety, or if there are challenges with personal hygiene, back away in a hurry. [...] You must have the belief that they can help you through a crisis and not manipulate you during a moment of vulnerability.' (Tara Brabazon, '10 Truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you', Times Higher Education, 11 July 2013)