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Q & A with Matt Browning

How old were you when you first started playing?

I've had a life-long obsession with drums and rock drummers. In 6th grade I had a crush on a girl in a band so I decided to join! I instantly fell in love (with playing drums in a band, of course) and never looked back. I took both private drum and piano lessons growing up. I literally couldn't stop playing the drums.

Where did you go to music school?  What did you study there?

I study at Berklee College of Music working towards a Bachelor's degree in Professional Music with a focus on production, engineering and contemporary songwriting. At Berklee I've taken classes in Ear Training, Sight Reading, Recording and Mixing Techniques, Jingle Writing, Arranging and I play in ensembles. I also take private instruction in drums and piano.

What are your favorite kinds of music to play and why?

My favorites are Pop, Funk, Rock, Metal and Latin. My primary focus with drumming has always been to make the song groove and feel good, not to impress someone with crazy fills or stick flips. These genres of music really connect with me in the sense that you can truly change a song for the better by adding such a simple, feel-good groove.

What are some of the musical styles you teach?

I teach all styles of drumming with an emphasis on my favorite styles. Throughout grade school I competed in WGI Percussion World Championships so I can help any of my students who also play in their school's marching band.

Where are some of the places you've performed?  

I've done a lot of performing with my band around the Boston area. As a teenager I performed all across the country with my WGI group including such notable music cities as Atlanta and New Orleans. I've even performed in the Bahamas!

Who are some of your favorite bands and musicians?

I am totally obsessed with drummers who've developed the craziest technique even though that's not necessarily my main goal for myself or my students. I love listening to Matt Halpern, Matt Garstka, Two Door Cinema Club, Walk The Moon, Kings of Leon, Keane, Periphery, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Animals as Leaders and The Strokes.

What are your other musical pursuits and accomplishments?

I write, record and produce music for myself and other artists.

What are some of your artistic goals?  

My main goal is to continue developing original music. I try to use music to paint images and convey emotion. Music has been an amazing outlet for me. In turn, I'm constantly looking for ways to inspire my students.

Tell us about your sound clips:

1) "Friends" was the first single I released as a solo writer and producer. I wrote and played all of the tracks and had the singer from my band, Connor McCoy, come in and sing vocals. 2) The next clip is from another of my original songs called "Run Away." I wrote and arranged the parts including for guitar and mandolin. 3) "Youth" is also a piece I wrote, imagining myself driving down the beach roads of my home town as a kid.