I teach at my home in Allston, at locations in Harvard Square, and at the homes of my students. Please inquire for rates; your first “test-drive” lesson is always complimentary.
I offer piano lessons to students of all ages and levels. The goals, content, and outcomes of lessons are shaped according to the desires of each individual student, but typically include scales, études directed at conquering bêtes-noirs, and solo repertoire chosen according to the student’s musical taste.
Harpsichord & Organ
I offer harpsichord and organ lessons to intermediate or advanced students, as well as to beginners who have some previous keyboard experience (typically piano). Development of a differentiated keyboard technique is emphasized—how playing these keyboard instruments is both like and unlike playing the piano. Principles of registration, especially for organ but also for harpsichord, are learned. My expertise is in early keyboard repertoire (1500–1750) and their associated historically-informed performance practices, but I am also comfortable with later repertoires. Access to instruments for individual practice can be arranged.
The art of improvising an accompaniment—whether to a song, a sonata, or a symphony, whether from a bass or from score, whether with or without figures—is something I am deeply interested in. It motivates and informs most of my academic research and my professional life as a performer. I offer lessons to advanced performers (advanced in your area, not necessarily continuo) interested in exploring this art. I teach continuo in a variety of ways:
- To pianists and accompanists interested in a rough-and-ready figured-bass technique.
- To harpsichordists, organists, lutenists, bowed-bass players, percussionists, or indeed anyone interested in anything from beginning lessons in harmonic realization with or without figures, to advanced coaching in aspects of rhythm, texture, voicing, and articulation as these relate to continuo.
- To instrumentalists and singers, particularly specialists in early music, who are interested in learning more about what is happening downstairs (so to speak), either with the aim at self-accompaniment or, more typically, using continuo principles to inform solo decisions and improving communication with accompanists.
Services for Singers
I specialize in offering coachings to the early music community, but am equally at home helping people prepare for art song and opera auditions. My rate for these services is $50/hr.
Vocal Coaching & Diction
I have extensive experience coaching text, both pronunciation and rhetoric. I am familiar with the standard opera, oratorio, and song repertoire through my work as an accompanist and director. As a trained linguist, I can coach diction in all of the major European languages from various historical periods, ranging from the familiar (lyric French, Italian, and German) to the more obscure (regional pronunciations of Latin and “Old” languages). I can provide transcriptions of texts in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and/or provide guidance and instruction in IPA usage. I regularly coach singers affiliated of the following ensembles:
- Handel & Haydn Society
- Boston Baroque
- Boston Early Music Festival
- Brandywine Baroque
I am available to accompany lessons, rehearsals, and performances. I am comfortable with the standard repertoires, figured bass, score reading, transposition, etc. For continuo work, I can facilitate access to harpsichords, fortepianos, and chamber organs for rehearsals and performances.
Recording & Editing
I often help people prepare recordings. The recording equipment and editing software I use are basic, but the results are good and often exactly what is needed for demo or application purposes. For an example of my work, please see my Listen
page; I recorded, edited, and mastered all of those tracks myself. I am not a professional engineer
so if your application specifies a “professional studio recording” or similar language (major opera house applications sometimes do) I can recommend some excellent people. My services are suited to most of early-music training programs, and I would imagine most masterclass programs in general. I have helped people prepare successful audition CDs for:
- American Bach Soloists Academy
- Amherst Early Music Festival
- Boston Early Music Festival Young Artists’ Program
- Handel & Haydn Society vocal preliminary
- International Baroque Institute at Longy
- Le Jardin des Voix
- Vancouver Early Music Programme
Visit the course website at ccae.matthewjhall.com
. This web address always hosts the current course’s site; resources related to past courses are kept in the searchable site archive.
Past courses have included:
- Monuments of Western Classical Music
- Chamber Music of Brahms
- Introduction to Early Music
- History of the Keyboard
- Music of Handel
- Music of J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach