Meet The Fellows...

Matthew, Tangled Tones Music Studio (photo by Brandon Kendall)

Matthew Nord - Jubilation 2012 retreat video
Director of Tangled Tones Music Studio
Fellowship: 2012/2009

"I truly believe that music and dance can heal our world, and bring us together to create stronger, more intuitive, and healthy communities. I believe that it is a fundamental and vital part of our survival and evolution. If we spent more time creating, dancing, and singing together, it would inspire and change the rest of our daily lives."

Matthew was on his way to a degree in anthropology when a job teaching music at a daycare changed his life. "I had been away from music for a long time. When I started teaching, I fell in love with it again." The students were 3-5 years old. "I hadn't taught kids before," said Matthew, "and I felt lucky to do it. The kids are really the teachers. I learn everything from them."

The daycare job lead to private teaching, and he quickly had more students than time. "I began to envision a non-profit community music center, which is currently manifested as Tangled Tones Music Studio."

Tangled Tones is devoted to providing an environment that encourages community music and fosters connections between artists, teachers, and students. The studio offers a vast array of classes and events, including:
  • World Rhythm, hand-drumming for children 5 and older
  • Kids' Vibrations, which uses music to explore geography, literature, culture, science, math, and drama
  • Digital Recording Camp, hands-on experience with high-end recording equipment for ages 12 and older, where they record CDs of their work
  • Playing with the Band provides mentoring by professional musicians, and the chance to record songs in a professional studio and perform live on stage
  • Summer of Rock, a music camp for ages seven and older

Deeply committed to music-making, dancing, and community-building, Matthew used part of the grant money to build 15 West African drums, which provide the foundation, along with other drums and rhythm instruments, for the Living Rhythm Project. Through drum circles, drum classes, and rhythm workshops, Living Rhythm connects community and culture. Matthew conducts drum circles during lunch at Missoula public schools. One teenager at a Willard High drum circle told Matthew, "Since you have been coming here, I feel better about my life. During the days you are not here I am often angry and upset, but on the days that we drum I look forward to it, and for the rest of the day I don't get angry or upset with myself or my life."

Matthew calls it, "The work that heals all it touches."

Living Rhythm Project 2010


Children always inspire me with their energy and creativity
Joe Craven, incredible percussionist, instrumentalist, and educator
Matthew Marsolek of the Drum Brothers
Mohan Kartha, director of two non-profits: Spontaneous Music by Children, and Music by People with Disabilities

Matthew is Reading:
The Music Lesson: a spiritual search for growth through music by Victor Wooten
[Fellow John Marshall recommends this too]

Matthew is Listening to:
a lot of world music and traditional West African music

Matthew is Watching:
the endless stream of creative YouTube videos involving art, dance and music

(interviewed 2011)

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