Musicmatters is a school that focuses on providing high-quality music education to kids aged 4 and above. Led by Dr Sumudi Suraweera, who has a PhD in Sri Lankan Low Country Drumming amongst many other qualifications, and Eshantha Joseph Peiris, also an exceptionally talented and accomplished musician, the team is made up of some of Colombo's most exciting musicians.
To be honest, what's most exciting about their recent expansion is that we can look forward to a whole new generation of musicians emerging from Colombo, given the exposure that they're getting.
What sets Musicmatters apart is their approach towards group play. Each student goes through half an hour of solo instrument practical, another half an hour of theory in a group, finishing off with an hour-long group jam, where they pretty much get be in their own band! The students then perform mini concerts every other month, and come together to open the Musicmatters Festival that returns every year.
The school started out its humble beginning in a little house in Borella, making maximum use of every bit of space, with instruments sprawling across the walls, and the living room converted into a performance area. It was the place to be if you wanted to tune into the avant garde music scene, as the instructors perform at their fortnightly "Big Ears" gigs.
Now they've got three instrument rooms with guitar, violin, voice and many other instruments, four piano rooms and three drum rooms, where students are given their individual lessons. They've got two theory rooms and three ensemble rooms where group classes happen. There's a performance space and even their own studio where the instructors and students will be mixing and mastering their own compositions.
Their capacity has increased and the new space looks great with its lovely white walls, white floor and it's well lit. Each room is suitably soundproofed so a lesson in one room doesn't disrupt another. All these little setbacks of their old location have been remedied and its really come to fruition as a legit music school. It's very cool to see.
Age 6 upwards: 2 hour program including a half an hour 1-on-1 instrument lesson, half an hour of theory with the group and a one hour ensemble session with the group. (Rs 25,000 per term/Rs 8000 monthly)
Age 5-6 years: One and a half hour program including a half an hour 1-on-1 instrument lesson, half an hour of theory with the group and a half an hour ensemble session with the group. (Rs 20,000 per term, Rs 7000 monthly)
Age 4-5 years: Twice a week, one hour a day. An introduction to music, learning to play melodica and percussion with rhythmic games and scales. (Rs 6000 monthly)
Adults one-on-one instrument classes cost Rs 1000 for half an hour.
We're big fans of the Musicmatters Festivals and their sound in general, and always enjoy the children's concert that kicks it off. Naturally, we think the school is doing a great job. Check out their monthly Big Ears gig at the space, and look out for our review of their soon-to-open cafe!