Porter Matteson – Piano, Trumpet Teacher

Porter Matteson
Piano, Trumpet

Porter Matteson


B.S. Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Central Washington University

Jazz, Classical, Musical Theatre, Pop, Rock, Theory, Composition

Hey guys! I just moved to Philly and am thrilled to be your piano teacher here in this awesome city! I have played piano for 15 years and have participated in many concerts and competitions on both coasts. I’ve studied with award-winning teachers and have received training in theory and ear training, and I’ve taught students ranging from middle school to college age. One of my core beliefs is that age and background don’t matter – all that matters is your enthusiasm and passion for music! Whatever your favorite genre of music, I’m glad to help you! I have specialized experience in classical, musical theater, and jazz, and am also excited to work with you on pop, blues, rock, folk, and more. I also specialize in composition and improvisation if that’s your thing, and have a large portfolio of compositions in many styles. I am determined to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. Depending on your level, we will cover all the basics, such as technique (including scales), keyboard vision, and theory. Then we’ll move as quickly as possible to the repertoire that you’re interested in. If it’s beyond your level, we’ll start with easier material and work up to it. Basically, we’ll furnish you with the technical and theoretical toolkits you need to succeed in your musical career, whether it may be playing that soulful pop ballad to impress your friends all the way up to Chopin’s 4th Ballade and writing your own music. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you!

When did you begin playing Piano, and why?

I started playing piano more or less at the age of 6. (I’d started earlier than that with Suzuki, but I didn’t vibe with the method of instruction.) My mom, who was a musician, taught me piano until I outgrew her. I studied with a number of teachers in the following years.

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?

I’ve played trumpet since the age of 7. Most of my experience in orchestras and bands has been on the trumpet.

What are your personal goals as a musician?

I’m a passionate and dedicated musician and have many goals. I have a particular specialty in composition, and my secret dream is to develop my songwriting and orchestrating skills and break into the musical theater and film industries. I also am big on collaboration too, and I welcome any innovative ideas – this is part of the joy of teaching! One innovative idea I’ve considered is getting an orchestra to improvise together, using hand gestures and other cues to organize the sound.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?

I remember when I started regularly practicing trumpet for the first time at about 13 years old, and I suddenly had an epiphany: When You Practice, You Get Better.

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?

Best Practical Advice: The importance of voicing on the piano and when to emphasize the outer versus inner voices. Best general advice: LISTENNNNN!!!!

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument

I used to struggle a ton on trumpet with physical stamina. Before a brass quintet concert, I remember being afraid that I couldn’t hold the higher notes. It turned out fine, and a few months later I discovered a method of playing trumpet that radically improved my stamina.

What is your biggest musical achievement?

I got an honorable mention in the well-known Steinway Piano Competition in my age division, and placed 3rd in the Granite State competition twice. More recently, on three separate occasions, I wrote pieces for orchestra that were played by youth orchestras. The last one was a piano concerto movement, in which my brother, a pianist, took center stage as soloist.

Favorite thing about teaching?

I love teaching. I just have always liked the concept of helping someone understand or “get” something they didn’t know before.

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?

First of all, start learning on a keyboard instrument! There’s no extra worrying about how to “produce” the sound. Second, get some theory down. That will help you tremendously. Last: have fun! If you’re not having fun, something needs to be changed. 

Personal music projects:

Aside from orchestras and chamber groups, my previous experience in groups has largely been jazz-related. I’ve done a lot of off-and-on jazz gigs for money and recorded informally over the years. Current random projects include a 45-minute-long descriptive orchestral suite that I hope to have played someday (see 2020 Vision link above). As for imminent projects, I very much want to spearhead the “improvisatory orchestra” mentioned above. I am also embracing the pop/rock world and would love to get into a group here in Philly.


Philly Music Lessons specializes in connecting students of all ages and skill levels with great teachers in the Philadelphia and Main Line areas.