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Matthew Thompson

Assistant Professor of Music
Office: 223 Stearns

Matthew Thompson, DMA- collaborative piano, is assistant professor of music at the University of Michigan. There his duties include teaching courses as varied as "Introduction to Lyric Diction and IPA" to groundbreaking and massively popular classes like "Video Game Music." In addition to his classroom duties, Thompson serves as a vocal coach for graduate voice students.

As a pianist, Dr. Thompson has performed with operatic celebrities like Thomas Hampson, rising international stars like Vince Yi, and even musical theater gurus like Tony Award winner Gavin Creel. A sought after vocal coach, he's prepared singers from beginners to seasoned artists for recitals, recordings, competitions, young artist programs, auditions, and performances, both local and in major venues around the world. Equally comfortable collaborating with instrumentalists, Thompson has recently performed on the Ann Arbor Symphony Chamber Music Series, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Series, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Vignette Series. He regularly plays with the U-M Wind and Brass faculty, and with large ensembles like the Flint Symphony and the Michigan Philharmonic, and is currently pianist and associate conductor of the Carolyn Mawby Chorale based in Flint, MI. Numerous live performances can be streamed from Thompson's YouTube channel and he can be heard in recording with David Ammer, trumpet, on La trompette a renouvelé. He is currently in post-production with a recording that will release in early 2018, "Japonica," a concert of recently composed oboe/piano duos with U-M alumnus, Dr. Alex Hayashi.

Thompson's summer training included prestigious young artist programs like Song Fest, the Merola Opera Program, and Wolf Trap Opera. Summers are now typically spent teaching music to students of all levels. In recent years, Thompson has been a faculty coach/pianist at the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute and was a faculty member of U-M's inaugural Living Arts Summer Residential Lab. He will teach at U-M's MPulse Vocal Institute in July 2018.

Dr. Thompson has won numerous grants to support his research, continuing education, and teaching, including a U-M-Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Faculty Development Fund to support "Teaching Private Piano Lessons using Video Game Piano Transcriptions," a UMOR Small Grant to Support Major Conferences to help fund "Hosting the 5th annual North American Conference on Video Game Music at U-M in 2018," a U-M Center for Japanese Studies Faculty Research Grant to support "Recording of Recently Composed Japanese Oboe/Piano Duos," an SMTD Faculty Block Grant to support "Translation of Japanese Video Game Piano Collections," and multiple Arts at Michigan Course Connection grants that have allowed integration of live performances into his classroom teaching. His research interests vary from female composers to American Popular Song accompanying; game audio, a particular fascination, has sparked Thompson's urge to write. He maintains a blog which has attracted both scholarly and industry attention at and has written proactively commissioned book reviews published in the American Journal of Play.

Thompson received masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan in collaborative piano, studying with his long time mentor, Martin Katz. His undergraduate degree, with highest honors and highest distinction, is from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thompson photo

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