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Spotlight on Matt Brundrett, ETM-LA Music Teacher

"The most important thing I have done over my 10 years with ETM-LA is getting to know the people who make up the school communities that I have served."

Matthew (Matt) Brundrett, known affectionately as “Mr. B,” has officially dedicated 10 years to music education with ETM-LA. Mr. B began his teaching journey with Education Through Music in New York City before joining ETM-LA in 2014. His commitment to fostering community and creativity has left a lasting impact on the students of Castelar Street Elementary School. Mr. B believes in the power of music to bring people together, emphasizing the invaluable life skills gained through collaborative music making. Celebrated for his energetic and compassionate teaching style, Mr. B has transformed the lives of countless students, nurturing their musical talents, and instilling confidence and leadership skills through music education.



Why do you teach music?

I teach music to share a love for community and to show students how to create as a group. Music education’s most important objective is to bring people together. Having the experience of learning how to create as a group is an invaluable skill the students can take into all aspects of their lives. 


How has teaching impacted you?

Teaching has shown me that everyone at a school site are co-workers. Not only do teachers, administrators, and support staff work together, but the most important co-workers you have as a teacher are the students themselves. As a music teacher, you and the students are always working toward a common and collective goal. A mutual understanding and appreciation for each other is critical to creating positive musical experiences together. I have learned so much from my students. My students have helped me to understand and communicate with people of all ages. They help me see a side of myself that I wouldn’t know if I wasn’t a teacher.


With over 10 years of teaching experience, what advice do you have for aspiring music teachers?

The most important thing I have done over my 10 years with ETM-LA is getting to know the people who make up the school communities that I have served. Above learning the names of everyone you are in contact with, you (the teacher) should also ask questions that help you know more about the students as well as the adults you work alongside. This information may help adjust your teaching to the specific class or student. However, more importantly it shows that you care about who they are and what is important to them. More simply put, it shows attention and love. 


Why is music education so important for every child?

Every child deserves access to music education because in a music classroom there is a group experience that everyone can participate in. There is always space that can be made for ANY student to fit into the music classroom. Skill level and experience do not factor into the ability to participate in the music classroom. Moreover, the music classroom is often the only place where a student can feel comfortable with their classmates and that should not be denied to any child. 


How have you seen music impact young lives?

Because I have been at the same school for 8 years, I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to teach entire families of children. I have been able to see children become young adults literally before my eyes. Coming to “Mr. B’s” class has been a rite of passage of sorts for the families of Castelar St. Elementary. The goal of music education is always to provide opportunities for students to find their potential. Specifically, I have been able to see former students attend and excel at well regarded music schools. I have also seen former students become internationally-renowned touring musicians performing at prestigious venues alongside music legends. However, the biggest impact I have seen is the students who have gone on to become leaders at their high schools and beyond. Those students may have had their first chance at leadership when they stepped up on the conductor’s platform in my room and led their class in a song. If I can provide a small opportunity for them to see a vision for themselves, then my job is done.