NZ Music Teachers Online

Matthew Burns

Matthew Burns


Flute Lessons | Theory Lessons, Composition Lessons, Online Lessons

  • Qualifications: BMus (Hons) in Music Performance, 1st Class. ARSM (Dist).
  • Styles: Classical, Contemporary
  • Suitability: ~8 and up


I am a Hamilton based Flautist studying Flute Performance at Waikato University. I am currently studying a Masters in Flute Performance on Concert and Baroque flutes.

I have a broad interest in music, with particular passions in baroque and twentieth & twenty-first century musics, including jazz and fusion alongside contemporary classical music. I also greatly enjoy performing chamber music and working with other musicians.

I gained a love for composition studying under Prof. Martin Lodge, and in my own works I enjoy exploring harmonic systems, and more recently digital electronics and electro-acoustic elements.

Teaching Info

In my teaching, the most important goal is to foster a passion and interest for all music, and to create a depth of understanding about music that can be used for a career, hobby, or personal enjoyment. These goals are fairly universal, and while I have worked mainly with young people, I am open to teaching all ages, including adults! I also have experience with neurodiversity, particularly ADHD.

For beginners and returning students I focus on building a well supported sound, then build a base of technical skills and musicianship through working on short pieces and duets. Making sound on the flute can be challenging at first, but focusing enough to make sound the student will enjoy makes for a more rewarding study.

Further on, I encourage students to develop a broad base of fundamental skills, from basic technical skills (scales, arpeggios, etc.) to sight-reading and aural skills, and eventually to less-focused-on aspects of musicianship such as memorisation and improvisation.

In teaching theory, while covering the basics of note-reading, chord-naming, cadence-identifying etc. I seek to introduce broader theoretical concepts, with the ultimate goal that students are able to apply theoretical frameworks to music, to further understand music. This provides a good framework for further or self-directed study.

While I do not teach or tutor NCEA, I am happy to offer an outside perspective on concepts within NCEA Theory, arranging, or composition.

I highly recommend the study of theory along with performance, as theory has benefits for performance and musical interpretation.

I understand the importance of creating a safe space for learning, particularly for an expressive art like music. I strive to make sure that my lessons are free from racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, and when such subjects arise in music history I try to treat them appropriately.

Contact Matthew Burns