Matthew Marsolek: Music is Your Birthright
Born into a family of musicians and artists, Matthew Marsolek has been at the forefront of the North American hand drumming movement since the 1990s. He’s the band leader of the Drum Brothers world percussion group, and has facilitated hundreds of events and workshops around the Northwest and Canada, sharing music and rhythm with a variety of groups including corporate teams, at-risk youth, bereaved children, cancer survivors, and students of all ages. He’s also been a featured speaker at TEDx UMontana, teaching his audience from the stage what he means when he says, “Music is your birthright.”
Matthew has studied West African and East Indian music for over two decades and is an accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and composer. Along with two solo projects, he’s released albums with Drum Brothers and Mandir and has produced original music for several films.
In this episode, we let the melody of conversation run wild. We explore the ancient roots of music making, the proven physiological effects of drumming, the power of music to unite and build connection--a scientific study called entrainment--and we take a deep dive into the multitude of music’s functions in culture and society--how to use drumming and other community-based musical practices to help us grieve, release tension, perform ritual and ceremony, celebrate, find joy, communicate healthy emotions and much more.
One of Matthew’s teaching mantras is “If you have a heartbeat, you have rhythm," and his goals as a music educator are to spark joy, to create a safe space for people to reconnect with their inner child’s longing to play, to move past the fear of judgment and perfectionism and to express authentically, their unique song.