Matt Turk

category: Music,

Contact & Info

Artist Statement

Matt Turk is a seasoned recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, eternal idealist, and peace-loving realist.  He is a veteran performer who has engaged audiences around the world, both as a hard-rocking bandleader and an acoustic folk troubadour.  He learned his craft in the NYC jam-rock scene of the early nineties and worked with Pete Seeger as part of The Street Singers, a group that taught folk music to schoolchildren and adults.

Educational Background

Matt graduated cum laude with a BA from New York University.

Teaching Artist Experience

Westhab Coachmen Family Center, 8-12 years old: Provided an introductory repertoire in world folk music where students learned songs in English, Spanish, French, Zulu, Hebrew, and Arabic, sang together, played percussion, discussed the lyrical meaning and context of each song, learned about integrity and human core values of love and respect. Graham Elementary School, Mt. Vernon, Grade 3: Students learned how to hold a guitar, read a guitar chart, play 3 chords, compose original lyrics and melodies about peace building using the guitar chords they learned and about the structure of the song (eg: chorus, verse).  Students also learned about acceptance and praising of others, righting wrongs, seeking wise people, speaking up about hurts that they have caused, and building peace at home, school and in the community everyday.  The program was related to their social studies curriculum in world cultures. School 5, Yonkers, Grade 5: While singing songs in English, Spanish and Zulu, students learned about folk music and the environmental movement, Pete Seeger and his work, values and his organization, Clearwater, the Clean Air and Water Act, the ecology and history of the Hudson River Valley from indigenous people to today, “global citizen” consciousness, the importance of environmental responsibility, volunteerism, community activism and civic engagement, and caring for future generations.  A culminating program was held at Beczak environmental Center where children sang and participated in an environmental education session. Edward Williams Elementary School, Mt. Vernon, 8-10 years old: Through singing in English and Spanish, students learned about the values of respect for the land through the cultures of Mexico and North America.  Students learned songs and how to sing them, connecting them to their own lives, and analyzed lyrical content, context and meaning.  They looked at maps, analyzed imagery found in lyrics, identified differing philosophies of social and political participation, the roles of individuals in the community, and identified situations in which social actions are required.  They also learned key musical terms such as rhythm, harmony, refrain versus chorus, and basic elements of music.