Matt ThomasSeptember 13, 2021 2023-03-07 15:34
Piano, Guitar and Bass Coach
I’m from the smaller-than-people-who-are-from-there-think-it-is town of Macon, Georgia. I grew up in a family that loved to sing together at home and at church, though neither of my parents had any formal music training. So I’m sure it was a bit of a surprise when, for some reason, my parents decided to put me and my older brother in piano lessons when I was about five years old. Little did I know that upon this musical foundation I would build a lifelong love of music! Not that I always loved it – don’t get me wrong. Just like a lot of kids in music lessons, I didn’t always want to practice, but my mom made me practice anyway! And I’m so glad she did, because eventually I liked what I could do, and realized that the skills I had developed actually meant something! I could play! And it was fun!
Then, when I was in middle school, I heard an album that just blew my musical mind – Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album – and I just had to be able to do that, too! So I took what I knew on piano and started to translate it to the guitar. And a year later, the bass player at my church told me I could take his extra bass home and learn to play that if I wanted, so I did just that! And before you knew it, his job took him away and the Pastor looked to me to fill his musical shoes – at the ripe young age of 15. I was in over my head, for sure, but what I found was a community of wonderful church musicians who took a young kid who was not in their league and poured into him so that he could have a chance of hanging with them. And I got better – fast. I look back now and see not only God’s hand guiding all those steps, but also the incredible value of learning from other musicians who have been where you are. I’m so grateful for them.
And just for the record, this is now how I see what is happening at Rooted. It’s the same thing – a wonderful community of musicians pouring into others and sharing what God has taught them, after they had been poured into by others who shared what God had taught them – and the kingdom of God continues and God be praised! This is why I’m so happy to be a part of what is happening at Rooted Music Coaching!
I’d better speed this up…
So I finished high school and auditioned for the music department at Mercer University, where I studied Composition and Piano Performance, but never stopped playing guitar and bass. In fact, I never even played piano in the ensembles at that school, but instead played bass in the jazz band. This eventually led to pursuing my Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Bass Performance at Georgia State University following undergrad. From there I taught as a public school music educator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for eleven years, until God called me to take a greater role at the church I had been serving at since 2003 – Life Church International in Duluth, Georgia.
My wife, Steffi, and I now serve on staff in the music department at Life Church International – she as the Worship/Service Coordinator, and me as the Executive Pastor of Worship Arts – and we love the Church! It is our passion to help others grow not only in their musical knowledge and expertise, but also in their lives as worshipers in the Kingdom of God! And this is exactly what Rooted Music Coaching is all about! I feel so blessed to be a part of the Rooted family!