Introducing TEDx Coventry REVIVE Speaker Matt Donald

Who is Matt Donald?

Matt is a multi-instrumentalist & educator, best known for bringing energy & creativity to the stage, studio & classroom. Having been involved in professional music & performing since childhood, he came to study at Nexus ICA in 2002/3 where he co-founded the rock band [dweeb], hailed as ‘infectious’1 and ‘perfecting the formula’2 of modern indie. Over the subsequent nine years, they would go on to secure record deals, play hundreds of gigs around the world, release two studio albums & star in a documentary for the BBC.

Now an experienced session player, published songwriter & educator, Matt continues to play worldwide alongside award-winning artists and musicians, as well as being the Assistant Principal at Nexus ICA. Matt is an Ableton artist, has worked with Roland & Nord, then more recently was asked to be part of the team that developed Teenage Engineering’s new OP-Z.

Matt holds an MA in Songwriting at the University of Bath Spa, a BA in Youth Studies and Applied Theology, is an associate fellow of the  Higher Education Academy and is currently working on a number of papers soon to be published in the arena of musical education.

1 Rock Sound Magazine, 2007.
2 Uncut Magazine, 2011.

Why TEDx and what will Matt’s talk be about?

Matt explores the current educational system, its strengths, challenges and its effect on the individual. He draws from his own personal reflection, experience, research and its application to discuss how we need to revive the attitude towards attainment. A person’s grades are only one part of their journey, not the end result. 

Last summer, Matt represented the small higher education provider he works for at nationwide conference with the duty to talk with delegates about the courses they offer. He spoke to one young man who opened the conversation with ‘What career prospects would I have, if I studied here?’. Immediately Matt was struck by two thoughts. Firstly, this young man was only 14 but had such an acute focus on a career path. This seemed strange to Matt for when he was 14, all he was thinking about was making, listening and playing music (which did later become his career). But more importantly, it made Matt wonder – is this what everyone believes education is all about?

Through his talk, Matt would like to spark conversation, collaboration and action, and share the idea of building together towards a better future, an idea that that could revive the educational sector by questioning “What if education was about developing the person, not just achieving a grade or job?”

If you want to hear Matt speak live about how education is more than just a grade and how it transforms you as a person, you can get your ticket to his talk Truly Transformative; A Wholistic Approach to Education at TEDxCoventry via the Belgrade.

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