Matthew began studying music at an early age. His parents enrolled him in private piano lessons at age four, which he continued until he was fourteen years old. That summer, he studied music theory at the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program and it was there he became intersted in playing popular music on guitar. After acquiring his first guitar he began teaching himself folk and rock music and spent hours every day singing and practicing his favorite songs by Bob Dylan, David Bowie, the Beatles, and other singers and groups he heard. Under the guidance of private guitar instructor James Cass, Matthew began to learn standard note-reading, jazz chart-reading, and basic fingerstyle technique while in high school.
In 1992, Matthew moved from home in Virginia to study music at the University of South Carolina. There, he studied the nylon-string (classical) guitar under Christopher Berg. While finishing his degree in music, Matthew was already performing extensively, playing lead guitar in rock bands and classical guitar at weddings and parties. He also began teaching private music lessons during this time. In 2000, Matthew began operating his private teaching studio in Irmo, South Carolina, and in 2006, Matthew joined the faculty of Newberry College where he teaches group classes, private lessons, and directs the Newberry College Guitar Ensemble.
Although Matthew is quite busy teaching at both his private studio and Newberry College, he still finds time to perform and record music. Each season, Matthew plays solo and ensemble concerts on classic guitar and he also performs on acoustic, electric, and bass guitar in popular music groups and theater productions. He frequently plays with various ensembles at Newberry College including the percussion ensembles and their renowned jazz big band. You can also find him leading the worship music at Salem United Methodist Church's famous "Church on the Lake" which runs every summer.
In 2009, Matthew composed and recorded an original all-guitar soundtrack for the independent film "I remember".
In 2010, he started a classical guitar duo with fellow guitar instructor and USC music alumni Chance Glass. They released their first CD "Music for Two Guitars" in 2013.
In 2012 and 2013 Matthew was an administrator and judge on the faculty of the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition, an event that draws players from around the world to Columbia, SC.
In 2014, Matthew released his first solo album "Bedtime Stories" featuring twelve original songs.
Matthew currently resides near Irmo, SC and dedicates himself to teaching and performing music full time. He is currently planning a string of solo guitar concerts for 2016-17, and he also performs in the Palmetto Jazz Collective, a jazz combo comprised of Newberry College Faculty and Alumni.
For information about guitar lessons, bass lessons, guitar performances, to purchase CD's, or to book Matthew for a wedding, party, or event, e-mail: Matthew@MSmithGuitarStudio.com