Instructor feature: VCC Music’s Alan Matheson
When Vancouver Community College (VCC) music instructor Alan Matheson says, “I’ve been doing this for a while,” he’s not kidding.
In fact, Alan can’t remember a time when music was not only a part of his life, but the thing that inspired and drove him more than anything else.
It helps, of course, to grow up in a record store, of which his father owned several in their hometown of Calgary in the 60s and 70s. While not musicians themselves, both Alan’s parents, as well as his grandmother, were avid music listeners and concertgoers.
Even as a 4-year-old actor on the children’s TV show Romper Room, Alan remembers bringing records on the show and talking enthusiastically about music with the audience. By the age of 5, he had decided unequivocally that he would become a composer, and began learning the piano.
A few years later, Alan’s father gave him a record by traditional jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke. “And my 9-year-old mind realized, holy moly, he was composing and playing at the same time,” says Alan, who then also took up the trumpet and began a lifelong fascination with jazz.