This is a story about my favorite Baltimore artist.

 

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Matt Halpern has quickly emerged as one of rock music’s premier drummers.

Although born and raised in Pikesville, and now residing in Fells Point—Matt seems to be everywhere.

All at once.

He calls the tour bus and stage home 200+ days a year. He made his home on the cover of Modern Drummer magazine last July.

Perhaps his most consistent place of residence—Bandhappy.com, Matt’s industry-evolving platform for music education. He teaches each day, both on tour and online, through his creation.

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On a Wednesday in September, Matt found himself teaching at a German-style beer hall full of fans in Jessup, MD.

Clearly, no two days are alike.

This was the kickoff to yet another drum clinic tour—this time sponsored by Mapex, the drum company he proudly endorses.

But this is a Matt Halpern tour stop, meaning he made the most of the opportunity.

Before the public event, Matt hosted six students for a private lesson—all booked and prepaid through Bandhappy.

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The average day of a touring musician includes a healthy mix of traveling and waiting. A fair price to pay for your 45 minutes on stage.

But Matt isn’t the type to sit and wait.

Matt gets shit done.

He and his progressive-metal band, Periphery, developed a prominent social media presence before the release of their first record. They truly connected with fans in a grassroots, digital way.

With this, Matt began offering private lessons at each venue hours before doors. He also taught via Skype with fans across the globe.

Matt’s bandmates began to comment, “Wait, you’re making how much every day?!”

With this profitable formula developing, members of other touring bands began inquiring about Matt’s dynamic business model.

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Bandhappy became the platform to connect artists and fans in a new, meaningful way.

It can also exponentially increase the income of the touring musician.

Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman, immediately recognized the far-reaching benefits.

Bandhappy just wrapped its second year on the traveling punk rock summer camp. Warped artists were given the opportunity to teach fans in each city.

Every lesson sold out.

They will now expand to Warped’s international editions and Lyman’s metal festival, Mayhem.

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The Mapex clinic’s thesis: Groove is the essential factor in the communication of drumming.

Matt emphasized that the music—the communication—comes from the body. He led the crowd through movement and vocal exercises intended to help each drummer internalize rhythmic expression.

“We’re made of water,” explained Matt. Fluidity in our movements is the key.

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Our world is unpredictable.

The music business is the Wild West.

Our culture has devalued recorded music and touring is increasingly expensive.

But Matt remains fluid while navigating unchartered waters; A fearless leader supporting those around him with authenticity and conviction.

Throughout all his success and notoriety, Matt remains voraciously hungry and more importantly, humble.

Matt’s body of work just begins with his musical contributions.

Matt embodies the 21st century musician.

Matt Halpern is my favorite Baltimore artist.

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Photography by Jordan Goodman, Edited by Julian Haddad

 

About The Author

Jordan is a writer, musician and educator. He founded Beatwell, through which he shares therapeutic drumming programs with diverse populations.