Growing up, Matthew Head always knew he had a passion for kids. He also knew he had a gift for music.
Now an award-winning film composer and music producer, Head shared his passion – and his gift – with a group of third, fourth and fifth-grade students at Finch Elementary School on Nov. 15 as part of College and Career Motivation Week.
During his visit to Finch, Head – who currently serves as head music producer for the hit TV show “Greenleaf” on the OWN Network – explained the nature of his work as a music producer and film composer for shows such as “Step Up” and “The Family Business,” as well as the upcoming BET series, “Boomerang.” He also shared how hard work and determination helped him become the successful professional he is today. A former paraprofessional and native of Marietta, Head attended Savannah State University to study education before making the bold decision to leave college to pursue music professionally.
As a music producer, Head told students that he oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer’s music, and as a film composer he writes music based on what he sees on the screen.
Throughout his presentation, Head answered students’ questions and shared his knowledge of music and its powerful impact, while encouraging students to work hard and explore their gifts and passion.
“The cool thing about my job is that I get to see things and create music for it,” said Head, a gifted pianist who attended college on full academic and football scholarship. “Music lends to emotional impact and helps you better understand what you’re seeing on the screen. Music can confuse you, it can build intensity, but sometimes when there are scary movies, there’s no music because that helps frightens you. It helps build the fright intensity.”
At one point, Head showed students a video without music, yet once he began playing music during various scenes, they immediately noticed how the tone and tenor of the video changed. The same is true, he told them, in a movie, TV show, or any other program.
Before the end of his presentation, Head showed students the three big awards that he’s received for his work: an Emmy, Stellar Music Award, and an NAACP Image award.
“These rewards are a reminder of my gift,” he told them. “So, be sure to listen to your teachers and the adults in your life when they tell you that you’re good at something. That made the biggest difference for me when I was growing up.”
Principal Forrestella Taylor said she was humbled and honored to have Head serve as guest speaker for College & Career Motivation Week.
“We’re honored that Mr. Head would want to share his gifts with our students,” Taylor said. “He is such an inspiration to our students and shows just how important it is to follow your passion and dreams.”