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Meet Dr Matt Mckay Teacher of Music and Junior Sector Discipline Co-ordinator

How long have you been working at San Anton School?       

I have been working at San Anton for two years now.

Have you always lived in Malta?

No, I moved from London in 2014, after retiring from the British Army having served 24 years.

Tell us about your passion for music.

My love for music grew mainly because of my Dad. He was a jazz musician playing the saxophone and flute. I remember sitting in the kitchen at home for hours listening to him practice. He would take me to gigs and sometimes I would get to play percussion with the band, which I loved! I also remember sleeping in the double bass players` case behind the stage! I was fifteen when I first got to play flute at a jazz concert with my Dad, however my saxophone studies came later whilst in the army.

During my army career, I was a musician in The band of Her majesty's Irish Guards. This saw me tour all over the world and also play thousands of engagements in London including, Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and the Queen`s Birthday Parade. I was also principal flute for the Irish Guards Orchestra, which, among other duties, would play for investitures at the palace.  

My passion for music really took a grip of my life, which led me to study for my Masters and eventually a Doctorate in performance. My last three years in the army saw me take on an instructors post at the Royal Military School of Music in Twickenham. This is when I really started to love teaching.

 What do you love about teaching?

I love to try and inspire my students in whatever I'm trying to teach them, be it music or discipline. When I see a student really understand my point or really enjoy my lesson it makes my day!

If I manage to connect to a student who is having difficulties for whatever reason I know I've had a great day. I actually had one yesterday!! :-) My recent trip to Cambodia to work with orphans and help at a street kitchen was a really special time in my teaching career. As part of Do Project, a Maltese NGO headed up by my friend and colleague Chiara Hyzler, my wife Fay and I helped teach English through music, cooking, drama and dance. This is an experience we will never forget and only served to intensify my love of teaching.

 

What do you aim to achieve as the newly appointed Discipline Co-ordinator in Junior Sector?

I want to instil core values, respect for others, respect for ourselves, and empathy for others. I want our students to be able to listen and think before they act or speak. I want our students to care for their classmates and feel part of the San Anton family. I want our students to realise that being kind, friendly and caring towards others will actually make them feel good about themselves.

What is the most challenging part of the job?

Wearing the 'fun music teachers hat' and then dealing with things as the 'Discipline Coordinator' was a challenge at first but I've managed to get the right balance now...I think!

What changes can you see in the educational methodology at San Anton School to when you were at school?

I went to a private boarding school in Norfolk in the UK. My time at school was not a happy one and this is one of the things that helps me to empathise with students who are having a tough time at school. Educational methodology and my old school should really not be in the same sentence!

What is your favourite childhood memory?

I remember listening to my Dad play his sax and hearing people say how good he was and what a beautiful sound he had. I was very proud.

Favourite Book .

I am David by Anne Holm

 Favourite Food.

Steak.

Any hobbies?

I am a Scuba diving instructor so I love to dive. I have a stand-up paddle board and kayaks and love anything to do with the sea really. I also have studied various martial arts since I was about eleven but I'm getting too old for all that now.

I have two dogs, one is a Bulldog called Ted and the other is a Sharpei called Alfie who we rescued from Noah`s Ark dog sanctuary.

I love spending time with my wife, Fay and my son Jack, normally at a beach somewhere.  My recent mid-life crisis has been the purchase of a very big motorbike to be ridden to school very soon! :-)