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Arau, Matthew

Dr. Matthew Arau, author of Upbeat! Mindset, Mindfulness, and Leadership in Music Education and Beyond and founder of Upbeat Global, is an Associate Professor of Music and the Chair of the Music Education Department and Symphonic Band Conductor at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition, Dr. Arau serves as a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician and is on the graduate conducting faculty of the American Band College of Central Washington University and graduate music education faculty at VanderCook College of Music.

Dr. Arau has guest conducted and presented on student leadership, mindfulness, growth mindset, rehearsal techniques, and creating positive cultures in person in over 25 states and 4 continents in person. He has presented at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, the NAfME National Conference, numerous State and Regional Music Education Association Conferences, and the Conn-Selmer Institute. He has conducted honor bands in Australia, Greece, Cyprus, and Malaysia, and All-State honor bands across the United States. Dr. Arau draws on a deep reservoir of fifteen years of experience as a successful middle school and high school band director in Loveland, Colorado, where he led his bands at Walt Clark Middle School and Loveland High School to numerous honor performances and championships and pioneered the Leadership Symposium.

Dr. Arau holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Science in Music Education from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University. He graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance (Classical), Music Performance (Jazz Studies), and a Bachelor of Arts in Government. He resides in Neenah, Wisconsin with his wife Merilee, their dog Olive, and two sugar gliders – Little Foot and Flash. More information about Dr. Arau can be found at

Dr. Matthew Arau’s Clinic Titles and Descriptions
(can also mix and match topics)

CLINIC 1: (keynote)
Upbeat! The Power Within

We often look outside of ourselves for the solutions and answers to the challenges we face. Dr. Matthew Arau reminds us that despite the hurdles, we can make a significant difference by tapping into the power within ourselves and our students. Through choosing our personal upbeat and being intentional with how we teach and lead, we can create a positive, inclusive culture by design and elevate the level of learning, performance, joy, belonging, empowerment, motivation, recruitment, and retention.

CLINIC 2: (keynote)
Upbeat Mindset for Downbeat Times

Times are tough and we are all confronted with massive challenges in music education. This session will share how, no matter the difficulty of situation, we can choose our personal upbeat and develop habits of thought and action that can transform our personal and teaching life to optimize our personal physical, mental, and emotional health so that we can be at our best for our students. 

What is your Intention? Meaningful Score Study, Conducting, and Rehearsing

We elevate the level of artistry and musicianship of our students when we are clear in our intent and purpose. This clinic will provide strategies for purposeful score-study and preparation to impact our conducting and to help us focus on what matters most while creating meaningful and joyful rehearsals filled with growth, discovery, expression, creativity, innovation, maximum student engagement, and a flourishing, musical experience.

Breathe New Life into Your Music Program 

If you have been feeling like your inner flame needs a boost of oxygen, discover how a focus on mindfulness, social & emotional learning, engaging rehearsal strategies, and student leadership can rejuvenate, replenish, and reignite your passion for teaching music and provide you and your students a pathway forward that will lead to successful recruitment, retention, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Thrive! Creating a Positive Culture of Community, Compassion, and Excellence

The culture of our music classes and ensembles is foundational to the success and wellbeing of our students. Rather than letting culture happen haphazardly we can intentionally create a supportive culture by design. Discover how the values and priorities of the teacher and students, safety and inclusion, trust, gratitude, respect, diversity, equity, empathy, motivation, and a unified vision can propel every aspect of your music program to the next level. 

Edge of Your Seat Rehearsals: Engage All Students Always

Discover rehearsal strategies that will actively engage, energize, and elevate the level of performance of every student, leading to successful recruitment, retention, and personal fulfillment. Edge of Your Seat rehearsals are fun, exciting, and filled with growth and inspiration. Students are empowered to contribute, collaborate, and lead. Be prepared to add to your rehearsal techniques toolbox, find meaning and purpose in your repertoire, welcome more students into your music program, and reimagine how music can be taught. Get ready to implement many of these ideas at your next rehearsal.

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