The saying goes, “Those who can’t do, teach,” but for Murder FM front man, Norman Matthew, teaching is just another part of the job. In 2013, the Dallas musician created The Sound Foundation, a bonafide “School of Rock” where music lessons and album release shows replace math classes and drama productions. However, it’s not only the musically gifted who benefit from this rock-based curriculum. With lessons ranging from public relations and production to promotions and management, The Sound Foundation provides its students with the necessary means needed to survive in an ever-changing industry.
Sounds like the school of every music lover’s dream, so naturally, Music Existence had to get the inside scoop on this rock ‘n roll institution. In this interview, Ruby Sanchez and Caitland Yeomon of The Pröjekt discuss what it’s like to be a TSF artist, how it differs from other music schools, and why there’s no such thing as a “typical day” at The Sound Foundation.
ME: Being that The Sound Foundation means a great deal to you since it’s where you got your start as an artist, how would you describe the organization and why?
RUBY: I would describe The Sound Foundation as “helpful,” “motivational,” and “positive” because there is such a positive family vibe immediately when you enter the building. Everybody and all the bands come together and help each other out. We give everyone the push they need to make it in the music world, and it’s really great because everyone is so nice here. I think it’s really important for us to have this backbone to lean on in that we’re all kind of interested in the same thing. It’s really nice to have this kind of built-in-family that you know will always be there.
CAITLAND: I would describe it as “comforting,” “welcoming,” and “inspiring” because when you’re here, like Ruby said, you become part of a family. Everyone makes you feel very comfortable; they welcome you with open arms; and they don’t judge you when you first walk in. It’s very nice.
ME: How did your history with TSF begin?
RUBY: I went to another music school when I was a lot younger – maybe 11or so – and Norman worked there. When he moved, he opened up The Sound Foundation, and I started coming here for band practice. Eventually, I just decided to fully commit and stay here because it was so great. It was a lot more positive, and I liked it a lot better.
ME: What was it about The Sound Foundation that made you feel like this was where you truly belonged?
RUBY: It was really how they teach here. It was a lot more advanced and had more of a business aspect to it. It’s also lot more mature than other music schools, I feel, because they teach you like you’re a friend and not a student, if that makes sense.
ME: How would you describe a typical day at The Sound Foundation? I’d imagine it must be pretty eventful being around such creative energy all the time.
RUBY: There are no typical days at The Sound Foundation (laughs). Every day is so different. Sometimes you’ll hear a band practicing, someday you’ll hear them songwriting, someday you’ll hear them recording. It’s always different. Some days are more laid back, and others are super, super busy because we’re doing stuff all day long. It changes up a lot.
ME: Dallas is a pretty noticeable hotspot when it comes to music entertainment. As students and musicians of The Sound Foundation, in your opinion, what really sets it apart from other venues in the area?
CAITLAND: The whole family vibe and the fact that it’s not just strictly business.
RUBY: It’s kind of cool because right down the street from The Sound Foundation, there are all these venues in Deep Ellum where you can play. You get to see all these bands in their element, selling and handing out their CDs, and it’s cool to have that so close by. We’ve played at most of the venues down there. When we do, we see all the people who own them, and they know us as Ruby and Caitland of The Pröjekt. When we perform at the venue in TSF, we already have a built-in audience because all the TSF students come. It’s safe. It’s like a family. When you’re playing in an actual outside venue, it’s more about fending for yourself finding the audiences who will come see you. You really get a different fan base you’re out there in the elements.
ME: For young musicians such as yourselves, what has been one of the most valuable lessons you learned from your instructors?
RUBY: How to get along with other musicians. Sometimes it can be difficult to do because you think so much alike. (Laughs) Some musicians have a bit of an ego, and when you’re working with a band, it’s sometimes hard to handle all of that creative energy at once, so we have to learn how to work with other people. I was a solo artist before I came to The Sound Foundation, so I had a lot of issues working with a band. Now that I know how to work with other people and bounce ideas off each other, we’re all able to work out our creative energy. I think that’s important in music and in every day life, and any business that you’re going to do. I also learned that everyone is always watching you, and that will reflect on your whole band. You have to always be really conscious of what you do, and since I work at the school, I have to remember that anything I do outside the school will also reflect on the organization as well.
ME: If you could tell the world why they should keep a look out for the artists with The Sound foundation, what would you say?
CAITLAND: You should keep a look out because the artists with The Sound Foundation are legitimate. They are upcoming artists, they are on radio stations, and we’re learning so many things, and a lot of the students here will end up going to college. That’s really important to us, so why would you pass up the opportunity to learn about us? (Laughs)
For more information on The Sound Foundation and its artists, visit: