Daniela's Music

Composer and piano teacher, offering private lessons in piano, rhythm, music theory, and composition in Duxbury, MA.

Experienced with ages 7+ and adults; casual and serious players.

Learn more about Daniela DeMatos

About Daniela

Daniela DeMatos is a composer, collaborative pianist and piano teacher currently located in Duxbury, MA. She is a graduate from the Master of Music program in Collaborative Piano under Eda Shlyam at the Longy School of Music, where she also holds Master of Music in Composition, under Paul Brust.

Daniela's compositions have won several competitions while at Longy. "Psalm 51" for orchestra was performed at the prestigious Sanders Theater by the Longy Conservatory Orchestra under conductor Julian Pellicano. Her Woodwind Trio I for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon won the first inaugural Radius-Longy composition competition and was premiere by the Radius Ensemble. Daniela's vocal quartet, "Encounter," for two sopranos and two altos, won the attention of Dawn Upshaw, who coached the vocal quartet from Bard College in New York. Her latest work, "Ondine," for soprano, tenor, and piano, a 10-minute opera based on Garret Jon Groenveld's Ondine, is a collaboration with the Boston Opera Collaborative.

Daniela has performed and taught in Finland, Estonia, Brazil, and Japan.

As a teacher, Daniela is committed to her students. She tailors private lessons based on the student's needs, using a wide variety of techniques including elements of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Brazilian "O Passo" rhythm techniques. Daniela combines ear-training and formal music training into each lesson, giving the student a well-rounded music education from day one.

View Daniela's Portfolio

Learn more about Daniela's piano lineage.


List of compositions with a video sample of the score and live performance.


Encounter was commissioned by Dawn Upshaw and the Vocal Arts Graduate Program from Bard College Conservatory of Music. It is a journey of one who sets out to encounter God and finds a Zealous Lover who had all along been in pursuit of the pursuer. The vocal quartet makes for an intimate and etherial canvas where the story is told. Encounter was premiered at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA on April 16, by students of Dawn Upshaw: sopranos Marie Marquis and Devony Smith, and mezzo-sopranos Kimberly Feltkamp and Abigail Levis. The Boston Classical Review said of the performance, "...the sensuous a cappella harmonies in Encounter, Daniela DeMatos' setting of her own text, a sort of erotic Biblical dream that mashed up Psalm 23 with the Burning Bush and the Song of Solomon."

Psalm 51

Psalm 51 for Orchestra is the winner of the 2012 Longy Conservatory Orchestra Composition Competition. It was performed in Sanders Theater on Friday, October 26, 2012 by the Longy Conservatory Orchestra, with conductor Julian Pellicano.
Psalm 51 for orchestra is a journey from darkness to light; from inner turmoil to inner peace. I drew inspiration from this Psalm because it is so charged with emotions. Psalm 51 is King David's prayer after Nathan the prophet had confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba, and subsequent murder of her husband. Throughout the story, mercy is present. So much so, that later King David is called “a man after God’s own heart,” not because of his ability to do right, but because of his ability to get up again after he had failed.
One of the ideas I wanted to capture in Psalm 51 was that of mercy being ever-present but not recognized, and sometimes misunderstood. The musical theme representing mercy is first presented by the oboe. However, because the harmony around the oboe mercy theme is dark, the oboe theme sounds just as dark and ominous. The musical mercy theme changes character throughout Psalm 51. During the confrontational brass section, the mercy theme seems harsh and unforgiving. In the following sections of inner turmoil, mercy seems lost in the toil of the soul. It is not until the very end when the harmony becomes lucid and more consonant, that we are able to understand mercy, as the mercy theme calmly spreads through the woodwinds and brings “inner” peace.

Woodwind Trio I

Woodwind Trio I for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, was written for the Radius Ensemble Competition in the Fall of 2011. It won the competition and was performed at the Longy School of Music on May 5, 2012. I had intended for it to be a serial 12-tone piece, with the 12-tones first presented in a chord and its resolution. I quickly abandoned the 12-tone idea, but kept the chord I began with. The piece then became about a gradual moving toward that defining chordal gesture (which you will hear right after the bassoon solo, and then slightly varied toward the last third of the piece), followed by a move away from the chordal gesture. The moving away ebbs and flows between contrapuntal, disparate lines to homophonic gestures which convey unity in purpose between the instruments. Two solos serve as the culmination of a section, and the pivot that leads to a contrasting section. As a result of the disjunct sections, the tutti sections become more intensified, and the homophonic sections more serene.


Gracejo for String Quartet won the Longitude Commissioning Project 2010, and was performed in December of 2010. Gracejo is an elegant word for joke in Portuguese, and implies connections with Brazilian folklore. I chose the title “Gracejo” because I was playing with different components of the children’s songs I grew up singing in Brazil. The lyrics to these children’s songs are usually funny or ironic, having a double meaning. Many of the lyrics go by very fast, giving the songs a playful yet aggressive feel. That playful aggression is the second component of Brazilian music that I was experimenting with. You will hear plenty of passages that are playful, yet have an aggression about them. A third element you will hear is the rhythm. I chose partido alto. You will hear it first in the cello. A fourth element is the playful ebb and flow of triplets that is used to accommodate the language, or to make it more flirtatious. It gets rather intense toward the end, but Brazilians have a reputation for always being joyful, full of humor and optimism, and so we return to some of that Brazilian way in the very end.

Nature in Amber

Nature in Amber was written for Anthology Voices, in collaboration with the Amber Room at Duxbury Montessori School. The first through third graders from the Amber Room wrote acrostic poems based on nature. Daniela took the viewpoint of the children in writing the music. For example, in Winter, Daniela tried to capture in sound the wonder of winter. In Snow, Rain, and Arctic, Daniela portrayed the enthusiasm of a child engrossed in their own imagination.

That Passeth Understanding

That Passeth Understanding for soprano and piano was performed at Longy’s September Fest 2011, by the Dean of the Longy School of Music, Wayman Chin (piano), and the Associate Dean, Karyl Ryczek (soprano). In the Fall of 2010, the composition students at Longy were assigned Denise Levertov’s poem, ‘...That Passeth All Understanding’ to set it to song. The title comes from a biblical passage, Philippians 4:7, a verse that is very dear to my heart. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard, guide) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7. The assignment came at a time of personal turmoil in which peace took me by surprise. Peace, an awe, invaded my heart and, as the poem goes, “I don’t know when it began.” At some point, I simply found myself in the middle of it. Peace in the midst of tranquility is completely understandable. On the other hand, peace in the midst of turmoil transcends understanding. I wanted to capture in this song this peace that permeates and pervades over a quiet anguish, slowly dissipating turmoil. The turmoil is not eliminated from the music, but peace pervades completely. This juxtaposition passes natural understanding. Musically, what best captures this is the b-natural of the vocal line against the b-flat of the left hand of the piano, which is a theme throughout the song.

Song of Solomon 5:2

Song of Solomon 5:2 for soprano and piano was a collaboration between singer and composer. It has long been a desire of mine to make a song cycle out of Song of Solomon. This is my attempt to capture in song, the peaceful moments just before the Shulamite's Dark Night of the Soul.

Piano Meditation

Piano Meditation is my first solo piano piece, written in the Spring of 2010. Writing for solo piano was a daunting idea to me. I did not know how I could contribute to an already rich and abundant repertoire written by the great masters. I felt a weightiness writing for solo piano in a way I did not feel writing for other mediums, perhaps because piano is my main instrument. So Piano Meditation is an exercise I forced upon myself of writing without judging. As it turns out, Piano Meditation is a series of random ideas streamed together into one piece. It begins with a mystical flowing lydian melody which I wrote for a children’s play, with mermaids in mind. The somber eerie melody which makes the bulk of the piece, was birthed out of a personal meditation in Isaiah 51, with verses 12 and 13 in mind: “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.” The romantic passage toward the end was an improvisation at the piano. Piano Meditation ends where it started, in e-flat lydian, enharmonically misspelled as d-sharp lydian, bringing the vast ideas full circle.

Contact us

Daniela DeMatos is now offering private lessons in piano, rhythm, music theory, and composition in Duxbury, MA.

Contact Daniela to request a lesson.

Phone:+1 857-756-9220



IMSLP - comprehensive collection of public domain scores.

G Major Music Theory - Free piano music.

Collaborative Piano Blog

Art Song Texts – texts and translations.

Lieder Links – lieder resources online.

Martha Beth Lewis - useful piano pedagogy site.

Pianimation – free teacher resources (music theory, curriculum, sheet music)

Piano Pedagogy – useful material for download




Grand Staff

Grand Staff Large – for beginner's practice

Grand Staff landscape – for writing your own music

Grand Staff portrait – for writing your own music


Rhythm Flashcards – for practicing rhythms

Medium Flashcards – for practicing note names, individual clefs.

Grand Staff Flashcards – for practicing note names, grand staff.