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Meet Dr. Arau

Leadership is inspiring and encouraging others to achieve their full potential. 

Dr. Matthew Arau

Internationally renowned speaker, coach, author, and conductor, Dr. Matthew Arau has a proven track record of helping people shatter limiting beliefs, unlock their full potential, and orchestrate their lives in alignment with their values and vision. As the founder of Upbeat Global and author of the bestselling book, Upbeat! Mindset, Mindfulness, and Leadership in Music Education and Beyond, Dr. Arau believes in the power of gratitude and joy to make meaningful, transformative change from within. Drawing on his 27 years as a conductor, music educator, and professor, Matthew empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to create inner harmony and resonance through focusing on their well-being, inner voice, and mindset.


Additionally, Dr. Arau is an Associate Professor of Music and the Chair of the Music Education Department and Symphonic Band Conductor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is also on the graduate music education faculty of VanderCook College of Music and the American Band College of Central Washington University. Dr. Arau serves as Leadership Editor for GIA Publications, Director of Community Engagement for SLAM (Servant Leadership Association for Music), and as a Conn-Selmer Education Clinician.


Dr. Arau has guest conducted, led professional development, and presented clinics on leadership, mindfulness, wellness, growth mindset, rehearsal techniques, and creating positive cultures in 38 states and 4 continents in person. He has presented and/or keynoted at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic several times, the Western International Band Clinic, the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) National Conference, numerous State and Regional Music Education Association Conferences, the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Next Direction Conference and ACDA Leadership Conference, the ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Virtual String Teachers Summit, the Conn-Selmer Institute, and the National Wellness Institute. Thousands of high school students have attended his Upbeat Leadership Academies across the United States to develop their leadership skills and reach for their fullest potential. In addition to being in demand as a keynote speaker, presenter, and professional development facilitator, Dr. Arau 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. He lives with his wife Merilee in Neenah, Wisconsin accompanied by their sugar glider, Flash, and two Dachshunds, Savannah and Eli. Dr. Arau’s website is He can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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