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BA Music, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
MA, Ethnomusicology (August, 2014 estimated date of completion).
2006 - University of Hawaii at Manoa Tuition Waiver
2006 - University of Hawaii at Manoa Graduate Assistantship
2009 - Monbukagakusho Research Grant in Music (Japanese Government)
What would life be like without music? I can't really imagine. Playing, writing and listening to music has been a major part of my life since I was three years old. My musical passions include Jazz, RnB and other pop music forms. I also love playing diverse musical forms such as Japanese Gagaku, Indonesian Gamelan styles, Kulingtan of the Philippines, West African and Afro-Cuban ensemble music, Tahitian drumming and Chinese Silk and Bamboo music. I view music as both a personal and cultural expression and love to learn about music as an aesthetic art form. My other hobbies include cooking, going to the gym/beach, yoga and spending time with family and friends.
I have over 16 years experience in playing and performing vocal, guitar and various percussion instruments. I have been teaching music since I was 16 years old. I also have teaching experience as a TA in a university setting. I have taken parts in literally hundreds of performances ranging from concert halls to local bars and private parties. I spent three years in Japan researching music with a grant from the Japanese Government. In addition to performing music, I am also a composer and cowriter. I own my own business which provides musical services to amateur musicians such as co-writing, copyright, publishing, demo recording and marketing.
My teaching methodology is centered on each student's needs, goals and age. Textbooks can be used when requested, but are not always necessary for every musical style/genre. Each student has different strengths and these must be assessed and reinforced in relation to the student's musical needs. I usually do this by first finding the student's range, vocal timbre, vocal production method, comfort zone and musical taste. Students may chose whether they prefer to learn western musical notation, music theory and Jazz/pop standards.I do recommend that each student learns basic notation and music theory. This will help you communicate with other musicians, record your ideas and practice (among other things). I spend time each lesson focusing on the physical side of singing. The voice is an instrument which is more closely connected with the body than any other instrument that I know of. Breath, posture, muscle-tone and various other aspects of our bodies have a huge impact on how and what we can sing. For that reason, I highly encourage students to learn many types of warm-ups/postural exercises. Many students prefer learning warm up and vocal exersizes followed by a vocal study of a song they would like to learn. I try to encorporate your style and vocal techniques into the song so that you can make it your own. After that, we can take a look at materials and songs that I believe may be of interest to you. Feel free to pick which materials you would like to use during our lessons. After all, it is YOUR lesson! If you have performance anxiety or don't feel comfortable singing in public, I know how you feel. I highly recommend that you make mistakes in my lessons (I will too, I promise). Allowing yourself to make mistakes and exploring your voice will help your singing in ways that may surprise you. Singing is fun, so let's sing some songs and have good time together!
My main goal is to help each student find his/her voice. Your voice is your unique vocal abilities, musical taste and creativity that only you can bring to the table. I believe each student has musical potential and gifts. I often find myself becoming the student and learning new things during lessons. We all have areas that we can work on and I can help you to do that in positive and friendly environment.
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