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Berkley Jazz Fest Outstanding Soloist Award 1993
Berkley Jazz Fest Outstanding Soloist Award 1994
Berkley Jazz Fest Outstanding Soloist Award 1995
Flautist of the Year 2010 - Latin Jazz Corner
My relationship with music started at a very young age, and to this day it still remains to be the single most mysterious and magical force to me. My passion is to share this music magic through creation, performance, and education; and ultimately contribute to the world by being - as the tenor saxophone great John Coltrane put it - the "Force for Good". As a performer I have worked with renowned artists such as Fred Ho, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, Anthony Brown, and Wayne Wallace. I have appeared in over twenty recordings, including my own album as a leader.
In 2010, I received “The Latin Jazz Corner Best of 2010 Awards” in the “Latin Jazz Flautist of the Year” category. In 2013 I worked as the musical director for a three-week off-Broadway run of Fred Ho’s critically acclaimed theater work “Deadly She-Wolf Assassin At Armageddon!” in New York City, in which I conducted and performed as the leader of the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble
My teaching resumé includes 24 years of experience as a private instructor, ensemble instructor, course lecturer and clinician. I have also taught an upper division course at California Jazz Conservatory as a substitute faculty. From 2006 to 2011 I also served as the artistic director of SambAsia San Francisco, a community drumming group specializing in combining Brazillian Samba and various Asian traditional music.
My recent work includes an annual tour to Japan with Otonowa, a jazz group lead by Akira Tana, in which we hold concerts and conduct workshops for the communities still recovering from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
I started teaching right after I graduated from college over twenty years ago when my mentor asked me to take over his students. Music lessons allows you to be a part of a very special journey for aspiring musicians. I naturally fell in love with being a part of that journey. I believe in a positive, stress-free learning environment and I like to customize my lessons to suit the students learning styles. Music has been an amazing positive force in my life, and I love sharing the magic and helping students cultivate a personal connection with music.
Throughout the years I've taught students of many age groups and levels including:
- Elementary, middle, and high school students involved in school ensembles of all styles (concert, jazz, marching, etc) and levels,
- University level students learning about jazz and improvised music, focusing on the developing personalized sounds by building on theory, concepts, and creativity.
- Adult beginners take up music as a hobby
- Adults returning to playing after many years of break
- Amateur musicians
For first time beginners, the introductory lesson will show how to handle and care for the instrument, basic tone production, and a few notes, after which point a method book will be incorporated, such as Hal Leonard's Essential Elements, Alfred's Accent on Achievement until they have gained the basic skills and knowledge to enjoy playing longer pieces, such as we known movie themes and Disney songs. I also incorporate duets to help develop ensemble playing skills.
For those who are already experienced, lessons are customized, varying in material of focus and methods - i.e. focusing on school ensemble pieces, classical pieces, jazz tunes, theory, preparing for auditions and competitions, ear training, or improvisation.
Music has taught me and continues to teach me about life, and I consider my job as a music teacher a huge blessing - one that also comes with great responsibility. I believe in a positive and safe learning environment, and try to make every lesson an uplifting experience. I want my students to come out of each lesson feeling challenged, encouraged, and inspired. I also encourage good communication so that the student feels safe to ask questions. I'm very patient and known to be a goofball also ; ) After all, you will likely learn things better while you're having fun!
Over the years I've helped many students advance and succeed, but most importantly I've helped students cultivate deep and positive personal connection with music. And that - to me, is the most profound thing you can do as a music teacher.
Nathan is a budding young artist. He'll get a degree in Jazz from SJS next year. Mas nurtured Nathan's interest in improvisation. His playing is much admired and I credit Mas for much of that. Mas encouraged Nathan's interests and made music fun.
Mas is a great teacher, my daughter has been learning flute and Saxaphone and enjoys the classes. He has helped her enjoy learning by focusing and tailoring the class to music that she is interested in. I highly recommend. him
Encouraging and attentive, with a relaxed style of teaching. My son enjoyed his weekly saxophone lessons with Mas for several years.
my daughter took sax lessons with mas for about 7 months before he left for NYC. she enjoyed the lessons and did make progress musically. she enjoyed the exposure to jazz style and the opportunity to perform a jazz piece at a studio recital.
My son's love for playing the saxophone really grew under Mas' instruction. He makes learning fun and creative, and his passion and love for music was contagious. Very easy-going, experienced, and approachable teacher. My son really enjoyed his mentorship.
Mas is a wonderful saxophone teacher for both my son and daughter. He came highly recommended by our high school band director and we couldn't be more pleased! Mas is great with students of all ages and level of skill. He kept them engaged, and most importantly INTERESTED in continuing their music education.
Mas is an excellent teacher and talented musician! My son took alto sax lessons from him and loved them. Mas is very warm and gentle with his students. He keeps them engaged and really enjoying lessons. I highly recommend him!
Both my sons really enjoyed, and looked forward to, their flute, saxophone, and clarinet lessons with Mas. He taught them a fun appreciation of music over the last 7 years, and always kept them engaged and wanting to learn more. I highly recommend him.
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