Originally from Honolulu, HI, I am a versatile musician based in Baltimore, MD. I played the ukulele growing up, then switched to classical guitar as a teenager. I went on to receive a BM in classical guitar performance from the University of Denver, where I studied with Ricardo Iznaola. I then received my MM in classical guitar performance from the Peabody Conservatory, where I studied with Julian Gray.
I have 25 years of experience as a classical guitar teacher and performer, and I am half of the guitar duo called "The Arabesque Duo" with my husband and duo partner, guitarist Troy King. I have taught at many schools and colleges throughout the Baltimore area, including Frederick Community College, McDaniel College, The Levine School of Music and Baltimore School for the Arts. I currently teach private lessons at The Bryn Mawr School, and at my home studio. See the "teaching" page for more information!
In 2019, after many years of "thinking about it", I branched out and started to learn non-classical music, mostly folk and pop music. I have 3 combinations/genres that I currently perform: Classical Guitar, Voice and Guitar or Ukulele, and Solo Ukulele (instrumental fingerstyle arrangements of pop and jazz standards).
The Longer Version
Thank you for visiting my website. I have been a musician for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Honolulu, HI, music and dance was a part of everyday life and culture. Every morning at our school assembly, we did some calisthenics and sang a song together (the whole school); every social gathering began with a song. Yes, it was great growing up in Hawaii!!!
When I was about 6 or 7, my mom saw an ad in the newspaper for ukulele lessons and casually asked if I would be interested. I guess I said yes, because I began taking lessons. My teacher was great. There are things she did that I STILL use in my teaching today! I guess I was getting pretty good at the ukulele, because when I was 8 years old, Roy Sakuma (the owner of the studio) invited me to audition for a new performing group he was forming, called "The Super Keiki's" ('keiki' is the Hawaiian word for 'kid'). I made it into the group and from 9-12 years old, the seven of us performed shows together every weekend...usually 2 but sometimes 3 shows per week!
It was great experience, but at 12 I was starting to not look like the cute kid they were advertising. It was time to grow up a little. I "retired" from the group and began training to be a teacher. (Side note: the year AFTER I retired from the group, they got to perform at Disneyland!!! I am not at all still upset about that!)
I observed classes and lessons, and sometimes led a song or two, because at 12 and 13 years old I was too young to legally work and be paid!!! When I turned 14 (end of 8th grade) I began to get my own students and build a studio...but then I started high school...and decided that I wanted to have a social life, do after school sports, and be a "normal" teenager!!! So I quit the teaching job. At first thought this might seem like a rash decision, but it was one of the best decisions I've ever made because it gave me time to explore other things.
During the summer between 9th and 10th grade, my dad asked if I wanted to try a beginning guitar class they were offering at the university. I said sure, and liked it enough to start taking classical guitar lessons with the instructor of the class. I had the worst, hard-to-play steel stringed acoustic guitar that even my teacher had a hard time playing!!! So when I finally got my first classical guitar it felt like a vacation, haha! By the time I was 17 and a senior, I knew that classical guitar was "it" for me. I also knew that I had a lot of catching up to do, so I started practicing 3 hours a day to get ready for college auditions.
I was SO fortunate to get accepted to the University of Denver with nearly a full scholarship. That's where I met and studied with my mentor/teacher, Ricardo Iznaola. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Denver, but wanted to do a Master's degree somewhere different. I moved to Baltimore, MD in 1999 and finished my Master's degree in 2001. Since then I have been teaching and performing on classical guitar, living life, and now have 3 kids!
Around 2014 or so (don't remember the exact year) I began getting inquiries about whether I teach ukulele. Even though I hadn't touched my ukulele in about 25 years, it came right back!!! I now combine my classical guitar technique and knowledge of harmony to arrange and play chord-melody arrangements of jazz and pop songs on the ukulele. It's a TON of fun!
Then, in 2019, I decided to act on what was previously a secret dream: to be a singer/guitarist. This led to lots of practice and the purchase of a steel-stringed acoustic guitar. That's where I am now: still a classical guitarist, but also a singer and pop/folk guitarist, and an ukulelist as well!