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 Disney Land!!! 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.
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.
To be continued...