What's your personal musical history?
I come from a family of piano player and singers. My mom played the piano, and she made my sisters and brothers play. I'm the youngest of four, so by the time I started taking lessons, I had gotten used to the whole idea of practice and performance and all the things that come with playing the piano. So it came pretty naturally to me.
What do you really love about music?
Music just has the power to connect hearts and communicate concepts despite barriers of language or culture or socioeconomic background. It's the most ideal vehicle for sharing with the world in the most unique way.
What do you enjoy about passing that passion on to kids?
I like teaching the elementary age because if they're taught at a young age to love music and they have a sound music experience, then they end up pursuing it as grownups, and they have a deeper appreciation for it. I had a piano teacher who observed that students who take music seem happier overall, and I've found that's the case. Anyone who can play an instrument or sing, their lives overall are happier.
What would you say to those who might want to cut music programs because of funding issues?
I would tell them that even if they cut music completely, the joy of music doesn't really have to be funded so high. A regular classroom teacher can incorporate singing in their daily lesson plan. If all the teachers did that, they would still have music, and if the schools just encouraged the students to study privately, it would still be there.
What are your personal music tastes?
If you skim through all the radio stations in my car, I would have all the urban Top 40 stations. So day to day in my car, it's typically R and B and hip hop. But as far as classical, I was a classically trained pianist, and I love Chopin and that entire era.