Music had always been a part of my life until I decided to make it my life.
Advanced Studies in Piano Performance & Music Theory
Crossover Pianists (Classical repertoire and skills in tandem with contemporary and popular music)
Adult Students (of all ages and levels)
I currently teach 50 students (including approximately a dozen adult students!). I am also pursing a Master's in Music Education at San Jose State University under the direction of Dr. Diana Hollinger. I am actively involved in many professional music teacher associations (see below).
I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and began piano lessons at the age of six. I performed in countless studio recitals, Christmas concerts, mall performances, evaluations, and competitions (where I won second place in the Hawaii Music Teachers Association State Competition). I also played the tenor saxophone in middle and high school, performing in the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band (performed at the Holiday Bowl), Jazz Band, Solo & Ensemble Festival, and the All-State Marching Band, which performed in the Macy's Day Parade. I always thoroughly enjoyed making music at every opportunity possible.
I thought that music was just a hobby of mine. I attended UCLA and graduated with honors, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology. I thought I was going to be a pharmacist. Yet, I kept finding myself in new musical endeavors -- I was always attracted back to music.
I spent the next three years on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in Nara, Japan. My musical experiences expanded even more as I helped my school's concert band in competitions and also helped organize a performance in the annual JETNet International Arts Festival, which highlighted international exchange between the Japanese people and foreigners.
It is this passion for music that led me into it full time. Why not make something you already willingly do so much into a career? And so here I am.
My breadth of experience outside of music has helped me to relate with students in how to connect music with their own lives. You can read more about my specific teaching philosophy in the "Why GK Piano?" tab.
I am a member of many professional organizations and hold various board positions:
California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT)
State Board: VP of Membership
Santa Clara Valley Chapter Treasurer & Webmaster
District 2 Honors Competition Chair
Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC)
Santa Clara Branch Section 6 Certificate of Merit (CM) Chair
Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM)
Advanced Certified Teacher
I am also a regular attendee and lecturer at various Conferences and Conventions, including at CAPMT, MTNA, and MTAC events. My current presentations on "Improv & Arranging for Classical Musicians", "5 P's of a Successful Music Studio", and "From Pop to Anime: 10 Levels of Arranging" have been given at CAPMT, MTAC, and SJSU in 2018 and 2019.
Some of My Favorite Composers
Read more about my teaching philosophy in the "Why GK Piano?" above.