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(Hi! Don't forget to see the videos and pictures below after reading.)
Since my birth, my life was influenced by music and my father's passion to sing. My sense of music started not with understanding of lyrics, but of melodies and rhythms. As matter of fact, the first language I learned was music!! How is this possible?! Well, because of my hearing disability, I did not speak fluently and very well until I was in 9th Grade!! But with God's grace, I understood the language of music first!!
At the age of 10 months, I was hit with a deadly disease: Spinal Meningitis. But thank God, I survived. Because of the disease, I became legally deaf (profound-severed) in my left ear and hard-of-hearing (severed) in my right ear. I currently use a hearing-aide device on my right ear. Regardless of my hearing disability, I have the gift of playing music, understanding music, and living musically. I have learned and played music since I was 8 years old.
Piano was not the first instrument I learned. I started off with playing drums which is my secondary. I decided to make piano as my primary instrument and loved playing the piano ever since. My parents noticed my gift of music and agreed to take me to private piano lessons weekly.
After multiple years of private piano lessons from age of 8 to 14 and taking music classes in High School, at the age of 16, I joined the full band in a local church as the lead keyboardist. Of 17 years - and counting - with experience of performing and playing piano with a band locally and out of towns, I've had the privilege for 2 years as the Director of Worship & Music Ministry at Victory Outreach Sacramento (Spanish). Victory Outreach International granted me an opportunity to perform the instrumental piano background at the 2011 Victory Outreach International/World Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center, California.
In that same year, I enrolled into the full 2 1/2 year program at Life Music Institute (Instituto Vida Musik). The Director of Life Music Institute noticed my passion for music and the desire to create a Deaf Music some day; we became very close friends. He invited me to participate with 70 member choir at a local Sacramento Festival 2012. Saving the best for last, I was honored to lead in front of 3,800 people of the final special song "En Una Sola Voz" (In One Voice) in American Sign Language.
Currently, I am excited and honored to be the Music Director at Elevate Life Church in Sacramento, CA. Meanwhile, I am excited in continuing in pursuing a BA in Music at Sacramento State University. There are always room for me to learn and grow as a musician. Without a doubt, I am thrilled to learn even more in Jazz, Classic, and Performances.
Not only I play piano and drums, I play guitar as well! I loved acoustic guitar and decided to pick up a guitar and starting learning. Now, the guitar is my third instrument.
Besides living and playing music, I teach also! By numerous peers, families, and friends, I've been told that I have the gift of teaching. I love teaching!!
I first started teaching at the Sacramento City Unified School District as the Teacher Assistant from 2001 to 2004 at Sacramento High School and J F Kennedy High School. It was an unforgettable experience teaching the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Hearing, and disabled students. Not too long ago, I returned to the Sacramento City Unified School District as an Instructional Assistant I in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Education Program. I'm loving it!!
I felt compelled to start teaching piano in 2010 at home. I've been hired by Southgate Recreation & Park District in Sacramento, CA as a Special Interest Instructor and I am still in connection to teach there. I teach piano, guitar, and American Sign Language there. Again, teaching - and giving - are my gifts.
From time to time, I participate, volunteer, or get invited to share my unique gift of performing MuSign (music & signing), poetry, and dance. I also volunteer to interpret for any service as needed.
Occasionally, I share special events to all my students, friends, and family to witness, participate, or to support. Many times, I participate in those events and always encourage others to participate as well.
I believe that music is not our life. Our life is a music. You ARE a music. I'm looking forward to help you have a musical life!!
*** Lesson Details ***
My approach is play music first, then read and write music. Just like an infant would speak first, then read and write later. It is more effective and smarter. Lessons are for all ages and are started off with songs based on their familiarity and strengths. Then progressively, I build on their weaknesses and expand their instrument and performance skills. The finally, when students are ready, I clearly explain and reveal on the music theory. There, their ‘whys’ are answered and ‘oohhhh-that-makes-sense’ are uttered. Lessons are progressive and it's not strict on my plan, but on the students' progress. Through patience and encouragement, my students enjoy succeeding learning how to play music on their choice of piano or guitar.
During the first lesson, I care about my students and their parents first; I want to be a friend to both of them. At the same time, they'll have a strategical, knowledgeable, and wise teacher. I start off with lots of comfortable questions about my new students, parents, and their interest. I even encourage my students to ask me questions too!! I move on in empowering my students to feel more at ease, confident, and fearless - and to enjoy!! Can a student learn without believing in themselves? Can a student have interest and passion without having fun or with a smile on their face? I encourage those important factors.
After noting down key strengths and weakness, their culture and daily environments, goals, examples of lessons, their preference of styles and songs, and creating a song list together, through excellence rapport and communication, I'll get the feeling of the students’ expectations, needs, and what they enjoy.
My style of teaching is very interactive and for anyone to learn. I had a 6 year old student who learn her first song, "London Bridge" on her first day. One adult student, who supposedly could never be on tempo, finally achieved this from tempo #50 to tempo #150 in 3 lessons. Other students who can play 'well' now improve their flexibility playing Major Scales with two hands with up-beat rhythms. Others can now fully understand the theory and rules of Major Scales, Minor Scales, Major and Minor Chords, Diminished and Augmented Chords, and fill out the exercise charts without hesitation. Surprisingly, another student now performs comfortably in front of their friends and family just for fun!! These are just few examples of techniques, lessons, skills, theories that students succeed through my passionate teaching. I love what I'm doing!!
Additionally, the curriculums and book information I provided below are just a few and are not same for all students since each student learns in different ways. I am flexible and have access to many outside resources to ensure that my students' lessons are effective. My personality is lovely, fun, patience, peaceful, funny, kind, and friendly. From time to time, shy and timid private and group students are now confident and courageous. One very young student came up to me on his second lesson and said, "I really like you, Mr. Eddie!! I always enjoy seeing my student smile and laughing learning how to play music.
*** Studio & Equipment ***
The home studio lessons are now at the nice and safe new location in the warm and natural setting in midtown area. The studio holds an 88 keys keyboard, guitar, and sounds surrounded with some music & art decorations under a cool high ceiling atmosphere looking over a patio. Comfortable seatings are available. Parking is on the residential street.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a professional KORG keyboard with a studio size speaker, a keyboard stand, and a bench.
It is highly recommended, however, if students has a keyboard or a piano with full-weighted 88 keys, that would be great!!
I would expect the students to provided enough space for a minimum of 3 people with nice 'work-traffic'.
Although not required, it is a plus if a WiFi internet is provided. It would be excellent to expand my access through my laptop to resources such as videos, sounds, websites, etc as an extra tool as well.
A quiet area is required for effective teaching and learning.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in contemporary, alternative, soft pop, pop-rock, R&B and uniquely gifted signing songs in American Sign Language with dance. But I am flexible in different genres. I enjoy all kinds of styles and genres. But more importantly, I study students' preference of genres to teach them basic fundamentals and go from there to more complicated fundamentals and techniques. I focus on teaching the students thoroughly of 3 elements of music: Melody, Harmony, and Rhythms - whichever is easier and more enjoyable for students to start with. Dynamics also are taught as well to add another important dimension to the music.
To achieve in understanding and performing all these elements, I highly implement them through visual, reading, writing, listening, and playing. Lessons are hands on, active, thorough, and with common-sense examples and clarifications. Also, I enjoy teaching through many life examples to 'open their eyes' to the music language. I make sure that all their 'whys' are answered in a timely manner.
See the videos and pictures below!! Looking forward to meet you!!
I work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the Sacramento City Unified School District. I communicate in American Sign Language here and speak as well.