(I teach at an actual college!)
College of San Mateo
Adjunct Instructor: Musicianship, Intermediate Piano
2022 - Present
Community College Student: Assorted Degrees
2014 - 2019
A.A. Music (2019)
A.A. Accounting (2018)
A.S. Mathematics (2017)
San Francisco State University
M.A. Music - Composition
Graduate Assistant: Species Counterpoint, Chromatic Harmony
2021 - 2023
B.M. Performance - Classical Piano
2019 - 2021
2021 Jones Award Recipient (Piano Performance)
2020 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award Recipient
2019 McKee Award Recipient (Piano Performance)
Recorded October 2020. (Bedroom recitals were very COVID-chic.)
Recorded December 2020. Credited with video editing, mixing, and mastering (of which I have learned a great deal since).
Fun fact: I have not always loved school.
For anyone who has known me as an adult, this would come as absolutely shocking news:
"That's like Cookie Monster not liking cookies!"
But it's true. I had a challenging relationship with school through all of my formative years: social struggles, the occasional disciplinary debacle, and an unrelenting disdain for anything "homework" related that didn't involve something I was passionate about.
Regrettably, for a child in America's compulsory education ecosystem, music did not "count" as a meritable endeavor unless all of the other acceptable boxes were ticked. No amount of practice in music made up for my near-failing grades in all other studies, which seemed barbaric to ten-year-old me, and even to sixteen-year-old me! (Adult me has grown to understand the bigger picture, but still identifies music as one of the biggest failure points in American education.)
So, no, I have not always loved school, but:
I have always loved learning.
And once I found myself seated in Building 16 at the College of San Mateo at seventeen years old, I finally felt the mix of inspiration and academia.
Yes, in the time I spent at my local college, some folks my age had already graduated from their "4+1" business programs at 'prestigious' universities. They were listing an MBA on their first slew of job applications while I was filling out my demographic information to apply to the CSU schools that minimized my commute.
But in those five years, I tried so many different paths.
I tried the path of the well-mannered math major who would transfer to SJSU with an engineering lean, but by God, I just couldn't stand it! I loved my first semester of calculus, but after that, it didn't sit right with me. Dread replaced passion, resentment replaced fulfillment: it was time to move on.
So then I tried the path of the bubbly accounting major (yes, you read that right) who would go on to get their CPA license and work for a big firm--but on meeting real individuals who worked in FiDi like I had once dreamed, I couldn't have wanted anyone's lifestyle less. For three years, I shot darts and just about missed every single one, but I was becoming a better and better student with each passing semester.
And all the while, I was sneaking in music classes: first to satisfy basic gen-ed requirements, then "just for kicks." But ultimately, I took them because they were the only classes I truly wanted to take. Every fiber of my being wanted to know more about music, music theory, music history--and then, when Professor Jane Jackson explained to me the very concept of ear-training, I remember vividly thinking "this is the superpower I have wanted all my life." When I signed up for her Musicianship course cycle, Professor Jackson took me aside and--well, here's where it gets a little fuzzy.
I can't remember if she encouraged me to be a music major, or explained to me that I was a music major, and it was time for me to just sort out my forms at the paperwork level and solidify it. Either way, she was absolutely right. And I can't be more grateful to her, and to the amazing music faculty that I was so lucky to learn under, for illuminating the path that ultimately led me to further life-changing studies beneath Dr.s Ben Sabey and Michael Gilbertson.
So yes, I spent five years at community college, but I stand by the fact that I did not waste a single minute there.
In my mind, this is truly what college is for: finding your passions, finding your boundaries, and finding yourself. Part of me cannot believe that I'm publishing this--if I had any more sorority-leaning inclinations, the sentiment could be absolutely gag-worthy. Yet I believe every word of it, and I stand by it.
And I am beyond thrilled to give this back to the next generation of students who sat where I once did, not so long ago.