Andrew Shoemaker, San Diego, California

“For me, music has played a pivotal role in developing my self-esteem. I never spent enough time practicing an instrument to get good at it, and growing up my parents listened to AM talk radio, so my exposure to music was very limited as a child. The first artist I really enjoyed listening to wasContinue reading “Andrew Shoemaker, San Diego, California”

Jun Lee, Saratoga, California

“To me, music has been one of the necessities in life. When I was in elementary school, my parents would tell me, “You should learn at least one instrument to play music because that’s going to help in the future.” When I was young, my mom would play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart every morning,Continue reading “Jun Lee, Saratoga, California”

Audrey Lee, Saratoga, California

“Ever since I can remember, music has been a part of my life. Since I have an older brother, the easiest, and at that time, the most logical thing to do was follow his hobbies: to play a stringed instrument and join orchestra. I started playing the cello in fourth grade and joined orchestra theContinue reading “Audrey Lee, Saratoga, California”

Francesca Fernandes, Saratoga, California

“To me, music is an outlet from the rest of the world. Whenever my life is hectic or I’m having a bad day, music is what I turn to. As a kid I was always surrounded by music —my parents enrolled me in piano lessons when I was five, my dad was always playing guitar,Continue reading “Francesca Fernandes, Saratoga, California”

Josephine Chou, Saratoga, California

“To me, music is a form of expression and healing. I was a shy and extremely quiet middle schooler; I did not have many friends nor was I confident. Because I found it difficult to express myself using words, I turned to music to ease my pain and struggles. While playing piano, I was inContinue reading “Josephine Chou, Saratoga, California”

Michael Tyler, Houston

“When I was little, I gained an appreciation for musicality through my (self-described) tone deaf dad. He was always the most supportive of my instrumental endeavors and was blown away by my ability to play them. My dad also gave me a very broad palate, as he would put on just about anything for meContinue reading “Michael Tyler, Houston”

Ajay Gupta, Saratoga, California

“I started playing piano when I was maybe three or four and had lessons once a week. Then I stopped when I joined band from seventh grade to sophomore year, and I never really played the piano then because I had marching band and private saxophone lessons. I quit band after sophomore year, and IContinue reading “Ajay Gupta, Saratoga, California”

Louise Osborne, Lake Almanor, California

“I was born in 1945, so around 1946 to 1952, we would go every summer from Ohio to Colorado because we had a cabin in the mountains. That was a long trip. We didn’t have car radios, let alone computers or ways to listen to music, so my father would sing. He made up funnyContinue reading “Louise Osborne, Lake Almanor, California”

Bailey Zhang, Houston, Texas

“I’ve never had a proclivity towards musical instruments. When I was young, my parents signed me up for violin classes. To their dismay, my career as a violinist failed to launch. From there, I joined my middle school orchestra and quit. In the beginning of high school, I started to teach myself the ukelele. ItContinue reading “Bailey Zhang, Houston, Texas”

Carol Kim, Sunnyvale, California

“When I was in my teens and twenties, music was a means to connect with friends and the world. I was into pop and rock back then. In my thirties, music was a means to lift my spirits and match my mood — so more pop, R&B and hip hop. Now, in my forties, musicContinue reading “Carol Kim, Sunnyvale, California”