Majhon Phillips, New York, New York

“When my father passed away, music really helped with the heartbreak and being able to get past the trauma of losing a loved one. I was a Daddy’s girl in all senses of the word, and he was a very strong person who taught me to be strong. There was never a way of beingContinue reading “Majhon Phillips, New York, New York”

Darlene Machacon, Orange County, CA

“My name is Darlene, and I’m a second-generation Filipina. My parents grew up in the Philippines, they immigrated here, and I was born in California. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first 18 years of my life, and then I moved down to Los Angeles.  In high school, my theater teacherContinue reading “Darlene Machacon, Orange County, CA”

Grant Kondo, Honolulu, Hawaii

“I always loved music and music was always part of my life. In high school I did almost everything that I could: I did piano, I did marching band, jazz band, concert band, played in musicals, and did competitions for piano and saxophone. I really enjoyed it. My parents were not the typical ‘you can’tContinue reading “Grant Kondo, Honolulu, Hawaii”

Richard C. Alston, East Orange, New Jersey

“I began music lessons literally when I came home from the hospital as an infant because my grandmother was a pianist, a soprano, and a music teacher. Shortly after I came home from the hospital as an infant, my mother, who was a registered nurse, went back to work, so Nana was taking care ofContinue reading “Richard C. Alston, East Orange, New Jersey”

Frederick Ikpatt, Lagos, Nigeria

“I was born in Nigeria, Africa. I remember my earliest piano lesson at the age of 6 years old, all thanks to my wonderful mum, who wanted me to learn the instrument.  I played for some years, and then stopped playing seriously for a while, because I did not enjoy the pieces I was assignedContinue reading “Frederick Ikpatt, Lagos, Nigeria”

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”

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”

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”

Harry Völker, The Netherlands

“I was born in Amsterdam, in the hunger winter (December 9, 1944). I had a lot of trouble with bad and too little food. I grew up in Amsterdam. My mother in particular stimulated piano lessons in my youth. In 1982 it turned out that our large chicken company (self-built) would not survive financially dueContinue reading “Harry Völker, The Netherlands”