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”

Kailyn Fong, Concord, California

“I remember hearing my dad playing piano. I loved it, and I wanted to do just what he was doing. So in 5th grade, I finally enrolled in piano lessons. I was operating under the delusion that I would be able to play as well as him as soon as I started. It was notContinue reading “Kailyn Fong, Concord, California”

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”

Sujay Panthulu, Cupertino, California

“Music means a lot of things. For one, it’s an outlet for me to just create and explore. I really enjoy trying to create music in a certain style or sometimes even in no specific style. Music is also a way to escape sometimes the problems we face. When I sit at the piano, playContinue reading “Sujay Panthulu, Cupertino, California”

Aila, San Jose, California

“It’s always kind of not-so-fun when I first start playing a piece because you look at the piece and you think, ‘This is really hard and will take a lot of work.’ But then after I kept playing, it felt so good to be able to finish a piece. It helped me realize that ifContinue reading “Aila, San Jose, California”

Leeya Howley, San Jose, California

“My musical journey started off a lot like the average South Bay Area kid’s — I was forced into learning the piano by my parents when I was 5. Every day I had to be reminded to play, argued with my brother over who had to practice first, and looked to the clock every fewContinue reading “Leeya Howley, San Jose, California”

Jaden Fong, Concord, California

“Music is an idea that everyone, no matter how different, can relate to. It lets me convey anything I want to anyone I meet, and it can make the listener feel the same thing I’m trying to convey. Music is a way of communicating with people. It’s something that isn’t dependent on similarities. One couldContinue reading “Jaden Fong, Concord, California”

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”

Jadis Chen, Los Gatos, California

“My musical journey began at the age of seven when I was still dabbling in all sorts of different activities. At the time, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and piano felt like an “off to the side” part-time activity. I was still taking lessons, but practicing for long hours sounded likeContinue reading “Jadis Chen, Los Gatos, California”