My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
7/10. Proposition 13 cut so many class topics, that I spent more time in non-school activities.
Grades in high school
English, Performing Arts
Science. I didn't think so analytically, and wasn't interested in the process.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
San Jose State University (1 year) – got mononeucleosis, and took incompletes on the Semester 2 courses. I mostly took prep courses, but also majored in violin (semester 1) and voice (semester 2). I really wanted conducting, but it wasn't available until grad school.
Westminster Choir College (3 years – located in Princeton, NJ) – transferred in and tested out of many entry level courses to catch up. I majored in Church Music, with my principle instrument voice and a minor in organ. The major allowed me to study conducting right from the start, and the minor let me study an instrument I didn't already know (since I already excelled in piano).
Post-graduate education or training
After 20 years in conducting church programs, I went back to school for my California Teaching Credential. This wasn't possible from my college, as a credential there wouldn't let me teach in California. As the jobs available shifted, so did I. I now teach part-time at four schools, as well as all the other areas (like two non-profit performing arts organizations, private teaching, performing, composing, and educating at seminars, workshops, clinics, festivals).
Places lived in US
California, New Jersey
Current occupations / past occupations
Performing musical artist, conductor, composer/arranger, publishers, school music educator, church music director, website designer/maintainer, public relations, non-profit board member, technical editor (for Silicon Valley company), music clinician, private music teacher
Industries I've worked in
- Information (e.g. Publishing, Film, Broadcast, Telecommunications, Libraries)
- Educational Services
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes, but so did getting out there to experience things as a user first.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes and no. I've never had just one job. There have been times when one job wanted more of my time, and I told them how much they must pay me to "buy me out" (get me to quit another job). This is the only job security I've ever had – holding more than one job at a time. Right now, I have seven (all part-time, and some are seasonal).
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Earning a living by doing what makes me tick. It makes me happy to be in my profession, and yet I would do it anyway, even if I had to earn my living some other way.
My definition of success has not changed over time.
I'm a musician/educator/performer. If something isn't working, I always have another opportunity. People like me are always "auditioning." Every job we do is a resume for the next job.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I'm just getting started, and yet I've been doing this all my life. I started teaching private music students at age 14, and continue to teach, perform, and motivate others to do so now at age 55. My latest thing (concert, class, project, etc.) is always my greatest, since I put my whole self into it each time.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I have regrets, but I've learned a lot from each one. My first marriage was really bad, but I have great kids (now grown) and a fantastic support system of extended family members. My only regret is that I spent too much time with that, and didn't move on fast enough. There's SO much more to life than bad stuff.
An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
The fall-out from a bad relationship caused me to re-evaluate what's important. I now don't allow myself to rely on others for my self-evaluation, and move away from those who bring me down. I do listen and evaluate what they say, but also decide for myself whether I should change according to their views. There are a lot of haters, and I don't ever want to be one.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
Bol Park and the surrounding bike trails