Workshop for youth in SF Chinatown with Yangqin Zhao
I've been a teacher/educator of some or another sort for the past 26 years beginning with my role as project coordinator for California Arts Council Artist in Residence programs for Kularts and Asian Improv aRts. Beginning in 1992 I became an Artist in Residence myself teaching music workshops and offering mentorship at Cameron House in San Francisco. Simultaneously I began teaching in my private studio as well. All of these experiences have been extensions of my earlier role as student and community organizer in numerous social movement going back to the 1970s.
I began teaching in an institutional setting in 1996. It's hard for me to believe that I was teaching music/performing arts and general studies courses at three colleges at once: New College of California, San Francisco State University, and University of California at Santa Cruz. After a 14 year absence though I have returned to teaching as a TA at San Francisco State University where I am pursuing an MA in Asian American Studies. Who knows what is ahead, maybe more teaching in school settings.
As a musician and community worker, being able to engage in teaching/learning moments is vital to the process, both in the short term and the long term. As such it has been a core activity that has defined my life.
Performing with Professor Wesley Ueunten, who inspired me to go back to school in the MA program. We were part of a talk by Dr. Franklin Odo, who was one of Wesley's teachers, about his book Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese immigrant workers in Hawai'i.