I am the daughter of two prominent classical musicians and teachers of operatic singing (Bel Canto). I essentially grew up in a music studio. My love of music was cultivated from early childhood in the stimulating atmosphere of a home filled with music and professional musicians, serious students of music, and ongoing discussions about musical matters. Social gatherings at home meant rehearsals, chamber music performance, mini recitals, and opera workshops in the big front room that we called “the studio.” These regular evens, eagerly anticipated and deeply enjoyed throughout my formative years, profoundly shaped my future as a person, a mother and a musician.
My background includes studies of piano, violin (playing chamber music in a student quartet and five years in youth orchestras), renaissance lute, and singing. During my growing-up years, attending concerts with my parents was my favorite activity, aside from riding ponies at the “Pony Ride Place”. At age 13 I heard my first classical guitar recital, played by Celedonio Romero – recently emigrated from Spain and founder the future classical guitar quartette destined to become world renowned as “Los Romeros.” I immediately fell in love with the guitar and easily persuaded my parents to sign me up for lessons. Practicing was fun! I progressed rapidly, and within a year I took on a group of beginning students at the behest of our mutual teacher, Celin Romero. By age 15, I chose to focus all my musical efforts on the guitar, practicing three to five hours daily as well as tending to my growing roster of students.
I attended Mount St Mary’s College and UCSB for two years, but my formal studies (and my life!) changed dramatically when my young teacher and friend Pepe Romero proposed : “Let’s get married and have an orchestra!” Over the next dizzying years of juggling traveling with my husband’s family, teaching, practicing and hosting musical gatherings – all while raising four children- hands down my new priority!- I continued to find great inspiration and fulfillment in all the music around me. I have appeared in recitals as guitar duo, accompanist to singers in English and Spanish renaissance and modern Spanish literature, and solo guitar recitals, in addition to appearances with the Romero Quartet, in various cities in the United States, Asia, South America and Europe.
This legacy of music has been passed down to my four children, all music lovers. Daughter Angelina is a public school music teacher, a gifted classical pianist and a Flamenco dancer; son Pepe is a prominent and widely sought after luthier, hand-crafting exquisite classical guitars and ukuleles. The family musical magic continues on down to the grandchildren, too. Bernardo is a fine luthier, Jacob is an aspiring opera singer, Leah is an accomplished ballerina, and the three younger ones love to sing, dance and play instruments. ( Stay tuned!)
I have always enjoyed working with students of all ages and abilities to cultivate the joy of lifelong musical enrichment and to help them bring out the best of their talents. I have worked extensively with adults and college age students and was an adjunct guitar faculty member at SDSU for a time. But my love of music and children eventually guided me to my professional “sweet spot” here at The Rhoades School, where in 1999 I was invited by the founder of our music program to join the newly created Rhoades Music Academy. In 2003, after completing an exhilarating intensive training in the Orff Schulwerk playful hands-on approach to teaching general music to groups of children, my position expanded to include primary general music teacher. I am privileged and honored to be a part of my students’ joyful musical explorations.
By the way, when I am not teaching or playing music, you can find me puttering in my tiny garden, walking on the beach, or hanging out with friends and family.