I started piano lessons at age 7 with my mom standing nearby beating time with her hands like a human metronome as I practiced. I remember the birds outside squawking when I made a mistake and then chirping happily when I got it right.
I continued playing piano through high school and entered the Conservatory of Music at the University of Pacific based on my piano performance. My goal was to be a music therapist and use music to help people.
At 14, I was on the Danny Kaleikini TV show that showcased upcoming stars. At 15, my first summer job was teaching music to Asian immigrants at our local YWCA.
(Photo taken at home near Diamond Head, Oahu, 1965.)