Mr. Richard was a late bloomer when it came to music, having started taking guitar classes in college on a whim while finishing his Automotive degree. It was love at first sight. After receiving his degree and exhausting the guitar classes, he decided to take a chance and change his major to Music. He has since made considerable progress in that short span of time. Along with finishing his music theory and music history courses, he has also dabbled in Piano (Classical and Jazz), Voice (Solo and Choir), African Drumming, Percussion (Mallets, Timpani, and all), Clarinet, and Composition; but is mainly a Classical Guitarist. He has performed in recitals as a soloist, in duets (with other guitarists, violinists, and singers), and guitar ensembles. He has also performed in Choirs as a Bass and as a Percussionist for Concert Band. After finishing his guitar classes, he was asked to TA those very classes for the next several terms. He has earned his AA in Music at De Anza College and is pursuing a Music Education degree at San Jose State University.
As a classical guitarist, he is a believer in musical literacy as well as developing technical prowess on the instrument. In his heyday, he was putting in at least 4 hours of intensive practice each day, year-round; this was not including his time spent on other instruments. However, as a result of his tenacity and determination to catch up with his peers due to lost time, he has been recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel as well as tendinitis in both his left and right hands respectively. While this has significantly affected his practice, he has since set his sights on things bigger than performing for his future, namely Music Education and Music Therapy. No doubt that injury prevention and a good, relaxed technique is emphasized as students become ready for such topics!
He teaches mainly in the classical style but is certainly open to exploring different styles with students. Students will eventually learn how to finger-pick and play pieces in classical and popular repertoire through standard music notation. He is also looking to incorporate sight-singing, ear, and rhythm training in lessons as he has seen many peers who are not trained enough in these very important skills! Currently, he teaches beginning piano, ukulele, and guitar.
Outside of teaching and music, he loves taking classes and learning new things. He has recently begun to explore other forms of art such as drawing, acting, and writing. He would also like to expand his horizons to photography, dance, and woodworking, to name a few. He believes that growing as an artist will only help him become a better musician as well as give him different avenues to access that elusive creative energy. Following a back injury, he has garnered a renewed appreciation for physical fitness and likes to go on hikes with friends. Someday, he’d like to train himself up to hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico up to Canada!