Distinguished Artist: 2021 Yamaha Graduate
Meet Owen Tai! He is an 18 year old future student at UCSD majoring in Human Biology. He started attending Cerritos Yamaha Music School in 2009 when he was just 6 years old! Watching his older brother play the piano inspired his journey into music education. Owen loves to express himself through music and also work with his classmates in ensembles.
Over the years, Owen had the opportunity to play different genres of music from classical to jazz to field shows, and even worship music. Playing in a variety of settings such as at the Cerritos Yamaha Music School, school band, and church allowed him to appreciate the versatility of music and collaborate with other musicians. Owen also plays the trumpet and flugelhorn in his school band, while trying out the guitar and ukulele for fun as well.
Owen started in a group piano class with Ms. Audrey where he developed a musical foundation and passion for playing the piano. He then joined Ms. Blessing’s class and continued in her classes moving up through different levels for the majority of his time studying at Yamaha. The atmosphere of the group class offered a delightful experience for Owen, and Ms. Blessing encouraged the students to expand into other genres of music. He also continued advanced piano with Mr. Wai and then with Ms. Hyo in private lessons to prepare for tests and gain more extensive knowledge.
In order to overcome challenges that Owen came across while learning the piano, he always dedicated time towards practice no matter how busy his schedule and personal life would often be. He also made sure to be fully present while practicing so that he could truly enjoy playing, which is after all what he loves to do. He finds project pieces that he is an expert in or fun pieces online for his practice sessions. Owen also arranges music for different instrumentations to play with his friends.
Owen likes to play with the piano his Yamaha classmates and worship team at his church. He also finds ways to incorporate music any time he is with his friends and family as well which naturally turn into improv jam sessions. He admires the dedication and passion of professional musicians. Among many bands, he would love to play with the Lucky Chops. They are a small band primarily consisting of brass and saxophone sounds which cover original music and other upbeat songs.
Owen’s proudest moment during his musical journey was supporting his practice partner students that he tutored, perform at their group class annual recital. Watching them grow in their musical skills was a special moment he will never forget. Although Owen will be majoring in Human Biology, he will definitely continue to play the piano and trumpet throughout his college time and for as long as possible. He encourages other students and beginners to join the Cerritos Yamaha Music School because he was able to experience learning with an awesome community. The system of starting with ear training and chord development provided a strong foundation for his recitals, duets, and weekly classes. Last but not least, Owen encourages his friends and family to enjoy doing what they love and to make the most out of every experience because time is fleeting!