Distinguished Artist: 2021 Yamaha National Concert Performer
This Fall, one of our long-time, dedicated Yamaha students, 10 year old Roman Runes, was chosen out of hundreds of competitive applicants to perform in the 2022 Yamaha National Concert. This is his 2nd year in a row as he was also part of the 2021 National Concert. Roman is a fifth grader at William Orr Elementary School. He joined the Junior Music Course at the Cerritos Yamaha Music School when he was 4 years old, and has been learning in the group piano class with Ms. Yuko Yamaoka. Soon after, his journey in drum lessons began. He sat down with us to share his journey as a student, discovery of a passion for music, and aspirations as a drummer and pianist.
Roman has always liked playing drums from when he was 2 years old using his toys and sticks to make a drum set. He would watch youtube drum tutorials for hours. “I wanted my own drums. I had a toy first, and my older friends from church put money together to buy me my own drums,” he shared, reminiscing and thankful. He started having formal drum lessons when he was 7. He feels the most relaxed when playing the drums and hearing the beats. He learns a lot and admires his drum teacher, Mr. Pepe Hidalgo Ramos. “I like learning from him because I learn a lot of techniques and creativity in playing. He is so patient and fun. He’s my favorite teacher,” Roman says of his drum teacher.
Roman also plays the piano in the Junior Ensemble Course 1, sharing, “I want to learn and get better so I could use it to play at church,” when asked why he is passionate to play two instruments. Roman’s advice to other students in overcoming the challenges of playing two instruments is 'to never give up and always be grateful. ’ He practices twice as much to perfect the notes, which earned him a spot as a performer in the upcoming Yamaha National Concert this Fall. He likes to play the piano with his brother and mom as well. As for composing his own music, Roman says, “I just started making my own songs on the piano.”
Roman likes listening to different kinds of music and expresses that if he could play for a band, it would be with his church band, New Life Church in Norwalk, CA. Of hobbies, he shares, “I like making music videos on youtube and tik tok and playing games. He also likes to run and he runs to school everyday with his dad and brother. Lastly, Roman shares his appreciation: “Thank you to my family and friends for encouraging and supporting me. And most of all I thank God for giving me the talent to play piano and drums.”