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Teacher Spotlight - Mr. Tardu Yegin

Most music schools hold classical music and tradition forms in such high esteem, they forget to enjoy the potential and diversity found studying contemporary genres. We here at Yamaha Music School would love to showcase our diverse musical offerings by highlighting the teachers who truly embody universal musicianship.

This month spotlight teacher is Mr. Tardu Yegin, one of our full-time faculty members. Born and raised in Turkey, Always showed a natural inclination towards music. According to his mother, Tardu would refuse to eat dinner until his father pulled out a harmonica and played a tune. Talk about picky!

In middle school Tardu picked up the saxophone as his primary instrument, and was recruited to his Middle school Band, performing in national competitions in Turkey.

After moving to the United States for High School and continuing his studies in Jazz Saxophone, Tardu was accepted to the prestigious California Institute of the Arts, where he’d later receive both Bachelors and Masters degrees (with a minor in African Music & Dance). Although initially accepted for his high proficiency in sax performance, Tardu was determined to be as eclectic a musician as possibly, eagerly pursuing formal education for the flute, clarinet, percussion, accordion, and wide variety of traditional cultural instruments (gamalong, African drums, and more!)

Mr. Tardu was then invited to gig extensively with a variety of Los Angeles based bands. He initially toured professionally for 5 years with the Zadonu African Music and Dance Company. "This was one of the most fun times of life", Mr. Tardu reminisces, "Every show had a different character and sound...And SO many people dancing through the night!". Some of the other groups Tardu performed in included Gamalong ensembles, Salsa troupes, Middle Eastern traditional bands, Belly dancing ensembles , Balkan Folk Songs bands, and international touring societies.

In 1994, Mr. Tardu found a home in the Fenians, an Irish Folk Band local to Orange County. On his audition day, he was given a tin whistle and was told to "Play all the Songs", which he did with gusto! Tardu has been performing with the band ever since, winning them to "Best World Act" from the OC Music Awards in 2009 and inditing the Fenians into the Guinness Wall of Fame.

Currently, Mr. Tardu tours Ireland every other year with the Fenians, and has performed regularly at the Coach House , house of blues , galaxy theatre and many venues around US for over 25 years. Besides that you can see him scaring students as they walk through our front door.

What do your students mean to you?

My students mean the world to me, even more than any gig i've played. It's great to see their sense of progress from the 1st day they start to even 13-14 years later, when they return and play a song that blows my mind. (Also) The moment of realization on a student’s eye when learning something new about music reminds me what's important in music.

Relationships mean everything. Families, parents, students...My students are like a family to me. Frequently I have former students stop by, and I love talking to them about the success in their children's life. I'd love to think of myself as a kid at heart, so having fun during our lessons is a must.

What’s important about teaching children about music?

Developing a child's taste of music is very important, whether it's Aretha Franklin to Beethoven. I believe History is extremely important, as well as the culture around the music to which they listen to. Kids listen to crazy stuff, but it's important to teach them the roots to the sounds they listen to. For example, when a kid brings in a popular song, I like to show them an older piece in which the piece originates from.

Learn more about all our teachers and more here!

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