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A new year 2012;- new batch of students wanted

12 Jan

Since I’ve been in Hawaii, I’ve only had 1 or 2 students who actually paid my fee and listened to me, their teacher. And, I feel badly that I have had to “sell” my 1st piano that I purchased upon arriving in Hawaii in order to cover my immediate need of a living space. In the past 2 years and 11 months, I have attempted to build up a piano studio. However, I don’t have enough paying students.

Some of my “students” including relative(s) of people with more established Hawaii piano studios, have not paid the appropriate fees as scheduled;- and have offered what they define as payment in other terms. So, this has not worked for my piano studio financially. Additionally, I decided that it would/will be better in the future to leave men out of my studio in entirety since some of them are belligerent and insensitive to the piano business;- and have largely contributed to destroying my studio operations in Hawaii;- despite their well-groomed upbringing in Hawaii’s better High schools. Also from their threats of cutting off my fingers for fun.

In Hawaii, my teaching services and experience goes largely unappreciated financially and otherwise. And, as an instructor I will not sign a contract with other “schools/studios” where my students and thus income can be “taken away” at the whim of some “artistic director” who governs the “broke artist” realm.

So, as it stands I will be finishing lessons with the student(s) who have already paid me on my academic calendar schedule.

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And, if there are sufficient complying students who not only fill out the application, but also pay the member fee, as well as full tuition up front I will resume teaching beginning students. Until that happens, I will only be available for more advanced students who pay and seek interpretation, technique, and other more artistic development lessons.

If there is a School/conservatory in Hawaii that will sufficiently cover my expenses and suitably meet my teaching fees;- I will resume teaching beginning students. My capacity for students remains below 15 students. However, at this time;- they must be paying in entirety since there are no funds for me to support students. My own living needs are priority.

If there is a “new batch of students” who can meet my requirements to employ my teaching services;- I will resume with studio hours and performances. My piano performances cannot happen with the strain of trying to financially carry needy and uncooperitive students as much as I would like to perform in Hawaii. I need that time to myself;- that has literally become part-time job  hours to afford my own basic housing & living needs. Aloha, & thanks.

Angela M. “Kikuchi” Kneale

Intro: Dragon Mom versus Tiger mo

4 Jan

The Dragon, a universal creature that is emblazoned in both European and Asian cultures. Moms in both European & Asian culture both try to prepare their children for the battles in life. However, being the first generation in a USA culture that discriminates regardless of lies that are told, the Tiger mom’s methods are out. Most of the mothers who come from foreign or “exotic” cultures had plenty of self confirmation. Many of the moms grew up with friends who had similar experiences to them in their motherlands. If they had TV and media, these mothers were frequently inundated with cultural images of their parent culture. The amount of criticism they received was likened to that of people who were like them in their motherland.

Now, these mothers enter their new realm USA. Parents of the 1st generation can be subject to major identity crisis. They are singled out. And, many parents who typically lie to hide a common social problem, don’t understand just quite how deep an emotional and psychological ravine their children  fall into. Many of these children grow into adults who need to try and “verify” their own image in early adulthood by travelling to Asian countries. Sometimes, this is such an emotionally and psychologically intense experience that the once successful child that the Dragon mom pinned to her ego ceases to live. Mostly, due to frequently high suicide rates among Asians & Asian-Americans who strive for success in the USA. There is little acceptance by the Dragon mom or parents as to why their children did not successfully complete college, university, or their PHD program when it is within a week away. Some outwardly blame their own children and mock them to maintain status in the USA community, rather than take on the blatant responsibility to protect their children through early adulthood.

Sometimes this protection involves participation in the young adult’s life past the age of 18. And, it still involves calling the College or University where their son or daughter attends to keep things in line, yet at a distance. Being a minority “ethnic” group in the USA is another thing that many Dragon mom’s don’t understand or want to accept. Sometimes this will unfortunately include unnecessary and costly legal battles to get their children through higher educational institutions safely. Many minority families can’t afford these battles and so usually the child of the Dragon mom is left to fed for themselves in an unrelenting pit of discrimination, abuse, and being taken advantage of (including assault or pushed to the brink with suicide). Competitive majority & USA domestic dorm mates can also score automatic 4.0gpa if their dorm mate commits suicide.  Being a Dragon and hovering over the child even in early adulthood is of prime importance for success.

Many children of these parents usually begin to do soul searching by the time they reach their mid 20’s. For others looking for answers, this stage happens later and sometimes in the midst of a pressing professional life.

To be continued… and revised 1/4/2012 – 11/23/2016

A harsh view to have- USA Classical Music Organizations

26 Oct

Since I’m writing from my point of view and over 30 years of experience and interaction with the MTNA and its member organizations such as the PMTA & LVMTA & DelValMTA, NYSMTA, Hawaii MTA as a minority Japanese-American female;- some people may not understand why I no longer support such organizations. Though, I may, if able, join time to time for students to audition at MTNA sponsored “competitions” and scholarships specific only to the organization. There are a good number of more reputable auditions that do not require membership in the MTNA. And, that is despite many piano teachers in the United States belonging to the MTNA as a large network.  The large network that houses under its roof the large part of “racism” or “no race” issues that are impressed upon me during different presidents running such organizations. So, rather than waste my sparse and precious minority female earned monetary resources;- I’ll concede as a trained grassroots organizer with specific skills.

Rough Analysis:

One problem is that the organizations are in themselves not educational institutions that offer collegiate and university level degrees. In addition to this, to date, there are no said “higher educational music schools” that give degrees to “ethnic minority” children under the age of 18 who excel at the piano, more so than many current musician’s in undergraduate studies. This alone creates tension and issues when speaking to well trained musicians who do not decide to pursue a further education in music. And, other sometimes less adept musicians use the college/ university setting to gain a perceived better standard of music education. The music industry is a make it or break it endeavor well before the normal college/ university entrance age.

The other is that continued membership is an entirely expensive endeavor for myself as a minority female who is expected to “pay her dues to the white world of music.” Anyone in that organization with a loathing of me for any reason can lash out at me. In my local areas I left for personal safety reasons and accusations that I’m a terrorist. This is because the area is predominantly caucasian, and I am of mixed asian/american descent with a my Manx name (similar accusations & behavior that lead to my brother’s death in 2005 and further racial insult after his memorial service;- not to mention a past teacher of my brother’s and I and prior PMTA president attending and not seeming to care to give condolences to us (his family), she seemed happy. ) Especially since 9-11 and my near relatives who ran a large international construction firm and who can’t help me in the USA due to espionage accusations.  I now maintain a very small studio and am at wits end trying to live in the USA.  Additionally, the cost of weekly lessons and the ill treatment and opinions by other piano & music teachers throughout the United States (especially of minority children- like myself at the time) affects who we see in the spotlight.  Maybe this standard is changing in the USA slightly. However, the prior availability of adequate information (via internet) was reliant upon word of mouth recommendations and information.

As a minority female instructor who received an undergraduate degree in music from Ithaca College, I know for a
fact that over 10 years of training prior to college entry was not a consideration in my admission to the college. Nor did I gain a “teaching certification” from my instructors during that time prior to college. Instead I paid dearly while being degraded for not being Caucasian in the Classical music industry, and additionally not being “Asian enough” by other Asians in the Classical music industry.

All of these professionals who belonged to the MTNA MENC and other like national USA based non-profit educational organizations were able to bear their very personal opinions of my “ethnicity.” Sometimes I flourished because of this consideration, and most of the time I got by of my own accord under undue criticism while these piano teachers took my money and years of my time away from my professional life.

I don’t recommend these organizations whole-heatedly as a result. And, as a minority;- under the wrong
leadership in one of these Music organizations;- it can be severely detrimental in numerous ways. Especially, if there are persons with ill political and racial views of particular groups of people. As an instructor with experience, we tend to attract support from like individuals. For this same reason, our studio can become a target for individuals & groups who are seeking out minority ethnic groups to divide and conquer. For some, they will call this “desegregating” though, they will in no way afford a minority instructor with well intended students and parents for our private studios. And then of
course are the other teachers who can easily network against someone of a different racial background, just because it’s classical music and they feel that because they are “Caucasian” they can represent Europe better, and for no other reason;- because Europe’s music is practically inherent in them.

I feel strongly that I am at greater risk as an American minority woman to join such organizations who politically manipulate things by praising certain egos overseas when convenient;- in an strong attempt to destroy my overseas family relationship further as a mockery of myself.

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