Recently a new friend asked me how my path in music came about and was it always interested in music.
I began playing the piano from the age of five. My mother was a piano teacher so I was always surrounded by music while growing up. As a young child I enjoyed learning to play, but at around age twelve I had an overly strict teacher who made going to class a terror and a torture! I still remember walking into her class one week when she was playing a beautiful piano piece. I asked her if I could learn it and she coldly replied that it was too difficult for me to play. However, her discouragement had the effect of making me want to prove her wrong – so I found the notes for the piece and learned it. At the time I simply wanted to show her that I could do it, but now in retrospect I see how it was a valuable learning experience which taught me that “any stumbling block can be turned into a stepping stone”.
In college, a close friend, Michele Brown, encouraged me to continue playing the piano and that’s when I began setting the Baha’i Writings to music. We performed mostly for our friends and the community at UC Davis. Later, after I transferred to UC Berkeley, I met another dear friend and talented musician, Fiona Doomun-Rouhani. We performed together for a couple of years and many of our friends encouraged us to record a CD. In 1996 the three of us collaborated and finally recorded ‘Melodies of the Nightingale’.