This month's Teacher Spotlight is Cyndi Nunag

1. How old were you when you began to learn music?
I was 5 years old. My mother saw an article in the newpaper with a big group of little violin players all on a stage. She asked me, “ Do you want to play the violin?” Without even looking at the photo, I said “Sure!!”

2. What music did you first learn?
I first learned the Suzuki method and the song "Twinkle twinkle Little Star". The rhythm was called Mississippi Hotdog Bach then. Today, I use the words Taka Taka stop stop ..

4. How many instruments do you know?
I can play intermediate level piano, and I practice my accompanying skills and try to continuously improve. I play viola, ukulele, West African drumming (djembe) and I also played the cello in my high school orchestra. Since we had no cello players I basically taught myself. I love the guitar and tried it out for a bit, but it was a real challenge!

5. What draws you to music?... Why music?
Music is my first passion. But when I entered high school I met a brother and sister duo that could play anything under the stars. They were such an inspiration to me that I started practicing much more, and went on to major in music in college. I think playing with other musicians makes me really happy. Its a wonderful experience that you share together. And playing music is also therapy for me. It relaxes me, and helps me cope with stress. Music is also a lot of fun, when you can throw yourself into a piece of music, learn it, be challenged, then give it your best shot in front of an audience. That is a completely rewarding experience, no matter how it goes! 
At age 18, I ended up joining with that brother and sister, who inspired me,to form a quartet and we won first place at a competition in Edinburgh, Scotland while traveling on tour with our youth orchestra. It was an experience of a lifetime!!

6. What is your favorite style of music?
This is a tough one, since I really love playing many styles. It is probably a tie between classical and jazz.

7. How long have you taught at Temecula Music Teacher?
I have been at TMT since last June, so coming up on a year.

8. What do you teach and what do you like about teaching music?
I teach primarily classical because it serves as the best foundation. But along side that, I supplement with folk songs, fiddle tunes, Celtic, jazz, and bluegrass. I really love teaching my students and having fun in the lesson. I like seeing my students' faces light up when I introduce a new song, and when they learn it and perform. They realize just how rewarding it can be. When they see that practice makes everything possible to play, they are recharged and ready to take on new challenges. Playing a musical instrument is an ongoing process. I never met a musician who isn’t trying to improve their skills or learning new ways to develop the knowledge they have of their instrument (s). It is an incredibly rewarding experience when you can accomplish your goals in music and share it with your family and peers. I think many of my students’ parents would agree that hearing their child play their instrument makes them very proud and overjoyed with emotion. It is a unique journey, creating wonderful memories that students and their families will cherish forever!