Chad Uyehara teaches orchestra at The Priory at St. Andrew's Schools (SAS). Mr. Uyehara has been teaching for 15 years and has been at The Priory for 13. Prior to joining SAS, Mr. Uyehara held teaching positions at Hanahau'oli School in Honolulu and Del Webb Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Uyehara is from Honolulu and earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a bachelor's in French from University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He also earned a Master of Music in Viola Performance and a Master of Music in Music Education from Northwestern University.
How did you get into teaching? What made you want to pursue the career?
"I was solely a violinist at first, but I was given opportunities to lead violin sectionals (working with one section of the orchestra) and to conduct. This nudged me into a musical career focused on teaching and conducting."
What is your favorite part about teaching?
"Teaching orchestra is a bit different from teaching a subject such as English, math or science. An orchestra teacher is also a conductor and must bring the various instruments, personalities, and learning styles together to perform music. I enjoy this process and challenge.
Teaching is also fun, and it's important to be happy in life. I am very fortunate that work is also one of my passions. I love music, sharing it with others, and being silly with the kids."
What do you currently teach? What have you previously taught?
"I teach the Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate, and Chamber Strings orchestras at The Priory. I am the director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony's (HYS) Academy String Program and conductor for HYS' Concert String Orchestra and Intermediate String Ensemble. I also have a Suzuki violin and viola studio of about 30 students. I know that one of my purposes in life is to conduct orchestras. I have always taught this subject and hope to be a conductor until I die.
What is a current goal and/or project you are working on?
"Teaching can take a lot of time away from my own practicing as a musician. I constantly push myself to perform with my chamber music group consisting of a violin, cello and piano. I also play with the Maui Pops Orchestra and Hawaii Symphony Orchestra when I can. I am also a very physical person, so dancing and working out are also priorities in my life.
What is the best part about teaching at The Priory?
"The downtown location is awesome. I love city life and like to eat and downtown has many good restaurants close to school."
Who or what inspires you?
"Life inspires me. There is something beautiful, cool or unique in everything and everyone."
What is the best advice someone has given to you? Who was that person?
"My parents always reminded me to never regret anything. There is always something that can be learned from an experience, even if it may not have been a pleasant one."
What is your wish for your students?
"That they will work hard, never give up, and go beyond mediocre in everything they do."
What is one interesting thing people may not know about you?
"I love to dance and DJ."
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
"Dance, practice violin and viola, workout at the gym, build LEGO, take online classes in a variety of subjects, cook, and travel."
Tell us about your family (include pets).
"I visit my grandma, mom, dad, sister, and nephews once a week for family dinner."