Daysmel Muniz | Instructor Bio

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  • What Instruments do you teach?
    I teach Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass and Ukelele.

    What is your teaching philosophy?
    I believe that music can enrich a person’s life, develop their brain and be used as a means of self expression in the world. Music can be fun and easy to learn! While learning music we discover things about ourselves that can surprise us. I really believe that music education and the individual can come together to spark powerful creative forces.

    How long have you been teaching music? At Youth Music Project?
    I have been teaching music for 7 years. I am starting at Youth Music Project this year for my first Winter Session!

    What is your favorite thing about teaching music?
    When the student loves music so much that they are driven to learn and be creative outside of class, in their real lives. I like to see students that are hungry to learn more!

  • What do you expect of your students in classes/lessons?
    I expect students to listen, have fun and be willing to try new ways of learning.

    What do you expect of student’s parents?
    I expect parents to support their child’s music education outside of class, to have questions about what we’re learning and to engage with me if necessary! We both want to see your child succeed at what they do.

    When did you first start playing music?
    I started playing music right before I turned 16.

    What is your educational background? Did you study music in school and/or privately?

    I began to play guitar by borrowing my friend’s guitar and playing here and there. Before I knew it, I had my own and spent every day trying to play songs I liked. After a year of playing, I began to take private lessons and it really pushed me forward. I studied music on my own from 19 until my mid-20s. Then I was fortunate to find an amazing guitar teacher that opened up new pathways for me to learn. I also love taking Skype lessons from players I admire. 

    Do you play in any bands / perform in the Portland area?
    Not yet! I just moved here. In California, however, I was in a band called Mr. Moonshine.

    What is the first song you learned how to play and how old were you?
    It was a classic: “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica at 16 years old.

    How do you handle mistakes while practicing or during a performance?
    Try and salvage your mistakes! If you play a wrong note, the note after it can make it fit into the song. If you panic after a mistake it tends to highlight it, but if you move on it might be only noticeable to yourself. Anything undesirable can be worked on in the practice room. Miles Davis said: “There are no mistakes,” and I believe there is a point in music where everything can be valid.

    Describe a skill on your instrument that was a challenge and you’ve had to work very hard to achieve.
    Alternate picking multiple strings on the guitar.I am left-handed and play right handed. As time went on, I realized that I had to work harder to make my picking hand confident, since it was not as naturally rhythmic as my left hand. This really forces me to focus and slow down in my playing.

    Who are your musical influences?
    Miles Davis, Wayne Krantz, The Beatles, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Ravi Shankar, Al DiMeola

    What do you feel when you play music?
    I feel connected with myself and the world. There are times where I feel like it happens on its own and I’m just there watching myself play.

    If you had the chance to study and/or perform with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be?
    I think I would study with Bach. Can you imagine being able to pick the brain of this total genius? I would perform with Miles Davis in the 70s with his electric band.

    When did you know you wanted to be musician?
    I loved playing with others, but it was seeing amazing musicians live that did it for me. After going to concerts around 18 or so and seeing these musicians I admired, it really clicked for me that I also wanted to be doing what they were doing.

    If you weren’t a musician/teacher what might you be?
    I think I would be a writer or an inventor of futuristic creations.