Joseph Ulibarri | Instructor Bio

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  • What Instruments do you teach?
    Piano & Voice

    What is your teaching philosophy?
    Every student can learn, and I will learn even more from my student. Accept the challenge– either you will be defeated or you will triumph. Either way, you learn how to cope with the stressful situations and how to let go of the things holding you back. My students teach me how to be a more effective instructor every day, and they teach me it is okay to live in the moment–good or bad.

    How long have you been teaching music? At YMP?
    Private Lessons: 4 years
    Public School: 2 years
    Leading Church Music: 7 years
    YMP: I am new here and excited to help mentor the next generation of musicians!

    What is your favorite thing about teaching music?
    I live for the moment my student gets on stage, sings/plays their heart out, and realizes their great achievements! It is the sparkle in their eye and the smile on their face that really counts.

  • What do you expect of your students in classes/lessons? 
    My students will be open-minded and willing to try something new. My students will bring their enthusiasm and their own perspective and share it with the class. My students will enjoy making music and will learn how to be patient during the process.

    What do you expect of student’s parents?
    Let’s communicate! We are both here to support your child’s learning. I hope we can create a dialogue surrounding ideas about how we can further your child’s goals keeping your child’s best interests at heart. I am on your team; if I can do anything to help the learning process be less frustrating, let me know.

    When did you first start playing music?

    I have always been singing since I was a toddler in church. I started learning the clarinet when I was in 6th grade, private piano lessons in 8th, and choir/voice in 10th.

    What is your educational background?  Did you study music in school and/or privately?
    Bachelor’s in Music Education: Formal training in voice, clarinet, and piano

    Do you play in any bands / perform in the Portland area?
    I have recorded some music with a group of friends– a group we call, “The Broken Piano.” Sometimes, I play or sing at churches in the metro area.
    What is the first song you learned how to play and how old were you?
    I don’t remember! There are too many memories of playing/singing music when I was in elementary school.
    How do you handle mistakes while practicing or during a performance?
    I growl…and growl a lot. Then, I see if I can isolate the section giving me problems and practice it over and over. If the problem persists, I put the music away for a day (or even a week), and I end up playing the section with little to no problems the next time.

    Describe a skill on your instrument that was a challenge and you’ve had to work very hard to achieve. 

    As a singer, I had a lot of tension in my jaw. Unfortunately, I like to try to control every little muscle in my body. It took me 4 years to just let my jaw be free and do its thing. 

    Who are your musical influences?
    Pop: Hillsong Young and Free and Coldplay
    Classical: Mozart and Franz Schubert

    What do you feel when you play music?
    Frustration/ Passion/ Care-free/ Fed-up/ Peace– The music always dictates my mood. Let it lead me into a world yet to be explored.

    If you had the chance to study and/or perform with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be?
    Karen Carpenter or Katy Perry. Karen because of her soulful, down-to-earth charm; Katy because of her genuine-spirited music and her role in standing up for the underdog!
    When did you know you wanted to be musician?
    Always and forever (I sound like a commercial for diamond jewelry)

    If you weren’t a musician/teacher what might you be?
    A stay-at-home dad or state governor