Would you believe me if I told you that Yuba College had a Grammy winner in its midst? Piano and choir instructor Aya Ueda is that and more.
Born in Yokohama, Japan, she first started playing music at the age of 6. Drawn to the way that pianos look, with their polished finish and keys, she instantly loved the way that they sounded too.
While in high school Ueda taught piano privately. It wasn’t until she was hired by the Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation that she started teaching music in a school setting, instructing first graders on how to sing.
While in grad school she decided to make a career out of teaching piano and singing. “It came naturally,” she says. Since that time, her music and teaching career have blossomed.
Ueda was also singing in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus from 1987 to 1991 when the symphony won a Grammy. She has met many amazing musicians and colleagues teaching music, in addition to her time with the symphony, at schools in places such as Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Little Rock, Arkansas and Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
One person she is proud to have worked with is renowned Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who was the conductor of the San Francisco Symphony at the time.
In 2007, Ueda started teaching music at Yuba College, adding another school to her repertoire. Of all the things in the Yuba-Sutter area, she likes the people here very much. She says, “I like when students feel good about music that they have made, it compares to nothing else.”
In addition to the piano, she also plays the koto, a stringed Japanese instrument similar to the harp. In her free time, Ueda likes to garden and read. She also enjoys the wild flowers that fill the countryside and mountains. In fact, she loves most flowering plants. One of her favorite places to go is the Canadian Rockies.
Aya Ueda has done many amazing things in her life, and one can tell that she truly enjoys meeting new people and teaching the art of music. She is proud of sharing the gift that is music.