A semi-finalist in the 2013 Wilson Center Guitar Competition, Nanae Fujiwara received her associate’s degree in Music from William Rainey Harper College. While studying with Steve Vazquez, Nanae first learned how to express her emotions through her instrument. She furthered her studies at Northeastern Illinois University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Brian Torosian. There Nanae discovered her passion not only lies in guitar but in conducting. She has taken the stage as a conductor, leading the school’s wind ensemble, guitar ensemble, and chamber chorus.
Through the years, Nanae has continued to polish her performing skills through many master classes. She has played for world renowned artists such as Grammy Award winners Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, William Kanengiser, Rene Izquierdo, Denis Azabagic, Paul O’Dette and Johannes Moller. In the summer of 2014, Nanae traveled to Germany to further her studies at the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium and Nurtingen International Guitar Festival.
In addition to teaching at The Music Room, Nanae is on the faculty and Guitar Department Chair at The David Adler Music and Arts Center in Libertyville, IL.
“I believe that anyone can learn how to play music as long as they are motivated in learning, have great listening skills, and are able to commit to practice. Music is 10% talent and 90% hard work.”
Nanae prefers a laid back style of teaching that is both encouraging and positive. “I always compliment the students as soon as they achieve something, even if it’s fixing a single note,” said Nanae. “However, I am also demanding and persistent when it comes to working on musical phrasing and technique. I think the balance is what makes my teaching effective.”
Music teacher who inspired me the most: My first classical guitar teacher, Steve Vazquez was, and still continues to be, an inspiration. He taught me how to be passionate about my instrument. He used to say that being able to express yourself through music requires taking emotional risks and a lot of courage. Every time I perform, I’m reminded of his words.
How I am making the world a better place: In today’s society where great music is very rarely found, I am preserving the diminishing art of classical music by inspiring others with its beauty.
Favorite quote about music: “The guitar is like a miniature orchestra” – Ludwig van Beethoven