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Gensen Rabacal is a 31 years old local boy, born and raised in Hawaii. He has been totally blind since the age of 6 months because of an eye cancer called Retinoblastoma. Due to this eye condition, his eyes were surgically removed and as a result, the cancer was removed as well.
Growing up blind, Gensen faced many challenges, but has tried his absolute hardest to persevere through all of them. Music has helped Gensen in more ways than one can count.
Gensen began playing the ukulele at the age of 4, and started singing in the third grade when he joined the Manana Elementary School choir. At the age of 10, he had the special opportunity to compete in the Hawaii Stars, Weinberg Concert of Extraordinary Abilities. This helped him to step out of his comfort zone. In 2001, Genson was crowned as one of the grand champions of Hawaii Stars.
Today, music still plays a big role in Gensen's life, as he enjoys playing and singing at restaurants like "The Pizza Press" in Pearl City, and "Big City Diner" in Waipio. He also leads worship at Grace Fellowship Church in Waipio.
Not only is Gensen a musician but as well he is a certified Secondary Education English teacher, and one of the very first totally blind people to hold a degree in Education in the State of Hawaii.
As for music, Gensen is an advocate and fan for everything music related, and as well is excited to teach music lessons whenever he has the opportunity.
"I enjoy meeting new people, and making a positive difference in their lives". Gensen Rabacal
When one thing is lacking, it is easy to focus on what we don't have, rather than all that we do.
Being blind has taught Gensen to persevere, to rise to many life challenges, and to make up for what the world has tried to take away from him.
Gensen won't be able to visually (reading/writing) teach music to students, but he can make up for it by helping them to experience music using their other senses.
Instead of reading music on a sheet of paper, he can help his students to feel the meaning in a song, and he believes that making that personal connection to music can help one play it on an instrument, or express it in words.
Gensen will not be able to teach students how to sight read notes, rather he will train his student's ears to distinguish between one note and another.
Aural training is something they will have with them for the rest of their lives. As a result,
they will learn to memorize music, and not always depend on the sheet that is in front of them.
Gensen may lack the visual abilities as a teacher, but promises to make up for it by building a student's awareness, love, and passion for music, one lesson at a time.