Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Music Makes My World Go Round!


Fine tuning before lessons start!

Mr. Yan playing a new piece for his student


I love it when Mr. Yan accompanies me on the piano sometimes during lessons.

After a toastmasters' meeting at Braddell Heights I was attracted to a poster which shows all types of courses offered by the community centre. I was particularly attracted to the advertisement on violin lessons, and the teacher, Mr. Yan Yin Wing, looks quite impressive as he also conducts the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra.

I was both excited and fearful, and it didn't help when Madam Lim, the staff at the office asked, "So old already, why learn so many things?". After living on earth for almost 55 years, my skin is now thick enough to weather all tsunamis and storms of life. "Hua dao lao, xueh dao lao - Learn as long as we live". I guess Madam Lim was perplexed because with the same breath of excitement, I had also asked her about gu zheng classes which I had in mind to take up once I am more settled with my violin classes. To convince Madam Lim how much I enjoy learning, I shared with her that I only joined toastmasters' activities 2 years ago, and had won quite a number of prizes! "Old is gold!", as one toastmaster in the recent Division Z contest had proclaimed.

Mr. Yan is an excellent and gentle teacher. Once he demonstrated for me to put my two fingers closer to each other to produce a more accurate sound. I laughed when I realised the need to do so as my fingers are quite fat! I love it most when Mr. Yan accompanies me on the piano sometimes. I always enjoy my weekly 30 minutes of violin lessons with him. Mr. Yan is quite versatile as he also composes and conducts the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra. If you wish to read more about Mr. Yan Yin Wing, you can google for more information, and see more photos of Mr. Yan's orchestra and activities.

Probably one of the reasons why I have delayed taking up violin lessons is the time factor. Although my wonderful ex-piano teacher, Kam Yuen Lee, was very patient with me, I felt guilty for putting so little time and effort into my piano practice, and although I managed to get distinctions in my exams, I also realised that genuis is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. Hence, I often dreamt that I did not practise on the piano, and could not play at all during lessons! I certainly do not want history to repeat itself with my violin lessons.

Now that I am working part time as a property agent, I have a little more time for practice. Perhaps it is my deeper love for the violin that it has enabled me to be more diligent and I can practise for hours as long as time permits. I was thrilled when Mr. Yan mentioned that I had progressed quite fast despite my short fingers and arms. I was very much tempted to use a three quarter size violin, but not wanting to disappoint my best friend, Soh Wah, I will take up the challenge of playing a full size violin, and with God's blessings, to play it really, really well - at least well enough to join Mr. Yan's orchestra!

Gan Chau

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