Remember this girl? I posted her pictures a while ago for the post Fidani is Music to the Tastebuds. Yep, she's the violinist that I hired for the product launching in KLIA.Guess what?!! She's now my music student.
Yesterday was her first class on Gu-Zheng and boy, she's learning pretty fast. I was pretty shocked too when she text me saying that she wants to take lessons from me on Tuesday.
One look at me you'll know that I'm not anyway associated with chinese culture. I don't go to a chinese school, my mandarin is half bucket of water, my reading and writing in chinese is limited and how in the world would I end up playing Gu Zheng hor?!! To your surprise, I have actually been playing the Gu Zheng for 19 years, 19 long years! Sometimes I couldn't believe it either, I have been telling people that I've been playing for 15 years and a few years down the road, it's almost 20 years! My mum gave me an early start when I was 5 years old because she didn't want to waste the instrument as she was too busy to learn. I still remembered how I went for the lessons without even knowing why I was there in the first place.
I dread through the lessons, fell asleep during classes and the only thing I was looking forward was the rewards if I played well. My teacher would give me papayas, apples, and stickers. When I passed my exams, he will buy me presents. My parents made me practice by offering me monetary rewards like 70cents for 1 hour on the Gu Zheng and up to RM5 if I play for 5 hours. Being such a smart girl, I really play 5 hours to get the RM5!!! I passed my Grade 8 when I was 12. It was an incredible achievement but I don't see the value at that time.
I was never happy playing it when I was young because my mum would force me to practise. I remembered skipping practice for a week, she scolded me real bad and threw me out of the house. I packed my things, all my clothes and school books into a box and wanted to go stay with my grandma. Mum got so mad that she threw my box and I couldn't stop crying. She was threatening me by giving me 2 choices - if I stay, I have to practise and if I don't want to practise, I have to leave. What kind of choices is that?!! It was really a painful experience for me.
But I never stopped learning and practising after that. I have had countless performances for charities, dinners, events and competitions. The best crowd I ever played to was for HRH Raja Muda Perak (Nazrin) at a Rotary Club Installation in Ipoh, followed by Opening of the Transmile Hangar attended by Chairman Tun Ling L S and also to ministers at the Curve for the Lifelong Learning programme. The others were just charity and wedding dinners.
After all those performances and the money that I'm getting, I realised that maybe my mum was doing the right thing, forcing me to continue. And even today, she was the one that initiated me to teach. I wouldn't imagine how it would be like if I stopped playing years back. I have to be thankful to mum for the extra money I'm making now!
I had been teaching but not for long, just 1-2 years and recently my student just passed her Grade 2 examination without sitting for Grade 1. She was quite good and thus I encouraged her to skip Grade 1 (not to waste time). And I can proudly say, she's my guniea pig. So now that my skills are proven, who want lessons?