Friday, September 05, 2008

Part 1: Gu Zheng Lessons

Michelle with her Violin

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!

Me on my deadly weapon of destruction!

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?

20 comments:

Li Wei said...

hey babe, go on teaching, i'll send my daughter to you in future.

Anonymous said...

how much do you charge for a lesson? how many hrs? u teach at home?

Anonymous said...

wo wo you are really a girl of many talent! i am really impress with your talent. Your parents must be very proud of you. Keep it up girl. Ray111

KY said...

if i sit there and let u teach for 5 hours straight will i get RM 5 too? :D

-eiling- said...

Li Wei: Okok, I'll wait for your daughter.

Anonymous: I charge RM90 for beginners per month of 30 mins per lesson per week at my home.

Ray111: Thank you. They better be proud! LOL

KY: Nope. You pay me instead!

rubberseeds said...

Indeed very surprised you are a Gu Zheng master. Did your other two sisters also learn to play the instrument?I think at RM90 it is reasonable.

LD said...

You play the Gu Zheng?!?!?!

I'm utterly impressed!

That's like one of my fac chinese intruments (aside from the er-hu).

It produces very beautiful melodies and is a constant feature in wuxia films.

Looks like I really must make a trip to kl...

aahhh-CHEW!!! said...

Waaah!!! ... terror woh!!! ... you so gifted oh!!! ... bar hopping, chocolate eating, Gu Zheng playing babe!!! ... no believe until I saw your YouTube ... ahahaha ...

foongpc said...

Wow! You know how to play gu zheng? So next time can call you to perform for charity functions or not? I know how to play piano, so maybe next time we do a duet ie. piano + gu zheng or maybe rope in the violinist for a trio? haha!

Anyway, I think you should increase your fee to RM100 per month. RM90 is a tad too cheap, IMHO.

-eiling- said...

Philip: Well, surprise! Haha..the other two plays the Yang Qin and the Pipa. Three of us do performances together too.

LD: Yup, it's always used in the wuxia films. Yeah when in KL, i give you free gu zheng previews! haha...

aahhh-chew!!!: Thanks...yup a girl with multi talents who can hop bars and play music! haha...

Foongpc: I think RM90 is reasonable considering I don't need to step out of the house. Can, if there's any events, do let me know. I'll see whether my schedule can fit in. Duet would be nice...

mimid3vils said...

i don have talent in music except singing (but can sing only not best also, hehe :P)

-eiling- said...

Mimi: Well, at least you can sing. I can't even sing to save my life!

Simon Seow said...

Wow, you sure don't look like a Gu Zheng master. I want to lear Er Hu so that I can play some sad song.

woodyooi said...

EiLing
Wah-seh.. the performance was great !!

Here is another Gu-Zheng in youtube I truly enjoyed..

http://www.youtube.com/user/bastian984

-woody

cc said...

Wow! A deadly combination, gu zheng and the beauty that is eiling. :) You rock girl!!!

Your painful days of practicing reminds me of the days when I used to play er hu, organ and drums. Those were the days. Painful going through it but it's all part of sweet memories now.

-eiling- said...

Simon: How to judge a person by its face whether he or she plays Gu zheng or not?!! LOL Go and pick up Er Hu, it's nice.

Woody: Thanks. Will check out the link.

CC: Thanks. Wow, you play so many musical instruments. You write well too. I'm sure you're a beauty with multi talents!

Clover said...

Wow ! so cool. You're so talented
I want to learn Guzheng.
How much do you charge for an hour of lesson?
U teach at your home?

-eiling- said...

Clover: Yeah I do teach but I can only teach on Mon & Thurs. I teach at my home. It's RM100 for beginners, half an hour lesson once a week. If you need further info, you can send me an email at eilinglim@hotmail.com

Carmen said...

Hi, how much do you church for gu zheng lessons? Im a beginner and want to learn this instrument to play it for my mom and grandma since they love the sound of it. And am I required to purchase a gu zheng if im learning it? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey there..r u still teaching guzheng? i'm interested in learning...

3iLinG © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.

TOPO