Recently I was invited to give a talk at an elementary school to 3rd-5th graders about music and my career. I enjoyed putting together the powerpoint presentation explaining what I do, when I started my career, how I compose as well as sharing some of my art work. Just before I began the presentation, all the children sang one of my compositions (‘Advancing Civilization’) in English and Chinese that they have been learning at school for the end of term! I was honored as they sang it so beautifully! In the middle of the presentation I played one of my compositions, ‘Final Journey’, on the piano and explained how we are all like instruments that can allow creative energy or inspiration to pass through us and make something special. We also played some drumming rhythms together which was also a lot of fun. We finished with singing as I taught them a call and response song with the beautiful quotation, ‘So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.’
Here are some of the questions they asked me at the end which I thought were sweet. They asked: ‘Do you love your job?’, ‘How much money do you make?’, ‘What do you do when the people you work with annoy you?’, ‘How old are you?’, ‘How many albums do you sell?’, ‘What kind of music do you like?’
I shared a personal story with the children… When I was 14 and walked in to my piano teacher’s home for my lesson, I heard her play one of the most beautiful classical pieces I had ever heard. I asked her if I could learn to play it and she responded by saying that it was too difficult for me. I was determined to prove her wrong so I went home, searched for the notes and learned to play the first page. That was a pivotal moment for me, knowing that I could play that piece gave me so much confidence and courage. I told the children that whatever you set your heart on doing, you can achieve it.
Below are some photos from the session…
So lovely to meet these curious 3rd-5th graders
Showing the children the CDs I’ve working on
Playing ‘Final Journey’ live during the presentation