There are several people who have prominently changed my life, my little sister who brought me to the world of siblinghood, my fourth-grade teacher who motivated me relentlessly, and my grandfather who introduced me to the great game of golf. But I must say, my mother has had the most significant influence on my life because she has instilled in me an appreciation of music from an early age.
My mother was born in Korea and moved to the States all by herself to study at the Juilliard School when she was only 15. After years of practicing day and night, she became a professional violinist for NYCB orchestra at Lincoln Center where she remains. I feel lucky to have someone so determined and goal-oriented in my life and there is no question that my mother is the reason that I am fascinated with music.
Ever since I can remember, I have been going to concerts with my mother. She has introduced me to so many different types of music and instruments. My mother also taught me about the WQXR Classical Music Radio Station, where I can learn about composers and artist as well. I love listening to it while I get ready for bed as it helps me to prepare for the next day. Music really has become an essential part of my life.
When I was younger, my mother just like any other musician parent, dreamed of me becoming a concert pianist. I started learning the piano when I was four but didn’t quite like the practice part. My mother knew that it took more than just talent to advance. It takes hard work and effort, in my mother’s words, endless hours of practicing and dedication.
I wanted to make my mother proud so I continued until I was 9. We both knew by then that I was not going to be a great pianist. Since my mother always wanted me to explore new interests and see which grows into my true passion, she let me quit the piano and convinced me to move onto singing in the children’s chorus. It was such an excitement to sing in a large group of people and have no pressure from practicing. From that moment on, I have been thrilled to be part of the chorus. Last year, I had some unforgettable experiences, such as performing at schools for kids with disabilities and senior centers. I was also chosen to sing solo at the winter concert. My parents were so proud to hear my solo and choked their tears back as they congratulated me.
I would have never found my love for the music if it hadn’t been for my mother. She and her colleagues often gather to play chamber music at my house and I really enjoy listening to them. I recently started learning the guitar and look forward to joining my mother’s chamber group one day. I am thankful that I have someone so special in my life.