Music and Me by David Ren
I started my music education when I was five years old in a small group music lesson called KinderMusic. At first, mom just wanted to provide me a chance to interact with typical children and an opportunity to explore music. At that time, she didn’t know that I had talent in music. After three sessions of KinderMusic, I began my private piano lessons with Ms. Kelly Chen. I was about six years old then.
In the first two months, I couldn’t play the piano with my both hands at the same time. But Ms. Chen was very patient with me, and eventually my coordination improved and I could play with my two hands. This made both Ms. Chen and my mom very happy! I picked up my music instruments one by one in the following sequence: piano, recorder, keyboard, harp, guitar, flute, gu zheng, and finally my own voice.
I have taken music lessons from sixteen music teachers. They all have done a great job! I can read music notes very fast with accuracy and I can memorize the fingering for each new piece in a short time. Music is like my first language!
I enjoy practicing music very much! Every day, I spend about two hours practicing. When I practice my music pieces, I feel happy and satisfied. When I perform in front of the audience, I never get nervous. I like to share my music performance with friends either in live performances or through Youtube links.
My brother Alexander Ren has been a good big brother over the past years. He films all my well-practiced music pieces and uploads them onto Youtube for me. Some friends find listening to my music soothing.
In the future, I would like to have a music career as a composer, performer, teacher, and a piano tuning technician. I will always have my heart for children with special needs. I composed my first piece about one month ago. I will keep on composing new melodies.
Among my eight instruments, my favorites are piano, harp, gu zheng and my own voice. I would like to pick up more instruments, for example, erhu and drum, in the future if my family can afford them.
My harp teacher Ms. Sonya Yu has taught me harp for over nine years and she knew me for over thirteen years. She witnesses all the progress I have made. Recently, I earned a trophy in the Western Regional California State Talent & Performing Arts Competition. This is a great reward for Ms. Sonya Yu who really dedicates herself to my harp education.
My gu zheng teacher Ms. Melody Chen is a great performer and musician. She trains me how to be a good performer. My jazz piano and piano tuning teacher Mr. Robert Wong is a loving person. He has great confidence in me. In his opinion, I am as good as other typical kids.
Learning music is a good challenge for my brain, muscle coordination, courage, patience, persistence, art, public performance, and creativity. Music is also a tool for me to present myself and to serve my community. I receive many invitations for performance from different local Chinese associations.
Through the training of music, I think one day I will be a fully recovered autistic person. I believe one day, human languages will become as easy as the universal music notes!