In the wide world of music, to have the opportunity to devote the time it takes to pursue in depth studies is a rare privilege. A taste for art music is not something that one can develop overnight. When a performer sits in front of the piano, fingers flowing over the keyboard, they have a rare chance to share their innermost feelings with the audience. And when applause erupts at the conclusion, they will surely feel that their long years of practice have been worth it.
One of these lucky pianists is Jarry. This year, he has been accepted by the American arts high school Interlochen, and has been offered close to 1 million RMB in scholarship. Such an opportunity is partly due to good fortune, of course, but it is even more the result of Jarry’s continuous hard work. Like many piano students, Jarry practices every day after school without fail. However, his dedication is such that he traveled to Shanghai to pursue his studies at Faceart every weekend from his home in the small city of Xinyu, Jiangxi province, where such high-level instruction is not to be found. At Faceart, he studied piano with Jenny, Piotr, and James, and music theory with Niccolo. Under the caring guidance of our teachers, he made astounding progress in one short year.
Jarry’s working-class parents have made considerable sacrifices so that he can pursue his dream of becoming a pianist. He understands this deeply, and thus during his time at Faceart sought to improve his playing with particular urgency. During hot summer days, while other kids cooled off in the shade, Jarry slaved away in the practice room, forehead damp with perspiration. To save on money, Jarry would always take the slow over-night train to Shanghai, instead of the more comfortable high-speed train. He was always the first student to arrive at Faceart on Saturday mornings, and the first to begin practicing. However, because he was pursuing something he loved, he was never short on energy or enthusiasm. Entering the world of music, one’s background fades and becomes unimportant – in the realm of art, we all meet as spiritual equals. Music is a pure consolation for the soul.
To congratulate Jarry, and to encourage all of our students, we have decided to hold a student and faculty concert in the Shanghai Symphony Hall for Faceart’s five-year anniversary. We hope you will all be able to attend! We are also excited to announce our new Faceart scholarship: the three students whose performance on the concert receives the highest marks from our teachers will receive 10,000, 8,000, and 6,000 RMB scholarships towards Faceart tuition as a five-year anniversary gift to our students. We hope you will all work hard with this in mind! We also hope that this challenge, together with the added pressure of performing in an important venue, can be an important part of our students’ maturation process. Plus, giving a performance in a hall which has seen so many prestigious performers is a great addition to any students’ resume!