Music for all and from all! Let’s Propel Change

Hello Everyone 😊

I was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S about 13 years ago. It has certainly been a journey being a Taiwanese American because I constantly have an internal dialogue in my head, questioning my sense of belonging. Like Am I Taiwanese, or am I American? Does that matter? I am still not sure…

People have always asked me whether I prefer living in Taiwan or the U.S. ever since I first moved to the States, and I felt conflicted answering that question. For the first few years that I moved here, I would say Taiwan because that was home and that was all I know. Over time, with more education and self-discovering. My sense of identity has changed. I am proud of where I am from; being Taiwanese and representing my ethnicity and culture here in the melting pot that is the United States of America. But I am also an American now, and this is my home. The U.S is a country built by immigrants, and the land of the free with limitless possibilities. People come here to have freedom and opportunities that are unobtainable in their home country. If you are willing to put in the work for it, your wildest dreams may be granted here. However, recent conversations has led me to believe that some had stray away from its the founding ideals. Some who have achieved their dreams have decided to just shut the doors to others coming for the same opportunities, and this animosity towards those who dare to dream baffles me.  

Then I started thinking. What is it that I can do, to help change social injustice and move forward this educational conversation, using what I know and what I do best? Which is to talk about music and playing piano…

For that, I think back to my studies. My training as a pianist in the last 18 years has given me a strong foundation in Western music history and performance practice. Even when I started learning piano back in Taiwan, the curriculum in learning western instrument seemed to be on the same path as the rest of the world. So like many other classically trained musicians, I am deeply rooted in the European centric composer canon: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev. If we wanted to be more “contemporary”, let’s visit Bartok, Stravinsky, Messiaen to American composers Ives, Carter, Copland. 

So…how is that relevant to what is happening today? Don’t get me wrong, the classic of the classical music has definite merit in our studies; all those composers back from hundreds of years ago defined music that we know today. It is also very important to be well informed of history and culture of the world through the arts. What we don’t really know is the music that are being written by composers of today. MANY MANY composers from around the world are using their voice and speaking out about the world today, but with information overload and the little attention classical music get in today’s media, most have not heard of them. Including myself.

I am starting a Youtube Series: Music of Today’s World, to educate myself and others of composers who are in the minority group of this country, and to showcase works inspired by a clash of cultures from immigrants. This is to tell stories and inspire social justice in the music world. The first segment of this series will be on Taiwanese American Composers because of who I am and my identity.

Thank you for reading! If you would like to be a part of this change and join me on this wonderful journey together, please hit the subscribed button and stay tuned for my first spotlight! 

Published by Allison Wang

A pianist; passionate in understanding and connecting people with music.

3 thoughts on “Music for all and from all! Let’s Propel Change

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