Day 130 - Rebecca (2nd person I approached)
May 10, 2014 - Rebecca was sitting reading a Chinese newspaper when I asked her to chat with me. What I noticed immediately, and without having to ask is that pink and purple are favourite colours of Rebecca’s. She later confirmed this, albeit somewhat shyly. Her coat was deep warm pink, trimmed with a lighter shade of pink faux fur. She wore a pink sweater and her jewellery had a lot of pink in it. On the table next to her, were flowers wrapped in dark pink paper, and of course, they were purple flowers. Rebecca told she had bought them for herself. Another fact that I noted, from my own personal experience - Rebecca smiled and said her English wasn’t so good. That’s often a sign that the person either underestimates or is modest about their abilities. When someone isn’t good at any language, they usually don’t even attempt to speak. She offers the most delicate handshake.
Rebecca was born in Hsinchu, a city located in northern Taiwan. Hsinchu is also known by the popular nickname of “The Windy City” due to it’s windy climate. She is the oldest of two children with a younger brother back in Taiwan. When Rebecca was seven years old she started singing with her school choir.
“That was the start of my interest in music. I liked the piano and started to learn to play just after starting with the choir,” she said. In that same year, Rebecca began music lessons in a private music school after her regular classes.
“I went usually one time per week, and continued throughout my school years,” she told me.
After finishing high school, Rebecca went to a music academy and studied music for another three years.
“I like to play all kinds of music, usually on a grand piano. I enjoy pop music like Celine Dion, playing the piano and singing” said Rebecca.
“But I play all kinds of music. It comes from keeping interested, and practising.” In her late 20’s, Rebecca started to consider moving to Canada.
“I was looking to move to a place with a better lifestyle, and a different culture. I took a vacation to Toronto. It was nice but it is cold. I chose Vancouver because of the weather,” she said. From her first idea of moving to Canada and actually immigrating, took one year. Rebecca mentioned she also had family living here in Vancouver. When I suggested that they might have influenced her decision to come to the west coast, she looks right at me, smiles and says “No. It was for the weather.”
When she arrived in Vancouver sixteen years ago, Rebecca spoke no english and didn’t have a job. She secured a teaching position within the Vancouver School Board, and the local music community.
“I teach through the school board, and in a private music academy. I also teach lessons at home with private students,” says Rebecca. She mentions having gotten some students through ‘interviews for local television.' When I ask about the interviews, Rebecca tells me that she has done some appearances on local Chinese TV.
“They interview me and ask questions because of my interest in music. and playing piano,” she said. I ask Rebecca if she can show me some of the interviews, or where I can hear her playing. She starts looking one her phone. After some time, shows me a clip from an interview. The focus is on her teaching skills and her technical abilities, as well as her creativity in writing and composing music. (*Fact Check - see link below). Rebecca has two daughters, both of whom she describes as "grown-up."
In reading between the lines, I get the feeling that Rebecca is a much more gifted pianist than she is willing to share. When I ask, she tells me that yes, she does play concerts in town, but doesn't give me any more information. She has spent most of her life learning, training, studying and now teaching music. I mention this to her.
“No, it really is just an interest of mine. I play because I like it," she says. I then ask what she’s reading about in the newspaper. “Oh. I’m looking for a new piano. A grand piano for my studio,” she says, smiling. #notastranger
*Fact Check - http://mandarinprofileawards.com/videos/86152797-2/