Pianist Trang Trinh: Music gives wings to children’s creativity

Tuesday, 2020-03-24 11:20:14
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Pianist Trang Trinh was praised as a “phenomenon” of Vietnamese classical music
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NDO – Pianist Trang Trinh achieved fame at a very young age. Showing her talents with dozens of international awards when she was only 20, Trang Trinh was praised as a “phenomenon” of Vietnamese classical music. In 2019, she was the co-author of the Music Textbook for First Graders, which was approved by the Ministry of Education and Training to be available from the 2020 school year.

On this occasion, Trang granted an interview to Nhan Dan (People) Weekly Newspaper to talk more about the textbook and share her thoughts about the teaching of music at schools.

Question: Can you tell us about the message that the Music Textbook for First Graders conveys to its readers?

Pianist Trang Trinh: It was a great honour for me to be a member of the compilation group for the Music Textbook for First Graders. It is not easy to change the traditional teaching method from simply popularising knowledge to focusing more on students’ capacity. In music, a teacher is not only required to teach students about musical notes but also fuel the love for every note among her students.

Schoolchildren should be inspired with a love for musical notes in every single melody as well as the way they are modulated in a singing line. It is difficult for the textbook’s authors to avoid academic writing while giving instructions which can reach children in different areas and regions, from different social and cultural backgrounds. It is even more difficult to make every musical class full of joy for children.

However, a textbook itself cannot fulfil its assigned mission without the help of teachers, who must be enthusiastic and willing to renovate their musical education methods in order to inspire the love for music amongst students. Only teachers can make the change.

Therefore, through the textbook, we want to spread a message that “Music is all around us, and creativity is unlimited’. We want schoolchildren to realise that music is right next to them and still waiting for them to explore and enjoy it. Music also gives wings to creativity, which is an important skill for children in the 21st century.

You established fame at a very young age, and now you show a huge interest in the artistic and musical education of children. You and your colleagues recently established Wonder, a social enterprise specialising in researching, practicing and educating the arts, particularly for kindergarten children. Can you tell us more about Wonder?

Wonder was established as one of my efforts to create a musical ecological system. We team up with organisations, artists, and researchers to work out projects that cultivate the souls of people in society. Regarding the reason why I focus on kindergarten children, I think that the way we invest in children’s early stages is like preparing soil for planting. If the soil is nutritious enough, it can nurture seeds into well-grown trees and forests. I believe that music can promote its wonderful power in helping children grow in happiness.

Members of the Miracle Choir and Orchestra, which was founded by pianist Trang Trinh to help orphans and disadvantaged children in Hanoi to get easier access to music, while providing them with free music education.

Looking back on your projects, from ‘The Piano Diary’, ‘Beethoven A Fantasy’, ‘The Preludes’, and ‘Miracle Choir’, it seems that you have done more than just the role of a performing artist and have contributed to bringing classical music closer to public audiences. Can you share more with us about your artistic journey?

I don’t want to frame myself in a fixed role. At home, I try to be a good wife and mother. In class, I am a teacher. On stage, I am an artist. At the publishing house, I work as an author. But above all, I am a citizen with a dream of making the place I live into somewhere I belong, where life is full of goodness and beautiful things.

What are your future plans following the publication of ‘Music Textbook for First Graders’?

I will work on a Music Textbook for Second Graders and children at elementary school, a job which will require a lot of my time and in depth thought.

At the same time, I am completing a musical education programme for children at kindergarten age. I will also spend time further researching the role of music in the early years of a child’s life as well as its impacts on people’s mental health.

The first book which I worked on as an editor will be introduced to readers soon on the occasion of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

There will be hours of playing the piano, too, because whatever I do, I'm an artist first and foremost.

Thank you so much for your sharing!