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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Young boy makes it into Royal Academy of Music
     2015-March-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Martin Li

    martin.mouse@163.com

    SHAO MUTONG, a graduate of Shenzhen Luohu Foreign Languages School, was enrolled at the age of 18 by the piano department of the renowned Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in Britain last year. He is the first piano amateur in China to be accepted by the music school.

    Shao caught the attention of professionals at the RAM with his outstanding renditions of classic pieces during an invited performance in September last year. He aspires to take on music as his lifelong career.

    Declared unsuitable to learn piano

    Shao was brought to Shenzhen from his hometown in northwest China by his parents at the age of 4.

    The little boy was always attracted by electric keyboards when he visited supermarkets and stores. He would stop by keyboards and play them at random when his parents were shopping.

    “We were surprised to see him playing the complete version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ without being taught by anyone,” recalled Shao’s mother, Mu Yinli.

    Delighted by and uncertain about the boy’s musical gift, Shao’s parents took him to a piano store in their residential community to ask for suggestions from piano teachers there.

    However, a teacher’s words disappointed the parents.

    The teacher said the boy’s fingers were not long enough to play piano and that it would be more suitable for him to study drawing.

    “We felt sad and shocked,” said Mu. “But we didn’t give up.”

    Mu said they wanted the boy to learn piano because he liked music and music was beneficial to his physical and mental health. It helped him retain composure.

    Gift developed via study

    The parents sent Shao to Li Yi, a young accordion player in Shenzhen, when he was four and a half years old.

    Shao continued demonstrating his gift for music. He was able to play a piece immediately after studying it a short while.

    The mother took each chance to have the boy play accordion in public in an effort to encourage him.

    “Wherever we went, we took his accordion and had him play it. Each time he received applause and gradually he became confident and outgoing,” she recalled.

    When Shao had made enough progress playing accordion, his parents decided to have him study piano. His mother then signed him up for a piano training course, making him learn both accordion and piano.

    “I became rebellious around the age of eight. I was unwilling to practice playing piano or accordion,” Shao said.

    “My parents started forcing me to practice at least 40 minutes each day for a period of eight years. I played hide and seek with them. I watched TV and played on the computer when they weren’t home. When I heard their footsteps, I would turn off the TV and computer, rush to my piano and start playing from the middle of any piece, in an effort to make my parents believe I was practicing all the time,” he said.

    His parents took him to KFC and McDonald’s as an award each time he played well.

    Despite being a typically naughty boy at that age, Shao’s musical talent didn’t stop developing. He could play any piece that he had only heard once, adding to his personal touch.

    Lang Lang, a well-known Chinese pianist, used to liken Shao to an automatic jukebox, saying: “There is no piece Shao can’t play.”

    Lang opened a music school called Lang Lang’s Music World in Futian District, Shenzhen. Shao started learning piano at the school at the end of 2012.

    Performance awarded by enrollment

    Lang’s music school was invited by the RAM in London to send students to perform in November 2013.

    The school decided to select six students, and Shao stood out from other contestants to obtain the chance.

    “We performed at a lunch banquet and I was the last to go on stage. I played two Chopin pieces and a Chinese piece. When I finished, the whole audience gave me a standing ovation,” recalled Shao. “The applause continued, so I answered a curtain call.”

    Shao’s performance caught the attention of Vanessa Latarc, head of the piano department at the RAM.

    Following the performance, Latarc offered Shao the chance to take part in an enrollment interview on Dec. 3 of the same year.

    When Shao said he would probably not be able to take part because of a scheduling issue, Latarc decided to interview him that afternoon on the same day.

    “I like the ambience of the RAM, where I smell music in the air,” said Shao during a speech on behalf of all the students who performed after communication with the RAM’s president.

    After his speech, Shao was interviewed by masters at the school.

    The interviewers didn’t ask as many questions as Shao expected. Instead, they asked him to play certain pieces directly.

    He was given the offer after his performance.

    “His brains and hands are suitable to play Bach’s works,” said Latarc.

    Risk pays off

    Shao submitted applications to five top music schools around the world, including the RAM, before his visit to London.

    The other four schools all offered him an interview, but Shao had to make a choice between the London visit and the other interviews because of his limited schedule.

    His choice proved to be the right one.

    Shao set out to Britain to start his overseas studies Sept. 13 last year.

    “I expect many difficulties as an amateur. I will also study composition, music education and production. Music will be my lifelong career,” said Shao.

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