Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#26 Musical Children


Korean Moms firmly believe that all Korean children must play a classical instrument. They will break you in with private piano lessons, then attempt to add to your musical repertoire by enrolling you in orchestra or band. Choir does not count because Korean Moms believe all Korean people can sing, which is why they will force you to sing the "Song-ah-gee" song at family gatherings like a preforming monkey. A Korean Mom will go out of her way to make sure her kids are improving in their musical abilities; forcing them to practice until their fingers or lips begin to bleed and swell. These physical ailings are signs of good progress, and when she sees them she may reward her children with an exuberant "Joh-ttah!", "Good Job!". Korean Moms will often ambush you when other Korean Moms are over at the house, demanding you to "Play song!". You have 2 choices: 1) Play the damn song (...and you better not make any mistakes, because if you do, she'll make you practice over and over after everyone leaves as punishment), or 2)...wait, there is no 2. I remember dreading my piano lesson days more than any other day of the week. The 1 hour I had to spend with the piano teacher from hell felt like 10. I am one of those unfortunate souls that was forced to take lessons for over 8 years. I am now classically trained to play a very stirring rendition of 'Chopsticks' and when I am in the mood, 'Heart and Soul'.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember my piano lessons and performances...!

Anonymous said...

lol!! my mom also insisted a lot on taking piano lessons of me and whethet i wanted or not i had to be trained piano since i was 4 until i was 13. I hated it . and then my mom's obsession with violin with my brother. he did not like it at all but my mom made him learn violin for years....

i dont know why she loves us to play instruments so much lol

and yes she taught me song ah jee to us when we were young and always told us to sing that lol

Daniel said...

What I want to know is why Western classical instruments seem so much more popular than traditional (classical) Korean instruments? Why is a violin so much more glamorous than a gayageum?

Sue said...

Ah yes. Piano, violin and clarinet lessons for thirteen years until I escaped to college. Naturally, I was and always will be gut-achingly awful at all three.

Anonymous said...

I took lessons for years, actually enjoyed it, and NOBODY ever wants to hear me play. Then my MIL says, "why you don't teach your daughter piano? I like it, I want to hear it." And I'm thinking, why doesn't she ask ME to play MY fucking piano if she likes the music?

Anonymous said...

I took piano lessons for 10 years and cannot play a single song. My piano teacher asked me every week if I wanted to take a vacation, but I said no because if she suggested that to my mom I would get a beating. The other day, my mom sighed and said "I wish you can play piano better." (so that I can get a husband sooner)

Janet said...

OMG you are killing me with this one. Piano and violin for 10+ yrs. Torture. I know every composer that ever walked the earth but play like shit.

Anonymous said...

lmao I'm not korean, I'm filipino, and yet some of these numbers apply (such as moms saving grocery bags like no other)

This musical instrument one was true too T_T

Shannon said...

Piano. Everytime I see a piano I shudder and hear the distant voice yelling at me "SPIDER FINGERS!!!"

Anonymous said...

I love playing piano. I wish my mom pushed me more on piano. You moms gave you opportunity to open your eyes into music and you all failed it. Losers!

Anonymous said...

What's the 'song ah gee' song..
I'm Korean, but I've never heard of that? Or been forced to sing it either.

Heather *IsaBella and Harrison's Mommy* said...

I've played the piano, violin and cello, and mastered none! I am such a loser... I was actually talented enough to play all instruments by ear so I would tell my teachers to "please, play it for me once" and then memorize it and regurgitate it! They thought I was actually practicing! But I did get in trouble once when they caught me writing on the piano keys with pencil to make the letter and number correlate (ie. C = 1, D = 2, etc...)

Love always,
Heather

P.S. Now I wish I listened!!!

Suzi said...

2 words.

Fur Elise.

Maida said...

I think you should write how Korean children go out of their way to deliberatly piss off their mothers (or fathers).
:D

But along those lines, after taking years of piano lessons, I started picking up the more "extreme" instruments, such as the guitar, the bass, and the drums.
This pissed my mum off royally. :D

Dori Dori! said...

well thanks to my Korean mom I can play piano, cello, trumpet, guitar. I was COERCED into joining an orchestra in high school. I actually learned cello SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF JOINING AN ORCHESTRA. Thanks to long hours of reading notes on piano and musical dna.

anyways, when I was learning piano from my Korena mom it was scary. Everytime I looked away from the music score (since I had tiny hands) to check my fingers, she would yell and tap my chin up. she yells dont look away from the score.

when my tiny fingers couldn't stretch enough, SHE FORCES IT WIDE OPEN, ALMOST RIPPING IT. then she tells me WHY MY HANDS ARE SO FUCKING SMALL.

I WAS FUCKING 8 JESUS AND DIDN'T KNOW MASTURBATION.

Anonymous said...

meee tooooo!!!!! lol

Anonymous said...

LOL Dori Dori, after knowing masturbation, can you play better know? Hahaha.

I wish I learned to play an instrument. I'm married to a drummer and I can drum a little, but I prefer to learn piano.

I just don't have enough time, I have to many hobbies!!!

Mon said...

Feeling everyone's pain on the Piano lessons and dreaded practice EVERYday or no going outside to play!