Hobbies in Times of COVID: Anson

Interview by Alice Fang

Tell us about your journey with piano?

“Like most Asian children, I started playing when I was 4 years old. I’ve been taking piano lessons ever since and only had to stop due to COVID. ”

Because you are so passionate and talented in piano, why haven’t you considered a carrier in it?

I have always considered piano as a hobby; the reason why I did not take music in CEGEP is that I know music theory already. Therefore, it would just be a waste of time and redundant if I take it again. Plus, I don’t really like classical music. Or it’s more like I don’t like to be restricted or forced to play what I don’t like. I only want to play music that I enjoy listening to, such as K-pop and anime music.”

Do you have any inspirational stories?

“I don’t have any myself, but I once read something online that went like this. A piano keyboard has white keys and black keys where the black keys represent the dark moments in life while the white ones would represent the happy moments. There are more white keys than black keys, but we need a combination of both to write a beautiful melody; similarly, in life there will always be a mixture of both.”

What do you think about the stereotype of that most Asian are forced to play the piano?

“I consider myself really lucky. Most Asian kids despise their lessons and when they stop, its like a relief for them. I remember lessons being very painful and even crying because of them, but I guess my case was a lucky story because I took it and turned it into something that I am passionate about. The lessons drained me till the end, but I realized how they benefited me because I’m able to play more complex pieces for my Youtube channel. I still don’t enjoy practicing, but it gave me meaning and wasn’t a waste of time.”

Do you like the stereotype that Asians kids can play the piano or you wish otherwise?

“Definitely, I don’t like the stereotype. A lot of people minimize my efforts when they see that I play well. I hate when people say: “I wished my parents forced me” because it’s like all my hard work and practice are meaningless to them. They think that my parents forced me and therefore that automatically gives me the ability that I have.”

What advice do you have for people are discouraged because regarding the difficulties of learning a hobby?

“I always try to think positively about what I’m good at and what is unique and original about me. You have to find something you are better than others at and you have to tell yourself that you are really good at it. You must be confident. I know, for instance, that I can’t play classical music as well as some of the prodigies and they might be 10 years old. I will never be as good as them, but I try to not think about those things. For example, I think that I’m really good at learning songs by ear and so it motivates me to keep posting on Youtube.”

Can you talk a bit about your Youtube channel?

“It is quite frustrating when I see videos with more views, but in my opinion, less good videos. We just need to forget about those things and remember what our passion is. I try to make videos that would do well during summer. For example, when a new song is released, it will generally get more views. However, I was not happy. I would rush stuff and I was doing for the views. I did get more views than usual, but the happiness wasn’t there.”

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