Music serves as the bridge to grad school

Courtesy of Weili Kang

Twenty-three year old Weili Kang is no stranger to music.

She started playing her first instrument, the piano, at 5-years- old, later picking up the piccolo and the flute, and then later learning the recorder.

“I love the piano because they have interesting accompanies on the left hand,” Kang said.  “The reason I like flute is because flute is a melodic instrument.  You can’t do the accompanying part, but you can do the vibrato and the flute can do crescendo also, increasing the volume by pressing a note and gradually make it louder.”

“I like the piccolo because it is normally a solo instrument in the orchestra or band. You can really play a lot of fun music. I really like the recorder because it sounds folk for me.  Because the recorder is made by wood, it sounds like a natural feeling,” Kang added.

Music is a bridge that connects performance and audience.  Music is something that can influence people’s emotions and even their behavior sometimes, so music is very important, Kang said.

Kang’s decision to major in music wasn’t until high school, but her El Camino Community College flute teacher inspired her to really pursue it.

“Patricia Maki really influenced me to get into the music and told me that I have to study with David Shostac,” Kang said.

Shostac, a CSUN professor, is a principal flutist and a frequent soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

“I’ve known David Shostac since I was in school in Taiwan, so I’ve always wanted to study with him,” Kang said.  “My flute teacher in Taiwan was a student of David Shostac.  Finally I came to the U.S. and I have him as a flute teacher.  He’s the person who has influenced me a lot.”

Kang spends about five hours a day practicing and perfecting her pieces for her performances.

“I can imagine all kinds of illusions when I practice,” Kang said.  “On the stage you can’t really just think about that.  I have to think about the notes.”

Kang compared being a performer to being a doctor.

“It’s very difficult to be a good performer, the same as being a good doctor,” she said.  “You need to teach them lots of years to have a great doctor working in the hospital.  For musicians, it’s the same thing.  When we train seriously, like a doctor, we need many years to be a great musician.  So we should treasure every good musician.”

Playing in a professional orchestra, becoming a professor at a university or community college, starting a music group with a cello and violin accompanying her, and forming a recorder and flute ensemble, are a few of the hopes Kang sees for herself in the future.

“I want to not just play the classical music.  I try to play all kinds of music.  I really want to try to get into a little jazz music, the pretty jazz music.”

Kang graduated from the music program in Spring ‘10. She is currently a graduate student at CSUN studying music performance, specifically the flute.

“It’s very competitive in the music world, but I think it’s very important for all the musicians to show support for each other, so we can do something for the music,” Kang said.  “If we support each other, then there are a lot of big things we can do by not treating each other as the competition.”