Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up - If there is one thing that connects the world, it is music. It extends beyond our imagination and has the ability to make us feel out of this world. According to Sarah Leong, it also transcends all boundaries.
Sarah is a 28-year-old violinist taking the world by storm. She also happens to be Deaf. “I am not a Deaf violinist. I am a violinist who just happens to be Deaf. I can do everything any other violinist can, aside from hear,” she explains.
Inspired by Evelyn Glennie, a musician who is Deaf, Sarah believes that music is a universal language that breaks barriers. Not only is Sarah a piano teacher in a music school, she is also currently pursuing her ARSM in Violin under the mentorship of prominent violinists Masako Suzuki White and Professor Alexander Souptel. As part of a musician’s journey, Sarah’s day includes violin practice for 4 to 5 hours, with additional hours when she has recitals or competitions.
One of her musical milestones began three years ago when she was awestruck by the majesty of a young violinist who performed Monti’s Czardas and was taken aback by the splendour of it. It was at that moment she made a promise to learn how to play it.
Sarah’s dedication and perseverance paid off when she got the opportunity to perform at one of her teacher’s recitals. She described the experience as the “best moment ever”. She is now able to play violin at an intermediate level. This is no easy feat due to the challenging nature of the instrument and its dependence on aural feedback.
Participating in The Purple Parade this year for the first time, Sarah says it’s imperative to celebrate Deaf violinists as they are incredibly rare. She hopes she can see more Deaf string musicians in future.
Her determination and dedication to succeed is evident as she leaves us with this quote, “You can’t until you can. Seven times down, eight times up. If your spirit is strong, you can achieve anything.”
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