Evening Edition: The Incomplete Biography of Sammie Cho.


I’m born in to this world to grow up in a not-so-musical family. Like everybody else, I went to school, I played, I read books, I cried. I was an ordinary kid. There was something about me though; I was a person who was musically illiterate for so long. Just because you played piano, it doesn’t mean you aren’t music illiterate.
Before the age of 12, my Primary school taught basic music theory, which I hated. We learnt note names and the basic structure of musical notation. At the age of 9, my mom would teach me piano everyday with a broken keyboard whose speakers only lasted about half an hour. My mother used to be educated in piano, but she has stopped for a very long time.
She made me play the keyboard everyday and I found no joy in a broken toy. It was absolutely boring and I thought I never wanted to touch it again. But either ways, because of that, I still knew what the piano keyboard was like. And so my mother stopped having me to practice what I didn’t enjoy and I stopped for about two years, occasionally playing it for the sake of ridiculing the poor condition of the keyboard.
When I was induced in to secondary school, it was the turning point of my life. The nerdy, introverted, shy and quiet, musically oblivious and very not cool Sam was about to change in the following years. I haven’t played piano for two years already.
It was my first few sets of friends, my classmates that introduced music to me. Here’s the story.
One night, I was listening to the local station and the song ‘Apologize’ by One Republic was being played. I loved the song for the piano and I asked my mother what the title was. Being equally musically oblivious, my mother said ‘Justin Timberlake’. It quickly became my favorite song. When my new friends, Kelvin and Yousof, told me that it wasn’t by Justin Timberlake, but by One Republic. I couldn’t believe it! That day, I quickly went home and searched it up. Along with the proper title, I found the sheet music to the song and a few piano covers on the Internet.
I dished out the ridiculous keyboard and tried it out. Everyday I kept trying to relearn what I’ve known and kept trying to play it. A few weeks later, I got it! Seeing this, my parents decided to buy a better keyboard. It still had no brand but was acceptable. From that day, I searched for famous pop songs and looked for the sheet music to learn. I’ve probably learned a lot already. I told my parents I wanted to learn piano and they decided on it.
Before buying me a real piano, they bought me an electric piano. A yamaha Clavinova as it was called. With new equipment, I improved a lot and my parents, seemingly musically unable to tutor me, sent for what was to be called an Audition in Expression music school.
So the day came for the audition and I was in the office of a woman by the name of Lily Chiam. Her daughter, sitting near the piano mumbling a lot of things I could not have understood yet. I was only 12. I played for her my favorite song, Apologize. She told me I had the potential and she had put me in Grade 4. She corrected every single thing I’ve learnt by myself and with that, I began to play better, and better, and better with each passing day.
That was officially the day; I started playing the Piano and not the keyboard.
I found love in music and playing the piano and all I wanted to do was play the piano. But of course, being the kid I am, I sometimes am admittedly too lazy to practice.
At the age of 14, I completed grade 8 piano exams with Trinity Guildhall with a distinction. It was a record, two years of piano studies to achieve a piano grade 8.
My story is not complete; this was only my baby step to playing the piano. What is to come is far bigger and my journey has yet to start. I know the risks of a musical career and I know how difficult it is. I’m already ready to face the risks mentally.
This is how I’ve come to play the piano.

Reply to this post

Post a Comment