Wed, Dec 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Disabled S Korean musicians perform with blind singers

Staff Writer, with CNA

Young musicians with disabilities from South Korea performed with blind singers from Taiwan in a concert yesterday to celebrate the performing arts achievements of disabled people.

The “Love at First Sight” concert featured 18 musicians from South Korea’s Beautiful Mind Music Academy and blind singers from Taiwan’s Eden Social Welfare Foundation, which co-organized the concert.

This was the first overseas performance for the academy, established in 2008 to help children and young people with disabilities develop their musical potential and improve their social skills through music.

Kim Tae-uck, an 11-year-old visually impaired musician from the academy, said he decided to learn the gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, after being attracted to its sound two years ago.

“I like the traditional sound it makes,” Kim, who is the son of a violinist, said at a gathering at the foundation on Monday, where he played the instrument. “I hope to travel to many countries to play the gayageum.”

Kim Myung-sook, the mother of guitarist Hur Ji-yeon, said she was proud of the achievements of her daughter, who has a visual impairment and pervasive developmental disorder.

communicating with people, she has displayed an extraordinary talent for music, her mother said. The 22-year-old Hur has studied classical guitar at the academy for three years.

Also impressing the audience on Monday was 17-year-old pianist Bae Sung-yeun, who is autistic and also has pervasive developmental disorder.

Bae’s mother, Kang Sun-ok, said she decided to let her usually quiet son learn the piano after realizing that he hummed to music.

The academy, which provides one-on-one musical education, was established by the Beautiful Mind Charity, an organization that strives to promote South Korean culture and awareness for disadvantaged groups.

There are currently 28 students and 21 teachers at the academy.

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