Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Blind musicians build life with music

‘A PAIR OF WINGS’:When Wu Po-yi discovered the saxophone, it gave him a needed direction in life. He now communicates that passion through music and teaching

By Lin Chiao-lien and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

“So if I did not try and did not take that first step, I would not have received so much in return,” he said.

This encouraged Wu to become more proactive and more willing to try new things, and that is when he started up the Life Jazz Band.

He also became involved in motivational speaking at various schools and companies. Encouraging students with his own life story and experiences, Wu told students to have courage, to pursue their dreams and to find their own values in life.

Wu often brought his band to play, so the students could see for themselves how the visually impaired musicians have such passion for music and enthusiasm for life.

“Many people can see that we are blind, but we can still live exciting, happy lives. This gives them encouragement,” he said.

After attending one of Wu’s “life education” classes, a high-school official kept asking Wu to teach the school’s music club students. Wu refused the invitation, citing his eye problems.

After the official promised to hire an assistant to help him teach the club, Wu told him the real reason for refusing: “I only have limited time. I want to use that time for those who really need my help.”

By those who needed his help, Wu meant the students at his alma mater, the Taipei School for the Visually Impaired.

He is now teaching music there, despite it offering much lower pay and requiring more time and effort than the other school. Some of the school’s students have emotional problems, while others have multiple physical disabilities, but he does not complain and is persistent in his teaching efforts.

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