During coronavirus outbreak, Chengdu teenager, stuck inside, goes to virtual violin boot camp

Posted on: February 18, 2020

Above: Fourteen-year-old violinist Kevin Tang of Chengdu, China, during a recent Skype lesson with his American violin teacher, Anthea Kreston. He has been practicing four hours a day while remaining indoors during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

“When Anthea Kreston, an American violinist from Corvallis, Oregon, found out that her student Kevin Tang was stuck at home because of the coronavirus, she decided to use music to improve his mood,” writes Alex Marshall in Friday’s (2/14) New York Times. Tang regularly receives Skype lessons from Kreston at his home in Chengdu, in southwest China. At a recent lesson, “Kevin seemed lethargic…. It did not take long for Ms. Kreston to realize Kevin’s life had been affected by the coronavirus…. Chengdu is one of dozens of Chinese cities that are effectively on lockdown…. Kevin’s family remains healthy, but Kevin has mostly been stuck inside…. She messaged Kevin and his family and asked if they would like to temporarily step up Kevin’s lessons at no extra cost … a kind of violinist’s boot camp…. The family agreed. Kevin’s challenge would be to learn a new concerto—Lalo’s ‘Symphonie Espagnole’—in a few weeks, something she said would normally take 100 days…. Kevin now practices four hours every day, and he said his technique has improved and his sound has become more beautiful…. ‘The virus is terrible,’ Kevin said, ‘but music gives us the confidence to overcome.’ ”

Above: Fourteen-year-old violinist Kevin Tang of Chengdu, China, during a recent Skype lesson with his American violin teacher, Anthea Kreston. He has been practicing four hours a day while remaining indoors during the coronavirus outbreak.