Nishang Jiang recalls being forced to sit at the piano and practice for hours as a young child in China, and not enjoying it. One time, she threw her sheet music on the floor out of frustration and sat there upset for a long time.
However, Nishang’s musical world was rocked when she moved to Jersey City, NJ just three months ago and enrolled in a Music Will class.
“Music [became] more expressive and less rigid,” she said. “In America, everyone plays music because they like to and are interested, not just for a class goal.”
Though she could read sheet music and perform on the piano, she never learned how to improvise or compose; never had the opportunity to choose her instrument or the songs she learned; never saw music as being relevant or fun.
“One day, my teacher asked me if I ever thought about writing my own song, but I didn’t know how to start.” He empowered her by instructing her to write her story and use the guitar chords she had learned in the past three months.
I Know You’re With Me is Nishang’s first original composition, and according to her teacher Mr. Flora, it helped “transform her perception of music as well.”
Music Will teaches kids in a way that makes music fun, engaging and empowering, rather than a chore. Children can become originators, rather than imitators.
“I have different appreciation for music now,” says Nishang, whose story is not unlike those of the 200,000+ children that Music Will has served.
“I think a lot of students who learn music, learn it just to finish the task,” she says. “Maybe they don’t know what is the real meaning of music.”