The story appears on

Page A4

June 14, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » In-depth

Cerebral palsy can't stoptalented accordionist

BORN with cerebral palsy, 16-year-old Huang Baiqin has confounded all expectations by becoming the youngest member of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

Studying in a special school in the city's Yangpu District, Huang started to learn the accordion from a mentor of the SPO at the age of eight.

In the past six years, he has won five prizes in national accordion competitions.

"He learned accordion as a hobby and skill," said Cao Zhenfeng, Huang's grandma who raised the boy. "I never thought he could carry on with it thus far."

Huang's relationship with the accordion started at age eight by coincidence.

One day while watching television with his grandmother, Huang started to hum along with the music.

"Out of my expectations, he sang quite well," recalled Cao, who decided to send Huang to learn a musical instrument.

No arts schools would be willing to take a disabled child like Huang, but Cao happened to run into Li Yifa, an accordion mentor with the SPO, during morning exercises.

"I just asked him to teach my grandson accordion but didn't tell him about his disease," said Cao with a smile.

When Li saw the little boy he couldn't imagine teaching him to play the accordion, but Cao persuaded him.

"My boy likes music a lot and I just hoped he could learn a skill with which he could feed himself in the future," Cao said. "Besides, playing musical instruments can train the brain and may help with his physical rehabilitation."

To overcome his difficulties, Huang practiced five to six hours every day. At the beginning, it took him two to three days to learn to play one section with only a few notes.

He couldn't keep up with the teacher in class, so Cao took lessons with him and helped him herself after class.

He couldn't bend his fingers, so he almost had to slap the instrument to press the keys and buttons.

Now he has passed the eighth grade for amateur performers, only two levels away from the top level. He won his first national prize in 2005 against able-bodied peers.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend