Nguyen Thanh Tung has become known worldwide as a musical ambassador of Vietnam. To build up his fame, Tung had to strive very hard, experiencing a number of ups and downs to overcome being handicapped. His magic hands have skillfully handled the đàn bầu, the one-stringed xylophone, a typical Vietnamese musical instrument, to create wonderful sounds that have touched the hearts of millions of music fans at home and abroad. Stumbling road to materialise a dream Nguyen Thanh Tung, 28, was born with visible impairment due to his father, Nguyen Thanh Son, a war veteran who had been exposed to dioxin sprayed by the American GIs during the Vietnam war. Son's first daughter is even worse. She was born blind, dumb, paralysed and with brain deformation. Nguyen Thanh Tung seemed to be a bit luckier. To give his parents more time to take care of his poor sister, his grandfather took him home to nurse when he was only 8 months old. His in-born gift for music was revealed when Tung was 4 … [Read more...] about Blind child turned musical ambassador
When Kim Sinh was still a small child, a serious medical error resulted in loss of sight in both his eyes, but his impaired blindness did not diminish his intense passion for musical instruments, in particular the melodies of 'Cai Luong', of which he is today a recognized master in North Vietnam. Sinh narrates how his father soon gave up on his condition, how he took to drinking heavily and finally deserted the family. His mother in desperation then moved with Sinh to his grandmother's house that was by chance located opposite the Dong Ha Communal House in Hanoi. Sinh discovered at a very early age that he was endowed with an ear for music and tones, was nibble with his fingers and had an exceptional memory. The sound of trumpets that he heard daily in the mornings along with the lyrics and melodies of Cheo and Ly folk songs entrenched in his heart and mind and seeded in him the first desires of his future vocation. Tirelessly, young Sinh set out to pursue and explore music. … [Read more...] about Music is life’s passion for blind singer, musician Kim Sinh
VietNamNet Bridge - It is now a growing tendency for people to follow further studies to obtain master degrees and doctorates. However, the majority of them follow higher education just for job promotion, not for scientific research. Prof Nguyen Trong Giang, President of the Hanoi University of Technology, said the decision was made following a school's inspection over postgraduates and masters in 2010 and 2011. A lot of students have been found as not fulfilling the required works, thus badly affecting the training quality. … [Read more...] about Rushing to study to obtain a master degree, for what?
The widow of one of Vietnam's greatest composers, Van Cao, reminisces about their love and life together. The spirit of Van Cao, author of Vietnam's national anthem, seems to still linger in his old villa on Hanoi's Yet Kieu Street. Outside, the antediluvian district megaphone remains in its original position, attached to the electrical post that overlooks Cao's window. It is said that the composer often played his piano next to the window, and whenever the megaphone started blaring, would smile gently and close the window. Thirteen years have passed since his death. But in the villa lives a woman who can remember vividly one of the country's most important modern composers. Now 79, Van Cao's wife, Thuy Bang, lives a quiet life. Last year she refused all media interviews saying her vision was getting worse. For most people, the story of how she met the composer of the national anthem remains unknown. Bang was the second daughter of the owners of Rang Dong Publishing … [Read more...] about Life with a master
Teacher Nguyen Van Thanh travels 100km each day to bring the joy of music to blind children at a school in HCM City. Van Dat attends a class and learns from the master. For decades, interesting melodies have resounded from small groups of children in an unassuming classroom on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street in HCM City's District 10. Nothing unusual about that, you might say. But the children at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School are not attending a typical public school. Since 1926, when the school was opened by the French, the school has accepted blind or nearly-blind students for free. It remains the only one of its kind in the city. On a recent afternoon, I visited teacher Nguyen Van Thanh and five of his students, who were in the middle of a guitar and singing lesson. Struck blind in 1973 at the age of three following a serious illness, Thanh says he has lost count of how many students he has taught over the last 10 years. It was time to review the class, and Thanh slowly grabbed a shabby … [Read more...] about Blind school teaches kids through song