Zhang plays Carnegie Hall

Student achiever

October 09, 2002

The student: Victoria Zhang, 10

School: Ellicott Mills Middle

Special achievement: During the summer, Victoria played piano at Carnegie Hall in a student recital. The audition process involved sending a tape to the Music Teachers Association International headquarters. Schoolchildren are also evaluated based on any music prizes and contests they have won. At the recital, Victoria played Chopin's Impromptu No. 1 in A-flat major. She began playing the instrument at age 6. She also plays clarinet.

What was playing at Carnegie Hall like? "It was very exciting. We played at the recital hall ... where [Vladimir] Horowitz played a Mozart piece on the same piano." The audience was made up of families and friends, tourists and "walk-ins."

Why did you choose piano? "It's challenging, and it teaches you a lot of things about rhythm and discipline."

How music helps her with school: She likens practicing music - a half-hour to two hours a day - to doing homework. "If you play piano and you do homework, it's easier to time yourself because you have to get everything done." Victoria said that reading music helps her skills in reading and math.

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