Invited to China to a Music Cities Convention-I was expecting to learn from some of the worlds best leaders in their craft. Never did I think I’d be ask to speak...as an expert in my field. I don’t think of myself an expert ay anything. Music is a journey, a language, a way to creatively emote, to strengthen health, and cultivate peace and harmony.
Too often we, as creatives, get wrapped up in how to write the next number one hit on the radio or how to make our video go viral. In China, there were speeches on the importance of music in schools, cities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and so much more. There have been scientific studies on the the benefits of music. Why isn’t music being utilized? That’s a blog for another day...
Besides being in a glorious country that’s full of beautiful people and food—the connections being made from across the world make the long flights worth while. The lovely people of China, Italy, Britain, Brazil, Korea, America, Singapore, Jamaica, Taiwan, France, etc...I am honored to have met them and I am a better person for having the opportunity to get to know them. Only seeds were planted in our short time in China, but soon, I know a great forest will grow.
Speaking on a panel of music education experts was a true honor. They are fantastic human beings that are inspirational and should be awarded for their genius abilities—they are the quiet hero’s that seem to go unnoticed. I didn’t believe I had anything to offer or bring to the table. It was amazing how everyone lifted each other up. We all do the same thing in a different way—which is fascinating and brilliant. I found telling my story of teaching and creating access to music education to all children was quite emotional. I never believed that it was about me or that I had done anything special—it’s about my students. I certainly didn’t think when I began my teaching journey at 16, it would lead to all this. It’s quite overwhelming.
China...what can I say? So much. The food is impeccable and the chefs work hard to keep your digestion in check. They use specific herbs to keep you healthy within each meal. I don’t think I could choose which meal was my favorite. However, the company of all these beautiful new friends helped create an awesome atmosphere. I don’t think I can ever eat American Chinese food again! Sure, some of the more authentic food I didn’t try—being a vegetarian, it was a bit difficult. However, I rarely get to experience true Chinese culture-I didn’t mind changing my diet a bit. A meal in China is family oriented and beautiful. The hotpot was incredible. I kept being told how dangerously hot it was going to be...it was perfect! Of course, I’m used to traditional Mexican food. I like everything spicy. You’ll first think that you won’t be getting enough nutrition when you sit down at the table. As the night goes on, more and more food is being added to you table. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!!
Everyone is fashion forward. In clothes, technology, city plans, etc. they create 5-20 year plans and stick with them. The daily schedule might change but that’s part of the fun. Seeing growth in a booming city in Chengdu that is already huge—fantastic.
They treat you like royalty. From riding in style in Bentley’s to fine wines; hotels typing personal notes to you and bowls fruit and roses. The sweet volunteers that had the desire to make our stay in China the best—I can’t say enough about my new friends. (Personal note: You are all Princesses!! ❤️ I’ve never been treated with such high respect and kindness. From the bottom of my heart; thank you for being so wonderful. I can’t wait to visit and see you all again!) *Martin, you ROCK!*
The people. Wow! We all could learn so much from the people of China. Not only are they kind; they are open and allow their emotions to flow freely. If they want to say something to you, they will. Nothing was fake. No masks. No facades. They are incredibly talented and gifted. They work hard and are eager to please. Their heart is in the right place, all the time. I understand that there are unkind people everywhere...but imagine a world where people were open with their feelings to each other in a kind and humble way? How would that cut down on negativity towards one another? The masks we wear are often placed there because of insecurity and the lack of ability to emote and empathize. I hope we can start shedding those facades; globally.
The connections created are beyond anything I ever dreamed. It’s as if we built our own tribe of creators within the a few days. None of us knew each other unless we came over together. Suddenly friendships and business deals were being formed. Like-minded people getting together is always amazing but this was different. There wasn’t one “better than thou” attitude in the whole group. We were all there to change the world through music. I said it earlier in the blog; we built each other up. That’s how we become stronger humans. I’m incredibly blessed to have met everyone. However, I’m especially grateful to have had such wonderful conversations with specific people.
I’m thankful to those who made it possible for me to make the journey to China—It is an honor to know Dr Charles Li of Chengdu and Nashville, TN. He is a real catalyst in making things happen.
If I had one wish, I would wish that everyone had the opportunity to visit China—specifically Chengdu and areas around it. Your mind would be blown and your heart would grow.
Till next time... Fiddle on and visit China! Lacie