Music knows no language barrier, and it transcends different cultures as it speaks to the listener in a personal and moving way. The sound of music can touch any heart no matter where home is.
In Liberty Christian’s Lower School, music students were recently blessed by the visit of a very gifted musician. Tong Lu came to America for the first time from his home in Beijing, China, to visit the Avery Smith family of Liberty. The Smith family’s adoption of their three girls from China brought Lu’s family together with the Smith family.
Tong Lu, or his American name, Tom Lu, was a special guest to all the Lower School music classes, as he plays a very rare and beautiful instrument called the ruan. The ruan is a Chinese instrument that dates back to 140-87 B.C. This instrument is made of wood and has a moon-shaped body and a neck with frets similar to a guitar.
The ruan has four strings and produces a beautiful, warm sound. Lu spoke to students from kindergarten to fourth grade, and taught students using a presentation he created containing pictures of his school, his city, and his home. Lu also demonstrated solving a Rubik’s cube in one minute’s time. The children also heard his amazing talent in playing the ruan.
“The students’ faces lit up as he played, and many students asked him questions about his musicianship and his home in Beijing,” said Christy Besett, Lower School fine arts teacher.
Lu explained the discipline in practice and hard work that he and his classmates devote to their 10-hour school days. Lu practices his instrument for one hour each day, and his music teacher practices for two hours each day.
The school where Lu attends is called the Beijing No. 2 Middle School. He said the school is a pristine building full of technology, fine arts, dance, athletics, a marching band, and a library with many computers available to the students. In addition to Besett, Liberty music teachers Shara Collins, John Racina, and all of the music students enjoyed this special day with Lu.
“We will never forget the beautiful sound of the ruan, and Tom’s unique talent and knowledge,” Besett said. “Music truly is an international language.”