An exclusive interview with Tenzin Wangmo Dorji, 10 year-old who is in pursuit of becoming a great pianist. Tenzin is studying at Little Dragon Primary School, Thimphu. It’s been hardly a year and Tenzin has good head start with classical pieces from famous composers like Mozart, Bizet and Beethoven despite her stroud little fingers which she will overcome as she grows.
Tenzin Wangmo Dorji also performed on the occasion of 115th National Day at the national stadium in presence of His Majesty the Kings which was covered live by the national television. Further, she has performed as a vocalist in Chik Thuen event and also, she has interviewed and performed on radio stations.
Nevertheless, she also performed in blessing of Bhutan concert organized by Stanford University collaboration with Bird Music College.
Q. When did you start learning piano and who is your teacher?
A. I started learning piano 11 months ago. I started learning basics from uncle Tshering Norbu, he helped me learn piano. I am very fortunate to have many teachers, who have been guiding me constantly with piano like Ugyen Panday and Ranada, Samten. I have teacher even from Korea, Sunmipai who has been helping me with piano lessons. They are all my mentors and I have profound respect and appreciation for supporting, guiding and teaching me through their relentless efforts and love.
Q. Describe the feeling when you first learned piano?
A. My first experience with piano can be described no lesser than love at first sight. When I played the piano for the first time, I was excited and I loved playing it so much. It is my favorite instrument now.
Q. You are young in fact, very young and you need to study too, how do you balance your study and your passion?
A. It is interesting and challenging as well to balance studies and passion with time. It ultimately comes down to commitments and sacrifices. When I reach home from school without wasting time, I make sure I revise what I learned in school, do my homework and then, I practice piano for 4-6 hours which I feel enriching and relaxing as well. It is fun though.
Q. How did you feel when you were invited to perform in the 115th National Day?
A. I was really excited and felt honored to be performing in presence of His Majesty the Kings, queen, queen-mothers, prince, princes and other dignitaries and public. And I was proud of myself since I got to perform on a very important day-our 115th national day.
Q. When was your best performance you have ever given?
A. By all means, I would say yes, it was on our 115th national day because I got to play in front of our Kings, Queens, and the entire nation. Indeed, it was a Big day of my life.
Q. Do you have any other interests or hobbies besides piano?
A. I have interest in many other things besides piano. Whenever I am free I try to take up these interests. I am in traditional songs and I just love it. I love to sing and dance. I sing traditional songs like Tshering Changmo and Songya Songya.
Q. Do you have your favorite or least favorite part about being a pianist?
A. Actually, everything about piano is my favorite. However, favorite part about being a pianist is playing classical songs from composers like Mozart, Bizet and Beethoven and all. And least favorite part of being pianist is sadly, I hate my fingers because I can’t get octave and sometimes I get irritated with it.
Q. Do you follow a process or a ritual before performing to get rid of performance anxiety?A. Yes, I do but not really to calm or get rid of performance anxiety but for guidance and blessings. I offer a prayer to Lhamo Yangchenma, goddess of music before I play my piano.
Q. Do you see yourself as a pianist in future?
A. Yes, I see myself to be a great pianist in the future. I am confident that my hard work, commitment and sacrifices will not be in vain besides I am passionately into it. I want to make my family proud. I will never give up until I become a great musician.