Father empowers disabled daughter with music

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A girl with an intellectual disability from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province has learned to play more than 300 songs with Erhu and flute and has won many prizes thanks to her father.

Chen Yun was diagnosed with congenital intellectual disability at three. Her mother left the family when the girl was four due to expensive treatment costs, leaving her in her father's care.

In 2014, doctors suggested to stop treatment and instead teach the girl basic life skills, painting or to play instruments.

Chen was accidentally attracted by the voice of the flute at an afterschool class as a grade one student. Her father was later surprised to learn his daughter could play a few notes under the guidance of a teacher.

"I saw a ray of hope so that I signed her up for a flute class," said Chen's father. However, Chen learned very slowly, and teachers were reluctant to help her. When she was transferred to a school for special kids her father decided to teach her the flute himself.

Chen's father first taught himself music theory, then his daughter to play her first ever song.

With the theoretical foundation, Chen grew fast. She also learnt to play the Erhu (a Chinese musical instrument)taught by her father. She has since participated in many music competitions and even won prizes.

"I want to play the Erhu in beautiful clothes on the street. People like my instrumental performance and I want to be part of the street scene," said the girl.

In 2017, the father retired ahead of schedule. Since then, he has devoted himself to taking care of his daughter and teaching her to play the Erhu. He even took his daughter to play as a busker at Changsha and Qingdao scenic spots.

"I can live on my pension when I am old, but I hope she can earn her own living," he said. 

As for future plans, Chen's father hopes she could apply for a professional certificate for buskers in cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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