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Growing from an apprentice to the owner of an instrument mall, the man from Xinjiang realizes many music dreams

Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Liu Mengmeng, correspondent Ma Lanhua) news: The New Aiqin Musical Instrument Mall, located on the Third Ring Road of Beijing, has more than 30 pianos, pipa, guzheng, flute and other Chinese traditional musical instruments neatly arranged in a room of nearly 300 square meters. Before eight o’clock on March 7th, Erkinjan Abdurehman, owner of the musical instrument mall, came to the store to adjust the tonality of instruments and other needed equipment in preparation for recording teaching videos of piano and pipa for the cause of public good by teachers from the Central Conservatory of Music.

Over the past ten years, he has been recording instrument instruction videos and posting them online for people to view and learn for free. “I’ve got a lot from music, so I hope to pay back by fulfilling music dreams for more people.” said Erkinjan.

Photo of Erkinjan Abdurehman. (Photo by Erkinjan Abdurehman)

In the early 1980s, Erkinjan, born in a musical family in Shawan City, northwest China’s Xinjiang, had an indissoluble bond with music since childhood. In order to pursue his music dream, in 1998, Erkinjan left his hometown and came to Beijing to study piano tuning. He was so diligent and talented that he soon became a piano tuner.

“When I was an apprentice in Beijing, many people helped me, such as Wang Weidong and Ma Guilin from the National Symphony Orchestra. I learned so many from them about music and the truth of life.” Erkinjan said that he set up his own tuning service studio in 2005 and expanded it into the musical instrument mall years later. With professional, honest and quality service, several large recording studios and piano shops in Beijing have formed long-term cooperation with him.

Erkinjan learned by chance once that the China Care Foundation helps realize music dreams for orphans and disabled children. He then spent 8000 yuan buying a piano for these children. Later, Erkinjan received a card made by the children with colorful pictures and simple words, showing their sincerest gratitude and respect for him. “Although it has been more than ten years, I have kept this card. Every time I see it, I feel warm, and it makes me do more for the cause of public good,” said Erkinjan.

In order to help more people with their music dreams, Erkinjan has been recording instrument teaching videos since 2009. “When I was a child, I lived in a border town and had little access to quality music-learning resources, so I took many detours in learning instruments. In Beijing, there are two major musical institutions, the Central Conservatory of Music and the China Conservatory of Music. I thought why not invite the teachers to make videos of teaching instruments and post them on the Internet for music lovers all over the country to watch and learn without any charges?” said Erkinjan.

Erkinjan Abdurehman at work. (Photo by Erkinjan Abdurehman)

So far, in all the videos he made, you can also learn other traditional folk instruments such as guzheng, pipa, liuqin, ruan, rawap and morin khuur. “More and more people tend to love traditional folk instruments in China, and I hope to make these instruments flourish through my own efforts.” said Erkinjan. Today, 2,500 episodes of Erkinjan's online free lessons on musical instruments have been filmed and published. The videos have gained millions of fans on various online platforms and have been played over 100 million times. During this period, he also donated eight guzhengs and one piano to rural children in Yopurga County, Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang and Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, China's Yunnan Province.

“Xinjiang, my hometown, is located in the core area of the ancient Silk Road, where folk music is diverse and rich. So we specially organized the teachers to make a series of theme courses based on the folk songs at home and abroad along the Silk Road. The videos include not only music with Xinjiang characteristics but also well-known classical and world-famous songs. I hope more people have access to our videos so that the happy and beautiful melodies can be spread all over the world.” said Erkinjan.

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