Mr. Diem and his collection.
VietNamNet Bridge – Many farmers in Bao Dap village of Nam Dinh have sold rice and even their land to buy musical instruments.
Entering the ancient village, a stranger would be very surprised to hear sweet melodies from violins, organs or clarinets.
Bao Dap has not only been famous for making star-shaped lanterns, but also as the village of music. The musicians are also farmers who work on their farms on normal days and play professional musical instruments during their holidays.
“Musician Diem”, the leader of Bao Dap’s clarinet team, plays all kinds of wind instruments. “The father of the Bao Dap church taught me to play clarinet when I was a boy. Music is now a spiritual cuisine,” Diem offered.
Farmer Diem has a collection of wind instruments and he can play all of them very skillfully even though he has never attended a formal music class. He also writes many pieces of music for ceremonies at the local church.
“I’ve just assumed the leadership of the village’s music troupe from Mr. Pho. He is very old now so he handed over the troupe to me,” Diem explained. Other senior members in Diem’s musical troupe are Phuong, Pho and Suy.
Diem also holds a free class in the evenings to teach wind instruments to people from 5 years old to even the very elderly.
His fame has spread to many provinces. People from Quang Tri and Quang Nam and even Lao Cai have come to Bao Dap to invite Diem to teach music to their children.
Selling land to buy a piano
A music class in Bao Dap Village.
In 2005, the first “music school” opened in Bao Dap village with 15 students. The number rose to 40 in 2008, Now the highest numbers of students come during their summer holiday.
The music school of Bao Dap village not only teaches playing wind instruments like clarinet, saxophone and trumpet, but also piano, violin, organ, 36-string zither and two-chord guitars.
Bao Dap villagers have a passion for music, so they are willing to sell rice and even land and houses to buy pianos for their children.
“Nearly ten years ago, my family sold part of our garden to buy a piano for my son. He is now a music teacher at the secondary school,” said Mrs. Hoan, a Bao Dap villager.
Up to 70 percent of the village’s men can play at least one kind of wind instrument. Around 40-60 people can play wind instruments like professionals and they are members of a wind instrument troupe led by Nguyen Tri Phuong. Around 25 of its members are aged 13-16.
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