:: trivia retrieved ::

A True Musician

On one occasion at a gathering I was playing “Beautiful Dreamer” on my simple pocket-harmonica. I remember Mr Chia Wai Hon saying, “That’s good. I didn’t know you were a musician”. I told him I could only play the harmonica by ear and therefore I was not a true musician.

So, what is a ‘true musician’?

Here it is: A true musician is one who, when he hears a lady singing in the bathroom, creeps quietly up to the door, feels for the keyhole and then puts his EAR to the keyhole.

Got that? Put the ear, not eye,to the keyhole.

I wonder how many of our Music Department colleagues can pass this test? I don’t think I can, even though I play the harmonica by ear.

Talking about bathroom singers reminds me of another story about another lady singing in the bathroom. Oops! I better stop here; I can sense the disapproving looks of my hard-working colleagues**.

Anyway, if you are not so puritanical and still want to hear the story about this other lady who sings in the bathroom, treating me to a cup of coffee will loosen my tongue.

** About hard-working colleagues, once one such person wanted to be kind to me and introduced me to NIE visitors as, “This is my hardly-working colleague, Dr Tan Wee Kiat…”. Well, as the saying goes, “With friends like you I can’t afford any enemies”.

God bless you and may you keep singing in the bathroom!

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2001
Tan Wee Kiat


Written by Ivan Chew

28 October, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Year 2001

3 Responses

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  1. […] lady-singing-in-the-bathroom story Posted 28 November, 2007 A couple of Retrievia issues back, I mentioned a way of testing whether a person was a true […]

  2. A true musician has many qualities. He is someone who actually loves music with all his soul. He can’t go a very long period of time without listening or playing music. He doesn’t tire of music easily and can play for hours at a time. He gets randomly inspired to play or write. You will often see him in his car drumming on his steering wheel or singing passionately uncaring if someone sees him. A musician can play well not only by himself but also with others. His best friends love music as much as he does. If he were to have the perfect lover in his life they would love music, love listening to him, and never tire of his music. Most often a musician will take every opportunity to learn new instruments or new pieces of music. He takes what ever instrument, no matter how well he plays it, and make what he knows sound good. He loves to perform. His heart is on stage. He will experience “musical highs” which surpass a high from alcohol or any drug. He uses music to calm him, motivate him, excite him, encourage him, and cheer him up. His most dear memories have to do with music and he will never stop playing it. These are only some of the qualities of a true musician.

    Sam Foster

    16 December, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  3. Thanks, Mr Sam Foster, for sharing your thoughts
    about what a “true musician” is.
    Incidentally, what do you say to children who say
    they are not “musicians” and can’t play any musical
    instrument? My response is:
    If you can sing a song, you are a musician. The voice
    is your musical instrument.
    If you can whistle a tune, you are a musician twice
    Btw, your name reminds me of the famous song-writer
    by the name of Stephen Foster (Swanee River, etc).
    I had the privilege, many years ago, to visit the Stephen Foster Memorial Building in the University
    of Pittsburgh campus.

    tan wee kiat

    17 December, 2009 at 2:57 pm

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