Graduate Spotlight: Brendan Bui's Story

Brendan is a third year medical student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Brendan participated in the Tacy Foundation from 2007-2010, until he graduated from high school.

What motivated you to study music and to share music with others?

Since I was little, I have loved listening to movie and video game soundtracks. One day I asked myself, "what if I could learn how to play those themes on the piano?" After playing piano for a few years, I then thought to myself, "'what if I could play those themes WITHOUT HAVING TO PRACTICE FIRST". Funnily enough, this was what motivated me to keep going. My new challenge to myself was bringing my skill up to a level where I could sit down and sight-read whatever soundtrack sheet music I had in front of me. That... or a new Chopin piece.
My main motivation for sharing music with others began with Mrs. Holliday. She was the first teacher that made music about sharing it with others. My teachers before her focused on competition and perfection. Mrs. Holliday cared about the message we were conveying to our audience, the introspection and connection that music provides. This idea inspired me to continue performing at Asbury monthly -- the idea that music was meant to be shared, not critiqued.

My favorite memory of working with the Tacy Foundation was discovering where a particular batch of CDs had gone to. It always amazed me how many lives the Tacy Foundation was able to touch each year, both nationally and internationally. 

What was it like to participate in the Tacy Foundation?
It was always fun, and in the end, very rewarding! The community of students and parents involved in the Foundation were all dedicated, compassionate, and excited.

Do you think sharing music made an impact on others?
Definitely. I know that sharing music in the form of monthly performances at Asbury definitely impacted me (and hopefully them as well!). I think the most remarkable thing about sharing music though is your potential for inspiring others to express their own music. The piano mentor program showed me that firsthand. As my students progressed in their studies, they were finally able to play those songs they heard on the radio or that theme they heard from their favorite show. Seeing the joy in their faces when it finally came together made all of the weeks of hard work, perseverance, and preparation worth it.
How do you think your experience has made a difference in your life?
Playing the piano helped me to unwind after a long day at school. It also gave me a way to connect with others across cultural backgrounds and language barriers. No matter how different your lives may be, music can always be a common ground.  

I am in my third year of medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Med school has definitely put a time crunch on things and, unfortunately, I don't get to play the piano nearly as much as I used to. Luckily, I just got my first digital piano recently and  look forward to working out those rusty fingers again soon!
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