Since discovering PCM at ArtNight and enrolling in her first music history class in 2014, Marina Hsieh has taken 58 classes, studies piano with Dr. Vatché Mankerian, and has attended countless events. Chances are, if you’ve taken a music history class or attended a PCM faculty concert, Marina was there.
Growing up in Taiwan, Marina was surrounded by music and culture. Her school provided opportunities to learn and perform music. She listened to her siblings practice piano, flute, and guitar at home, and she began studying piano and flute in 7th grade. Her entire family sang together and listened to classical music LPs that her brother would bring home during college breaks.
When Marina came to the US, she studied music education and music therapy in undergrad and grad school. And although she pursued a career in accounting, Marina eventually managed the administrative office for KHS America, a musical instrument manufacturer established by her father.
Throughout her career, Marina made time to attend concerts and cultural events, even when working twelve hour days six days a week. But, despite having a deep-rooted appreciation and passion for music, she only heard the single-line melody of the pieces she liked.
“After that first ArtNight and learning about PCM’s classes, I wanted to take classes for the sake of enjoyment through learning and to deepen my appreciation for what I was hearing, without the pressure of exams or reports.”
Now, after taking five years of piano lessons, music theory, and history classes on Beethoven Sonatas, Opera, Music in Film, the Birth of Rock and Roll, and more, the genres and styles of the repertoire Marina enjoys have expanded in scope and she’s learned to, “hear inside the music. I can recognize not only the melody, but also the harmonic lines. I understand compositional forms and appreciate the background and significance of what I’m listening to.”
Like many adult students at PCM, Marina’s experience is enhanced by learning alongside like-minded music lovers and developing new friendships. Additionally, Marina has introduced her friends to PCM – as students and audience members – and supports the school with an annual donation that helps enrich the campus experience.
As a nonprofit community music school, PCM relies on support like Marina’s – as well as support from other students, families, and audiences – to attract exceptional faculty, maintain our campus, and present engaging performances by faculty and guest artists. We are incredibly grateful for this support, which contributes greatly to establishing a vibrant and thriving musical community at PCM.
For more information about current classes for adults, visit our Adult Studies page or contact the PCM office at 626-683-3355. You can join Marina in supporting PCM by making an online donation.