UNI TED CONSERVATORY N E W S A N D NO T E S
LESSONS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME
About Perseverance, Hope, and Opportunity
March is Women’s History Month, which makes me think of one very important woman in my life: my mother. When I was 7 and my brother was 10, she left everything she knew behind in Korea to move to Boston. It was 1995, and at the time, a woman divorcing her husband in Korea was unheard of. Many people did not approve of her decision. In her mind, though, it was the only choice she had. My mom was a pastor’s daughter, and she grew up very sheltered. She wasn’t allowed to pursue music or the other creative arts, and when she married my father, she moved in with him and his family. When she made the decision to walk away from the safety and security she had in Korea, she took the first steps down the path that ultimately led to where I am now. She couldn’t have music, but she gave my brother and me the opportunity to pursue it. My mom has always been somebody I can rely on and go to for advice. Without her support of my music, I’d never be who I am today. If she hadn’t paid for my violin and all the lessons I took over the years, I would be on a different path, and Fresno wouldn’t have a Conservatory of Music for teachers and students who love music. None of what my mom signed up for in life ended up happening. Things didn’t work out quite as she had planned when she married my father, and the same can be said of her move to America. When she moved here, she dreamed of one day running her own business, but instead, she always had to work for someone else. Regardless, she always made the best of her circumstances, and she never gave up on anything. She’s determined and has a strong sense of what she believes is right. She pursues the things she believes in relentlessly. In a way, my mother is getting to see my brother and I live the life that she never could. When she came to America, it was a giant risk, the same way that starting the United Conservatory of Music with Leo was a giant risk for me. When I came out to Fresno, I had never even met Leo before. The business needed a lot of work, and things could have easily fallen apart. A small business always has the possibility of failure, and sometimes it feels like 99% of running one is stress. I’m grateful my mother was a role model to me throughout my life.
To run a small business, you have to be determined enough to grind it out. You have to know what you believe in and why, and you can’t give up easily. Sometimes, you have to just keep going and hope that you fix things as you go along. When my mother came to America, she had to deal with all of life’s challenges one by one. And at The United Conservatory of Music, we do our best to take everything that is thrown our way and roll with it, day by day. We focus on continually improving what we do. This March, for Women’s History Month, I will be thinking about my mother and how grateful I am for her. Without her, I could never have pursued my love of music to the level I’m at today or built a business like the United Conservatory of Music. So thank you, Mom, for showing me how to take risks and chase my dreams. I couldn’t have done any of it without you.
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