Youngest-ever violin prof: Leia Zhu

December 6, 2016 at 07:10 PM · A bit young to be a violin professor, but Leia Zhu seems to be on her way! Here she talks about Tartini's "Devil's Trill."

Replies (31)

December 7, 2016 at 12:22 AM · Good thing I'm too stubborn to

I also love auto-translate;

Tchaikovsky = try couscous:D

January 18, 2017 at 06:21 PM · Reviving this thread in response to Leia Zhu's recent blog post here... I browsed some videos on here YouTube channel. She is, of course, impressively mature for her age. You notice it in the way she speaks for example, her choice of words. She seems superintelligent. But there is also a well-oiled propaganda machine, probably run by her parents. This is comparable to the not-that-old days when, say, Hilary Hahn's father quit his job to devote all his time to his talented daughter. But at least he didn't have to bother making YouTube videos! Also I don't think Hilary was exposed already so much at that young age with concerts and competitions. Yet I would guess they are very comparable in talent and how well they play at young age. I am really curious to ten years from now. Leia Zhu has to be a top world star by then anything else seems failure... Would be interested in your thoughts.

January 18, 2017 at 07:32 PM · Well, she'll need to brush up on musical styles before that. :)

Ex: The devil's trill is a late baroque piece, which means that you never would have shifted so high up the G string for a passage. :)

January 18, 2017 at 07:41 PM · I would hope that Leia learns that there are many paths in life and that prodigiousness does not compel you to spend the rest of your life on the world's stage. She might find teaching music at a conservatory most satisfying. Or, she might decide to apply her talents to physics or medicine. She may choose to run a major corporation or run a cattle ranch. She does not have to live other people's dreams.

January 19, 2017 at 12:14 AM · "She does not have to live other people's dreams." So true, Eric, well pointed out. I agree wholeheartedly.

Great job in her achievement of her New Year resolution, though. Quite an exceptionally talented young girl! She can really go far with such a gift, literally change people's lives. I'd love to see an episode on her 'theviolingirl' channel of how she utilises her talent to bring happiness to others, maybe in schools, old age homes, hospitals - people out there are straining to hear the music in their lives, those who have it can do wonders by bringing it to them.

January 19, 2017 at 02:48 AM · I was frustrated not being able to comment on her blog, but I see the wisdom in the restriction - a girl her age shouldn't be exposed to comments from all and sundry on What I wanted to comment on was that I failed to spot her studying a SCORE. This doesn't mean that she didn't study the score during the time, but it does mean that she may not have seen any need to draw our attention to it, which would be an oversight on her part. It is extremely risky to form an interpretation (which inevitably you do when studying) of something by a great composer like Rimsky-Korsakov without studying the score. In her place I might even have tried to listen to the orchestral suite from the opera or even the opera itself.

Yes, she doesn't have to live other people's dreams. Who knows what other abilities this young girl may have?

January 19, 2017 at 04:37 AM · I am just very happy for her!

At 10, she has gone further tthan most on the instrument. It is already a success even if she will not play another note.

And no! she does not have to play in old - age homes, she does not have to study any #%&$ score. She is 10! She should just have fun.

January 19, 2017 at 04:35 PM · No David, I think she would be more satisfied working on it after studying a hatch ninety six and dollar (makes a change from hatching just eggs) score or listening to the opera/orchestral suite. I don't think this girl, aged 10 though she is, just plays the violin for "fun". I think she wants satisfaction in the work she sets herself to do after school hours.

We notice she had fun playing with snow. If she were later to make a mark on the world stage playing with snow, she wouldn't be the first great violinist to do so.

January 19, 2017 at 09:42 PM · Is she following someone else's dreams? It is a possibility, but it is also a possibility that she isn't. Violin is certainly the tiger-parent's instrument of choice, but also sometimes kids have interests that their parents don't, and pursue these very passionately. Score study is very important, why not get started as soon as possible? I think by making it difficult to hear the opinions of others by disabling comments, she, or her parents are making it very difficult for her work to serve its intended purpose, and for her to improve her videos through viewer feedback. I don't see what is so bad about a kid having their video commented on. Spam? Dislike? The dreaded four-letter expletives? It seems any pitfalls such as these can be overcome with education about internet safety, especially for someone as bright as her.

January 20, 2017 at 12:39 AM · She already studies with world-class teachers and has many opportunities for artistic and personal growth. She certainly doesn't need the unsophisticated and fairly-useless criticism that follows even the best performers of the age on YouTube.

January 20, 2017 at 01:13 AM · Lieschen, a while ago I saw a suggestion made to a 15 year old girl on that totally justifies Laurie's disabling of comments on Leia's blog. Hopefully Laurie will pass on to Leia comments on here that she thinks are helpful?

Gene, as I have already said, I do not know whether Lieschen's and my criticism was of her learning technique or of her online teaching technique (which her teachers would almost certainly not have addressed). In any case, I'm sure it was constructive. If one is memorizing a solo part, surely it is better to memorize its context as well?

February 10, 2017 at 12:25 AM · Laurie, I am a little confused by Leia's posts. Kids have to be 13 or older to participate in discussions but a prodigy 10 year old can advertise herself on the main page? She puts her videos on youtube, where everyone in the world can see them, so why should members' comments be a problem anyway?

February 10, 2017 at 01:50 AM · Funny thing is, kids should never have to be 13 to join or post on a website. The law, COPPA ( Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) only states that children under 13 only need to provide proof of their parent's permission to sign up to those in charge of the website. But sadly, too many websites attempt to ban children under 13 altogether out of convenience. I think I have come across maybe one website where children under 13 can mail in a form with their parent(s)' signature. The whole law is kind of a moot point anyway, since it is so easy to lie about your age, and difficult to prove who is doing what online. Not to mention that it doesn't make anyone any safer. I also don't recall asking for a birthdate either.

February 10, 2017 at 02:43 AM · Yeah. What's the point of COPPA anyway?

February 10, 2017 at 05:48 AM · I would imagine that it stems out of a poor concept of risk reduction and assessment, and lots of irrational overprotective thinking. Probably had something to do with the stranger danger-MADD-Common Sense Media-Helicopter Parent crowd. Many have argued that it is unconstitutional, but nothing seems to be really happening to it.

February 10, 2017 at 09:45 AM · as I wrote above there is a well-oiled propaganda machine running behind Leia Zhu, probably controlled by her parents. she deserves it as she seems to have the real artist thing and seems highly intelligent. I would not be surprised if they pay Laurie to get a blog without comments, basically an advertisement channel on after all this *is* a commercial website (albeit a good one :-)

February 10, 2017 at 04:16 PM · Of course, with money, you can buy your way around anything.

February 10, 2017 at 07:58 PM · I think such suppositions are insulting to Laurie. A blog is not necesserily a discussion, and those that are, are often closed after a few posts.

February 10, 2017 at 08:13 PM · Thanks for this. Lauriie. I also love that she plays restless so beautifully and comfortably, no clenching with the chin (which is what is usually taught today)

February 10, 2017 at 08:40 PM · I don't understand the hostility towards this kid

February 10, 2017 at 09:33 PM · Good point Adrian about not all blogs being discussion based. I did not intend to be hostile toward her. I only intended to point out the absurdity of the laws surrounding this, corruption in general ( not saying this happened ), and the assumption on the part of others that most of this is her parents' doing. I hope she keeps going.

February 10, 2017 at 10:12 PM · I am not trying to be hostile to anyone. She is a very talented and hard working girl, and I am happy for her. I am also not trying to insult Laurie. Laurie does a great job. I was just confused because I know there is an age limit to be a member on this site and I did not think that being very advanced at a young age would justify bending the rules.

February 11, 2017 at 12:03 AM · Helen, what do you think would justify bending the rules? I thought that the rationale behind age limits was to try to ensure only people with a specific mental capacity can do whatever it is. Obviously, it isn't that black and white. Since we know she is more advanced, this would imply that she might be of that specific mental capacity that is desired. Or do you feel there should be no exceptions to age limits of any kind for any reason whatsoever, and if you believe this, what purpose do you think the age limit serves?

February 12, 2017 at 11:42 AM · If there is an age limit, it should be followed, period, and I am sure Laurie monitors that. I guess if Leia's parents are posting these from her point of view, that is okay. I regret making it seem like I am jealous of Leia or trying to be mean to her. I am not either of things.

February 12, 2017 at 05:43 PM · This little girl is amazing! I'm quite interested in her ability to think creatively. She is clearly quite brilliant and I love that she is allowing others to follow and see her progress and her process. It is very inspiring.


February 13, 2017 at 12:17 AM · There is an age limit here? Am I too old? Maybe you mean a MINIMUM age requirement. Gee, what dangerous material are we being exposed to? ;-)

February 13, 2017 at 12:23 AM · It's a silly US rule. Publication of personal identifying information of children under 13 is prohibited, and thus they are not allowed to register on this site. Such rules are silly and ineffective, as people could lie about their age. There doesn't seem to be any mature content on this site anyway.

February 13, 2017 at 01:34 AM · Barring all the frequent innuendos, as well as a few more daring posts from some older threads (that are floating around). :)

February 13, 2017 at 02:47 AM · Also, I don't think that the government should be deciding what is appropriate for all individual kids at different times.

February 13, 2017 at 03:40 AM · There's an age limit because of inappropriate content. *cough violas cough*

February 13, 2017 at 04:28 AM · Well, I agree with Lieschen. Parents should be responsible for their kids' online safety, not the government.

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