Meet Tsuey Wei Seah: Practice makes perfect
By Jarmea L. Boone
Tsuey Wei Seah
Photograph by Melissa Ray
Tsuey Wei Seah thinks of music in a universal sense and plays the piano with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Her conviction and passion for music comes with hours of daily practice and hours of becoming emotionally unified with what she plays. “Music is something I can do now and when I’m old,” Tsuey Wei says, and she makes sure she works hard enough in the present in order to be successful in the future.
Tsuey Wei is a senior double major in music performance and music education at Kennesaw State University. Her decision to attend KSU was a logical one. She had been playing the piano since the age of seven and wanted to attend a school where she could play and perform. Originally from Malaysia, Tsuey Wei moved to Georgia alone to pursue music, and KSU was close by.
Tsuey Wei’s accomplishments and accolades at KSU are numerous. In 2007, she was awarded the J. David Watkins Endowed Scholarship in Piano Performance, the Steinway Society scholarship and “Outstanding Performer” by the Georgia Music Teachers Association. In spring 2009, she was chosen as a University Scholar for music education majors, and she was also the recipient of a Georgia Music Educators Association College Music Education Scholarship. Tsuey Wei has performed in master classes with pianist Robert Henry and with international pianist Chu-Fang Huang. In addition to performing in other various recitals, concerts and competitions at KSU, she was a finalist in the 2009 KSU Concerto Competition. In September 2009, she will be presented a scholarship during the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards program, which is broadcast statewide.
Tsuey Wei has enjoyed beginning her career at KSU. “Teachers at KSU are so friendly. Each music class you take makes the one prior to it ‘click.’ Each class builds on the next and things make so much sense.” She has found that her professors have helped to pave her way. “I admire David Watkins. Without him, I cannot say that I would be where I am today. I truly appreciate his teaching and his patience.”
According to Tsuey Wei, playing the piano is not the easiest instrument to pursue. “It takes a lot just to get the techniques down and learn to play the music correctly,” she says. “Then you have to get the interpretation of the music, learn emotional involvement and feel one with the piano. To feel you are a part of the music is hard. There’s no doubt that playing the piano requires practice, persistence and patience.”
She does believe, however, that the outcome makes the journey worth the work. “The most exciting part about music is when you get ‘it.’ It’s like solving a math problem--that same feeling, the ‘light bulb’ moment. That is exciting. Music is not something you see results from overnight. Music makes you constantly aware of your improvement.”
After graduation, she hopes to become an elementary school music teacher. “I like little children because they think in different ways,” she says. “Older children already come with their own states of mind while younger children ask so many questions. My brain works all the time when I'm around them.” She will perform her senior recital at the end of this semester and will begin student teaching in the spring.
Tsuey Wei doesn’t believe she stands out in a crowd. She simply lives for music and has a dedicated work ethic. “All music majors love music. They would not do it if they didn’t love it. But I must be persistent and practice to be successful. This is my way, and I’m honored to work towards my dream.”