Vietnamese traditional music group in France
COPYRIGHT © 2015 TIENG TO DONG.
HÔ THUY TRANG
Hô Thuy-Trang became acquainted with musical learning at the age of 6. She passed
with flying colors the highly selective entrance exam for the National Superior
Conservatory of Music in Saigon (Vietnam) in 1972. Graduating with honors in 1986, she
began teaching at the age of 18. From then on, her dan tranh (Vietnamese zither), her
faithful companion, accompanied her to almost 20 countries around the world.
Before moving to France, she taught at the Regional Conservatory of Music in Ho Chi
Minh City, the School of Arts and Culture in Dong Nai, the Leisure Center in Ho Chi Minh
City, as well as several public schools in Vietnam. A dream, an ambition, started to grow
within her, which was to shape the next generation to inherit this musical practice so
that the melody of dan tranh (Vietnamese zither), dan bâu (Vietnamese monochord),
and traditional Vietnamese music would continue to resonate and be preserved in her
future adopted country.
She settled in France in 2003, and during her initial days, her main concern was to find a
solution to continue her profession at all costs. This profession was the result of a
passion that cost her 15 years of study and relentless hard work. A career in which her
parents had invested with a lot of love and sacrifice, so there was no reason to put an
end to this profession that was sentimentally precious to her, even though the new life in
a previously unknown country was not easy.
In the beginning, Hô Thuy-Trang started by performing at small events to promote
herself. Thanks to this, she managed to convey her passion to the audience, and at the
end of each performance, there were always people among the spectators asking for
her contact information to receive her teachings.
To give her students real-world experiences and help them develop this passion in the
broader public, she organized small concerts. With the passage of time, invitations to
concerts multiplied, and she decided to create her group, Tieng To Dong.
After 10 years of residency in France, Hô Thuy-Trang obtained with merit the State
Diploma of Music Teacher in Traditional Vietnamese Music. From that moment, she
could officially teach at French conservatories. Her students came from different
backgrounds, including students with Vietnamese origin but not speaking their mother
tongue. In addition to her musical pedagogy, Hô Thuy-Trang also teaches the
Vietnamese language to her students through melodies and traditional lyrics filled with
love and nostalgia for the country.