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How's the Pandemic?

We checked in with faculty brothers David and Phillip Ying, of the Ying Quartet, to ask their
thoughts on how the pandemic has affected the past year:


How have you been filling your time, musically, during the pandemic?

(Phil) Like all my colleagues, I received a crash course in teaching over various online platforms,
constantly complaining about freezing, sound quality issues, and that weird software
compensation when the bandwidth slows down for a moment and then rushes to fill in the gap
making it seem like the student has lost all sense of rhythm. Yet still thankful for a means to stay
connected musically across the country and across continents. Personally, I spent the time
learning Hindemith Sonatas that I never covered and was very, very happy when my quartet
judged it was safe enough to start rehearsing again some time in July.

(David) I have been enjoying teaching on a regular schedule for the first time in my life- my
students don't have to wonder what time their lessons are each week. Also, my quartet has been
rehearsing again, since July. I missed it when we weren't playing. And I think I had been taking
for granted what a special experience, and privilege, playing string quartets is.


We like to believe that every cloud has a silver lining. What good has come out of the lock-
down, for you?

(Phil) Having the time to reflect on the importance of music in our lives and the extraordinary
privilege of being a musician. Also, having time to reflect on the importance of human connection,
especially through music in our case, as well as the connection of family and loved ones. It was
also my first entire summer at home in Rochester in my life, and my lawn is much better than it
would have been in previous summers.

(David) Since there have been no concerts to travel to, I've been able to spend much more time
with my family! I went to many more little league games this year than any other. Also I think I've
met more musicians online during the past six months than ever before.


What are you most looking forward to, for when the world returns to normal?

(Phil) Live music making with others unmasked and at a normal distance! There are few things in
life as precious as sharing the gift of music in person with fellow human beings.

(David) Despite all I've learned about online music-making, playing music in person is still the
best!

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020