Music educator Tammy Yi overcame adversity to attend TC and rediscover the violin
If creativity is responding to the unexpected, Music & Music Education doctoral student Tammy Yi is ideally suited to “motivate and educate teachers to teach children to be creative people.” Yi’s parents left Korea for the United States but struggled in low-paying jobs. Yi gave up violin lessons so her sister could pursue a concert pianist’s career. She taught herself guitar and dreamed of leading the first Asian-American punk band. n After 9/11, Yi joined the Navy, supported her parents and earned a bachelor’s degree studying music education and violin. “I wanted to give children the self-confidence I’d never had.”
Yi created an award-wining children’s orchestra and conducted it at Carnegie Hall. At TC, backed by a Florence Geffen Fund scholarship and mentored by Professor Lori Custodero, Yi has developed a violin program at the Teachers College Community School supported by TC Trustee Emerita Enid (“Dinny”) Morse; her husband, Lester; their daughter, Trustee Leslie Nelson; and their two sons, Douglas and Andrew Morse.
“Music teaches children about possibility,” Yi says. TC and the Geffen Scholarship have taught her about that, too. — KELSEY ROGALEWICZ
Published Thursday, Nov 12, 2015