Tashi Quinn is one of my rockin’ viola students. She is admired by many for her excellent work ethic, her creative ingenuity, her work as a humanitarian activist, and of course for her brilliant viola playing. Tashi is a 15 year-old student at Bray Park State High School who recently finished Grade 10. Besides playing viola, she spends her time playing the piano and playing netball.

Tashi has influenced many of my students directly as she was the first in my studio to start busking (street performing). I was inspired by her busking stories and successes, not to mention the progress in her playing, and passed her stories along to other students who now are regular buskers. Tashi takes busking to a different level, however. She views it as her regular job, adhering to a general schedule and busking two to three times every week. She saved enough money to singlehandedly purchase herself a gorgeous new 15.5-inch viola, a bow, and a cool high-tech carbon fiber case earlier this year. She thought of the (very expensive) purchase as an investment in her business, and it is already really paying off!

I featured Tashi and her brother, Mitchell on this blogpost about a year ago that outlines their ventures into electronic string music, their original compositions, and their effort to use their music to raise money for the victims of the 2010 Pakistan and Queensland floods. The brother/sister duo have raised and donated thousands of dollars to flood relief through their CD sales (they donated 100% of the profits) and busking together. In recognition of their humanitarian efforts, Tashi and Mitchell were honoured guests at the Save the Children Foundation’s White Flame Award ceremony on October 27th, 2011. They played their music for an audience of approximately 80 people at Brisbane’s Parliament House. The White Flame Award is given annually in recognition of the dedication and achievements made by a Queensland citizen in serving the needs and rights of children. Elaine Franks was the recipient of this year’s award.

I am so proud of Tashi for her most recent accomplishment. She just took her viola Grade 4 AMEB practical exam, which tests students in the following areas: technical work, studies and pieces, aural tests, sight reading, and general musical knowledge. Her results are now back and Tashi received an A (honours) on her exam! Congratulations, Tashi! I must note that Tashi also took her Grade 5 piano exam in October and also received an A on that exam. What amazing effort and performance!

Tashi and her family are currently visiting Nepal. The Quinns go on an international excursion every few years, and they have visited Pakistan four times before, hence Tashi and Mitchell’s personal interest in helping the flood victims in Pakistan. Tashi is writing an online travel blog where you can read about her interesting travel adventures here. Enjoy!

Feel free to view a few of Tashi and Mitchell’s excellent YouTube videos!




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