Our Stories - Aigerim Kerimbekova

I always try to find the time and energy to do what satisfies my soul and I share this advice whenever I have the chance. I am originally from Kyrgyzstan and since my childhood I’ve been very curious and interested in different kinds of activities. During my school days I considered myself to be a nerd because I was never the type of person who hung out a lot with other kids or partied hard. Being a good student was always a priority for me and I spent a lot of time studying.

I also had a strong desire to learn music, particularly to play piano and dance. So right after school every day I always rushed to either music or dance school. I was practicing piano, dance, and other activities the whole afternoon, so it’s not surprising that I usually arrived at home around 10 pm -and then I did my homework late into the night.

I started to play the piano when I was 12, which is considered to be quite late for musicians. Typically, people start to learn at 6 or 7, yet somehow my devotion to music let me finish 7 years of music school in 3.5 years because I loved it so much. During weekends I was either studying or enjoying time playing the piano which kept me pretty busy from my school days up to my time at university.

During this time my teachers were always nudging me to study music more deeply, but I never considered it as a profession, because it’s pretty hard to finance yourself with music and there are lots of other really talented musicians. I planned to stop my music education when I finished music school, but luckily my teacher insisted that I continue studying. It turned out that I liked music college as much as I did music school because it showed me how to understand music at a deeper, professional level.

During these years I dove deeper into musical techniques and went to different countries for competitions. These travels led me to meeting one of the best teachers and I think the whole music world just opened up to me then. I was surrounded by truly talented and interesting people and the four years I spent at music college was one of the best periods in my life.

After my third year of music college, I was accepted to the Kazakhstan university Bachelor program and needed to move and again. I was going to quit music college before my last year of studies, but again, my teachers urged me to continue by transitioning to semi-distance learning. This meant coming on weekends, passing exams, and taking new materials for study. I agreed to try it because the university was only 4 hours from my home.

Looking back, I wonder how I did it, but at the time it didn’t seem so hard. I managed to go home every weekend just to pass exams. I think when you really love and enjoy doing something, you don’t feel fatigue, fear, or doubt. That’s what music did to me.

All my hard work was worth it too because my final performance was given at a Rachmaninoff concert which is always on my mind. The memories, feelings, and emotions from that evening are always with me when I need them. Unfortunately, I did not go further at the conservatory, but I still played at my university when I had the time.

When I moved to Prague, I really missed playing so I found a music school that let me teach. Whenever I feel lost, or am having difficult times, I return to music. It always brings me back to myself, my soul, to who I truly am. I think it’s wonderful and very important to find your own passion no matter what it is. Something close to your heart which will be a reliable companion throughout your whole life.

- Aigerim Kerimbekova