Woman turns ordinary LA street corners into sidewalk symphony with her violin

She has a knack for turning an ordinary street corner into a sidewalk symphony.

"This is incredible!" says Christina Punzalan, of West Los Angeles, who stopped to listen to Sheng-Ching Hsu play her beloved violin on an otherwise quiet street corner in West LA.

But it’s Hsu’s "why" she can be found playing her favorite instrument at various intersections around Los Angeles, on any given day, that really pulls at the heartstrings.

"I started playing because I just missed playing for people so much and I thought if I missed playing there must be people missing listening, as well," says Hsu.

Nearby neighbor Jeannine Frank is one of them.

Frank says, "It’s just wonderful for her to offer her talents in a time when people are isolated."

Hsu, who was just 17-years-old when she left Taiwan to study music in the United States, went on to receive her Masters from the acclaimed Juilliard School in New York City.

When COVID-19 shut down her industry, it also shut down a part of her.

"It’s not just difficult for performing artists financially, but also because this is what we do and when you’re not doing what we do we kind of lose who we are; and I lost who I was," says Hsu.

That is -- until she decided to pick up her bow and just play -- for anyone who happens to be walking by or those lucky enough to live on just right the corner. Even for dogs and dogwalkers, Hsu quickly becomes a stroll stopper. 

"We don’t go to concerts anymore so this is really great," says Punzalan.

In the short time Hsu’s been holding these weekly mini masked concerts, she has already grown a following.

"I’ve seen her several times now," says Frank who points to her mask to say, "It brings a smile under here."

For Hsu, it’s that reaction that strikes just the right note because, in the midst of a pandemic, her music is proving to be medicine that doesn’t cost a thing.

"Music gives people hope. Music comforts. Music heals people," says Hsu, shortly after taking a bow amongst the applause.

To find out where Hsu will be playing next, you can check out her website by clicking here.

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