Why did you choose the University of Adelaide?
"There is only classical and pop music in Sichuan Conservatory. The classical is pretty good so I chose to go to that. But my personality doesn't suit classical music so much - you have to play exactly what's written. In my second year, I got introduced to jazz and I thought 'this is what I want'. So I started to listen to the music myself. I listened to a lot of wonderful musicians on Youtube. When I started, it was just a hobby but after a while I found myself more and more into jazz music. So I was thinking about studying it properly. The problem with studying jazz in China is that the school in Beijing is not very good and the only place that is good for jazz is Shanghai. But in Shanghai, the conservatorium is very hard to get into because it is the best in China.
I came to Adelaide because my aunt lives here and she can help with lots of stuff. I have never been abroad before. And my cousin used to study here and they helped me contact Dusty Cox."
How has your experience been so far?
"It's fantastic - the program, the courses - it's been really helpful in improving my jazz skills. My teachers are fantastic. Dusty Cox has influenced me a lot because of his passion, his attitude, and his knowledge about jazz music. I can learn from him not only the musical study but attitude, hard work and focus. Other teachers such as Mark Ferguson are great as well - they have a different more relaxed style."
“It's fantastic - the program, the courses - it's been really helpful in improving my jazz skills. My teachers are fantastic.”
How is the learning style in Australia different from the learning style in China?
"There is a different style of learning here because they push you to know lots of stuff - it's interesting and it makes you want to learn. I much prefer the learning style here. When I first came here and listened to the lecturers, my English wasn't very good and I could barely understand. It took me a while to be able to understand because Adelaide people speak really fast. After a while, it was okay."
How was it coming to Adelaide and living somewhere this size?
"It's so nice - the weather is ten times better than my home town which is very humid, especially in summer. Everything is so convenient and people are so nice here. Especially on the bus, here everyone behaves so politely. When I first came here, I was so shocked. When you are out walking in the street, someone you don't know will say good morning to you. In China, people don't do that."
What do you see yourself doing when you finish your degree?
"I think I will go to America and stay in New York for one or two years and out and see all those musicians I see on the internet. This is my dream."
Do you think about further study?
"Yes, because eventually I want to go back to China. More and more Chinese people want to leave China because you can't speak freely. But my personality is that I don't want to escape, I want to face it. So instead of running away from my own country and my own culture, I think I am going to go back. It's a very good feeling because Chinese people are restricted and jazz is about being free and expressing yourself completely. So it's a really good contrast. Now more and more Chinese, especially young people, are starting to listen to Jazz - not many but just a few. But it's growing. There are lots of TV shows about singing competitions and in these competitions, there are more and more jazz singers. They don't know much about jazz but you can hear more and more Western and jazz influence."
"In Sichuan Conservatory, a jazz program has just been started by some of the music teachers and they asked me if I would like to do some teaching there when I go back."