Leah Ou

CATEGORIES: Performance Arts, Music, Misc
AGES: All Ages, Spec Needs, Senior Living, Custom Programming
PROGRAMS: Available Virtual or Live
ALSO AVAILABLE: Special Needs, Senior Living and Team/Group Development

Leah Ou is...
A musician who not only performs masterfully on the pipa, her traditional Chinese folk instrument, but also uses it to teach Chinese culture. With a two thousand year history, the pipa produces a myriad of intriguing sounds: melodic, percussive, peaceful, and otherworldly. Leah’s presentations emphasize pride in Chinese musical culture and authenticity of expression.

Leah Ou was born in Chengdu, China, and there she began her classical training at age 6. She has been performing and teaching professionally for eleven years. In 2019, she completed a master class with Wu Yuxia, a premier-level Pipa performer. Her diverse repertoire includes 2000 year old compositions, improvisations and contemporary songs with a full rock band accompaniment.

She has performed in the World Music Concert at Eastman School of Music, the Hidden Garden Concert at George Eastman Museum, an interactive demonstration of the pipa for SUNY Geneseo Musicology students, teaching mindfulness through music in a number of school settings and serves as pipa teaching artist at The Hochstein School. Experience, creativity and inspiration: all of these are essential to the programs offered by Leah Ou.

Performances: Available Virtual or Live

Program 1:

A solo pipa performance by Leah Ou, demonstrating a full range of compositions spanning two millennia. Displaying the full scope of the pipa’s musical possibilities, she takes her listeners on a journey through classical Chinese songs that tell a story,
original freestyle improvisation and meditative moods. Hearing the pipa, the most popular instrument in China, listeners are transported into another world. 

Click here for a sample: https://ospipa.bandcamp.com/track/snowflakes

Grades K-5 & Senoir Living, 30-55 minutes (client chooses length)

Program 2:

This innovative group performance looks to the future, fusing traditional pipa sounds with other musicians playing Western instruments. For instance, in this type of cultural collaboration performance, she will incorporate electronic sampling, synthesizer, guitar, violin, flute or drums along with her pipa.

Click here for a sample: https://ospipa.bandcamp.com/track/power-to-the-pipa

Grades K-12 & Senior Living, 30-55 minutes (client chooses length) 



Cultural Programs & Workshops: Available Virtual or Live 
Introduction to Chinese Music, Culture and the Pipa (Chinese Lute)

Program 3:
Leah Ou will share the 2,000 year history of her instrument, describing the different schools of pipa music and incorporating show and tell demonstrations throughout her presentation. In her own words, Leah will explain how pipa music interrelates with other key aspects of Chinese culture, including literature, philosophy and calligraphy.

Grades K-12 & Senior Living, 45 minutes, 1-3 sessions (client chooses length)

Program 4:
Leah Ou will provide a brief description of the history of the pipa, and then works with students to compose and perform a short piece. She will introduce scales, modes and example songs commonly used in Chinese music, and provide sheet music to the students to create harmonious music together. Making a connection to Western listeners, Leah will describe and explain how the pipa is related to familiar instruments such as the guitar and lute.

Grades K-12 & Senior Living, 45 minutes, 1-3 sessions (client chooses length)


Mindfulness with Music: Available Virtual or Live

Program 5:
Leah Ou will share some of the techniques she has learned for quieting her mind and becoming meditatively absorbed in the music as she plays. In the mindfulness through music program, students learn techniques for focused breathing and listening, and processing strong emotions. The final goal for this program is for students to become more attentive listeners. As part of her classical pipa education, Leah learned how to develop meditative calm before picking up her instrument. This allows her to perform with the calm awareness and spontaneity required to express the full emotion of a composition.

Grades K-12 & Senior Living, 45 minutes, 1-3 sessions (client chooses length)


Special Programming

Leah Ou has successfully worked with various classrooms and businesses. She will listen closely to clients’ needs for their events and design a program for them accordingly.