Elderly Guitar Lover Shines on Singapore National Day Celebration

September 8, 2017
Editor: Sherry Song

Mary Ho plays the guitar on the stage of Singapore's National Day Celebration. [The Chongqing Morning Post]


Mary Ho, an 81-year-old woman who played the electric guitar at Singapore's National Day Celebration recently, has become the oldest rock musician in the country.

Ho's father played the violin and the piano and her mother was an opera singer. In Ho's memory, her family was always overwhelmed by beautiful melodies.

However, instead of showing enthusiasm for classical music and songs, Ho was addicted to the music of well-known guitar player Riley B. King at that time.

Ho said the charming and swaying music style made her feel freedom for the first time and her dream of playing the guitar was rooted in her heart since then.

The path to her dream was not easy. Her mother and teacher's disapproval forced Ho to hide her idea.

As the years went by, Ho lived an ordinary life studying, working, stepping into marriage, taking care of her family, and being a mother and grandmother.

"I suddenly felt like I had nothing to do when my daughters got older. Then I thought of my beloved guitar," said she.

She finally bought a wooden guitar and started to learn how to play from books when she was 60. Ho decided to seek professional guidance after hearing the Samba Pa Ti which was played by famous musician Carlos Santana.

As an elderly student, it was hard for her to understand the music theory and which position to hold the guitar.

Ho practiced for three hours a day, which always made her fingers bleed. After her wounds healed, she continued to play. Faced with queries from those around her and various difficulties, Ho never gave up.

"I never feel any pain. I must play the guitar because I love it," she said. "I always feel happy and relaxed in my own world when playing the guitar as I’m learning what I like. That’s where my passion lies."

Later, Ho participated in many performances and her first album was released in 2008. Her grandson posted a video of her guitar show on YouTube when she was 75, which spread wildly across the Internet and received more than five million views.

For now, Ho has collected over 20 guitars. She always says, "Age is just a number."


Mary Ho plays the guitar. [The Chongqing Morning Post]


(Source: The Chongqing Morning Post/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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