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Journal of Singing


This is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It's also about Mozartand Mendelssohn, the piano and the violin, and how we made it to Carnegie Hall.'

SO BEGINS AMY CHUA'S NOW INFAMOUS 2011 MEMOIR, Battle Hymnof the Tiger Mother, whose debut was preceded by an excerpt released in the Wall Street Journal under the provocative headline, "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior."2 The book immediately rocketed to berths on bestseller lists around the world, and is currently being translated into thirty languages. In case you are among the seeming handful of people on the planet who have not yet read the article, the book, or the barrage of Tiger Mother response blogs (over 10,000 on the Wall Street Journal website alone), this was her opening salvo:

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.3


This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit National Association of Teachers of Singing's Website.