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Music strikes major chord for budding composer with autism

China Daily

14th March 2022

Music strikes major chord for budding composer with autism


When a doctor diagnosed Ke Xianye with autism, he said it would be enough if the 3-year-old finished primary school. He probably never imagined that years later Ke would gain a bachelor's in musical composition at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing.

Ke, originally from Langfang, Hebei province, lives with his family in Beijing. The 24-year-old works two part-time music-related jobs, and he recently co-wrote a song for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics with his peers in a choir. He said that through the song, he hoped athletes from across the world would reflect the Olympic motto to go "Faster, Higher, Stronger-Together".

Jiao Shengmin, Ke's mother, said that although her son gained entry to the academy through the gaokao, the national college entrance exam, she still needed to convince the school that he would behave appropriately because it had never accepted a student with autism before.

"My son's musical talent should not be wasted. As a child, he would sit still when listening to music, and he can accurately identify a musical pitch. We made efforts over many years to allow him to go to school, so we couldn't give up." she said.

Ke attended regular primary, middle and high schools in Langfang, overcoming many difficulties.

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