This story is also published on the Best of SNO.
A pianist who learned to play while growing up in the middle of a civil war shared his experiences at a concert with VMT students in the auditorium.
Dr. Dino Mulić, a professor at TAMU Corpus Christi, spoke about his childhood and now as a resident of Texas during a recital on Sept. 21 organized by VMT music instructor Dr. Mary Grace Carroll.
“When I was younger,” said Mulić, “there was a civil war in my country (Bosnia). I got sick and had to be hospitalized, but I couldn’t get the medicine that I needed. So now, I always have cold hands and feet. That’s why I love Texas and playing piano. They both keep my hands warm and comfortable.”
Because of his sickness, Mulić said he was forced to miss 4 years of school. But that didn’t stop him from wanting to learn. He would practice piano 8-10 hours every day. He would learn a song in just two months. And he was able to own up to his skills and make them better.
“When I was younger,” Mulić stated, “my mother always told me, ‘I want you to have good skills. If you don’t have skills, you will always be dependent on someone or something.’ So, I worked every day to become better.”
Dr. Mulić’s country wasn’t doing very well. The people were fighting each other and there wasn’t trade. Many people were hurt or worse. In the end, the country split, he said.
“I believe that people shouldn’t be separated.” Mulić continued, sharing his thoughts on war. “We’re all the same. We should stand together, not fight and split ourselves.”
When Mulić told his mother that he was going to move to the United States, she cried, but she wasn’t scared. She told him “I’m not scared. I believe in you. I know you have skills, so I won’t be sad. Go, and know I’m proud of you,” he said.
“Because my mother and I believed so much in people needing skills,” Mulić said, “I decided that I wanted to help people find and make their skills better. That’s why I became an educator. I love educating.”
Playing piano can be very hard, he said. One must memorize every key. How and when to play them. However, Mulić said that it isn’t that hard.
“To remember a song,” said Mulić, “you have to have a plan. You can’t play the song completely through. You do that, and it makes it harder to remember the keys. You have to play it in parts.”
Mulić gave what some said an amazing performance at VMT, playing the song Pictures. The students seemed very moved by the piece. But, Mulić said he was also very impressed with the school.
“If I had an opportunity to come to a school like this, I wouldn’t hesitate with signing up,” Mulić said. “This school is an amazing way for kids to express who they are and who they want to be. The students here are also very smart and very nice.”