Having a good ear for and excellent assessing ability of sound is the most important for the makers of the musical instruments. In particular, for those engaged in the making of such stringed instruments as violin, it is essential to have a keen ear as well as exquisite workmanship on wood.
Contrary to the preconceived notion, however, Kim Sung Il with hearing disability is making violins at the stringed instruments manufacturing shop of the Korean Art Association of the Disabled.
The 36-year-old, born with deaf ears, began his social career at a public service unit in Sosong District, Pyongyang.
His parents were simply content to see their son winning applause on the stage as a dancer of the Korean Art Association of the Disabled.
When he was little, Kim got into the habit of making several objects by hand in leisure time, and frequented the Grand People’s Study House to acquire knowledge in the field of handicraft.
Officials from the art association detected the talent of Kim and sent him to a vocational school for the disabled.
After finishing one-year study at the school in 2015, Kim began his new job of violin making at the stringed instruments manufacturing shop.
By pooling all skills and enthusiasm, Kim produced his first violin, which was judged to have a good shape but poor sounds. It was an enormous disappointment to him, who could not identify sounds by ear.
At that time Song Hak Mun and other colleagues encouraged him to overcome his physical disability and buckle down again to work.
Kim was again inspired, and he set about creating his own way of violin making, placing a main stress on developing his sense of touch to discriminate the vibrations of strings.
Despite repeated failures, he did not give up, but made persevering efforts. In the course of this, he also attained higher levels of workmanship.
His tireless efforts paid off; his violin was awarded a technical prize in the 9th Pyongyang musical instruments show in September 2017, and the people were greatly astonished to find the maker of that excellent violin was a man with hearing impairment.
A foreigner who visited the Korean Art Association of the Disabled admired Kim for having the courage to overcome his disability and wished he would make better violins with great attachment to his job.
Kim’s violin won another sci-tech prize in the 10th Pyongyang musical instruments show held two years later.