‘Your grief is our grief’ Auburn 10-year-old shares solidarity through music


AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – As school children across the country remain at home away from their classrooms due to the virus outbreak, an Auburn elementary student is sharing a powerful message of hope and peace through his music and words.

Take deep breath and listen.

10-year-old Jacob Shin plays Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1

Achingly beautiful. The video shows 10-year-old Jacob Shin sitting by an Auburn pond in his neighborhood alone playing his cello. Jacob’s mom shared the video of Shin playing the prelude of Bach’s masterpiece Cello Suite No. 1 on Sunday. The 5th grade student at Ogletree Elementary student in Auburn also shared an essay with his teacher, Gail Dunn.

Jacob shared read his letter for WRBL News 3 on Tuesday during a FaceTime interview.

Dear students, parents, teachers and Auburn residents,

I am writing this essay and playing Bach Suite no. 1 Prélude to encourage you to not be stressed about the victims of the coronavirus, for even though it is very serious, we still have each other, which is a very good thing. Even though the damage will be very severe, it will eventually end. Also, if you have a close friend or family member who has the coronavirus your grief is our grief.

Now, I will inform you why I am playing Bach suite no. 1 Prélude. In Bach suite no.1 Prélude, the beginning was very carefree and had a lack of troubles. Suddenly, the music became very restless. The coronavirus has a same story. Before the coronavirus, there was no worldwide trouble. Suddenly, like a lightning bolt during a cloudless day, disaster struck. However, at the ending of Bach Suite no. 1 Prélude, the music becomes peaceful after all that suffering. That is why I hope that the virus would end the same way.

I hope you enjoy my music and start to hope again. This concludes my essay.

Jacob performs with AU youth symphony and has performed in Carnegie Hall.

“He recently traveled to NYC to take the preSAT. He is truly gifted in everything he pursues. His family also become American citizens last month,” shared Jacob’s teacher Gail Dunn.

Jacob believes music is more effective than words and Bach’s masterpiece reminds him of the virus’ impact on our world. Jacob misses his teachers, friends and learning in school. While he remains hopeful he still worries.

“I worry my friends and close family members will get the Coronavirus,” Jacob shared with News 3.

Still, Jacob continues to play. Sharing his gift. Comforting the world.

Meanwhile News 3 reached out to Auburn City Schools for a statement regarding the current plan to return to school on April 6th. The future remains uncertain. Auburn’s Superintendent says teachers and staff are preparing for several scenarios.

“With Alabama’s public schools currently closed, teachers are making many resources and learning opportunities available to students and families.  While participation nor completion is required, students are connecting with teachers via social media and virtual platforms. With a focus on the health of our community and the safety of our families, Auburn City Schools remains devoted to students and the potential for teaching and learning, despite the physical distance. Moving forward, school administrators are developing plans for both a return to school and for alternate methods of providing school. Decisions and direction will be guided by input from the Governor’s Office, the Alabama Department of Public Health,  and the Alabama State Department of Education. With many variables, most importantly the safety of our students in mind, ACS is committed to a continued excellence in K-12 education.”

– Dr. Cristen Herring, ACS Superintendent

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