Humans of South Hills: Emma Hou and her passion for music


Photo Credit: Ken McGrath Photography

Qing (Emma) Hou plays the marimba at the Toyota Arena for the 2022 Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) where SHHS placed third.

Qing (Emma) Hou (12) is a talented musician and dedicated member of the South Hills High School band. Emma’s passion for music started at a young age. Her love for music and her desire to improve her skills have made her a great marimba and piano player. 

“I have been playing the marimba for four years but I have been playing the piano for nine years,” Emma said. 

Emma’s hard work and dedication pays off. She practices for hours on weekdays, striving to perfect her technique and sound. 

“I don’t usually practice on weekends, only because we’re not allowed in school. Plus, the instrument is really heavy and big, so I don’t have access to one at home. I usually practice during class periods or rehearsal times,” Emma said.

She enjoys listening to classical music, her favorite composer being Franz Schubert. “I play a lot of classical music so I’m really big on composers, the music is really soft and there’s a lot of spacing between the notes and it puts me to sleep, it’s just relaxing,” Emma said.

Emma thinks of band as being part of a second family. “Some people that graduated when I was a freshman I still talk to so it’s really like a second family,” Emma said.

Her kindness and generosity only match Emma’s passion for music. She is willing to help her fellow band members, giving them tips on how to improve their playing. She also tutors younger kids on how to become stronger musicians. “I teach younger kids how to become better players,” Emma said.  

Her positive attitude has made her a beloved member of band and a role model for others. “I was really proud of my underclassmen when they first joined. A lot of them didn’t know what the instruments were, or how to play them. We [Emma and seniors] really tried our best to teach them and how to educate them on how it works,” Emma said.

With Emma’s hard work, talent, and dedication, she is sure to go far in music. If she chooses to play professionally or even if she continues to play as a hobby, her love for music will always be an important role in her life. “Band is something that I want to do for another maybe four years or like a hobby,” Emma said.