Senior ragpicker teaches people to play musical instruments for free

A 66-year-old man surnamed Wu has taught nearly 40 people to play musical instruments without charging them a penny.

Wu originally taught himself to play music. Though he only received a primary school education, he now teaches university students and engineers.

Before earning money as a ragpicker, Wu had worked at a bus station in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. He moved into the city two decades ago from Yunnan in southwest China.

Wu learnt how to play the bamboo flute when he was a boy. However, as he grew older his teeth fell out, forcing him to stop his childhood hobby. He decided to teach himself how to play the mandolin, and in 2011 Wu used his life savings to buy himself one.

Wu has his own playing style after years of practice, and many people enjoy seeing him perform. A music professor from a local college once came to his home, simply to listen to him play a song.

Wu treats people with respect and has earned mutual respect because of his musical abilities but also humble nature. His students try to show their gratitude through gifts, which he didn’t reject at first, but he now says he will not meet those who arrive at his home with gifts.

Though living alone, Wu said he’s happy to have his hobby and be surrounded by students. In addition to being a teacher, he is also a talented street singer.