Songwriter Spotlight
Peggy Hwang

April 2003

As a classically trained pianist, Peggy has always had a love for music. She appears as a songwriter on The Exodus' first album, composing both the music and lyrics for Track 3, Into Your Arms. Peggy has also served in various aspects of worship ministry and is completeing a Master's Degree in Music Education. Here, we present a special interview with Peggy.

Tell us about your musical beginnings.

According to my mom, I started playing piano at age 3. She was a piano teacher at home and I'd often play. My mom had trouble finding a teacher for me. They were worried that starting so young would warp my bones, which were still developing.

Is it true that you have perfect pitch?

I do have what they call perfect pitch. My mom discovered it when she accidentally banged a pot or pan in the kitchen and I'd call out, "That's an A." My mom would teach my sister how to recognize notes on the piano. When my sister answered incorrectly, I'd hear the notes from the next room and call out, "No, that's a B!"

What type of music do you enjoy?

I basically listen to all kinds of music. Considering my profession as a music teacher, I'm exposed to very different styles of music. I must say though, whether it's popular music or classical music, I tend to lean towards more mellow conservative stuff. Although when it comes to live concerts and performances, I'm game for anything different and mind boggling! Oh, and I actually don't listen to as much classical music as people may think I would or should. =)

In all your years as a musician, you must have been through many recitals. Any crazy stories?

The most interesting recital is when my college classmate asked me to participate in his original composition. It involved opening up the piano and actually plucking or strumming the strings. I've also performed pieces where I'd place clothespins on certain strings to produce a different kind of sound. It's a technique called prepared piano.

Tell us the story behind the song Into Your Arms.

This song was written during a time when I was learning about how much God yearns for us and longs to spend time with us. I had never known that God could see His people with that much passion. And in the same way, we can also see God not only with awe and fear, but also with intimate adoration. I had wanted to write a song, so began first with some of the lyrics, which were revamped and moved around many times when I tried to place it with music. It was put away and taken out many times. =)

What are your musical ambitions and dreams?

As of right now, I just want to get out there, start teaching, and establish myself as a teacher. I would love to work with inner city kids, using music as a way to reach them. Given the fact that these kids experience a considerable lack of opportunities and perhaps a difficult family life, my hope is that through music, I can give them some sort of stability and warmth, and just something positive in their lives. Hmm... to dream big... maybe open my own studio, sort of like an afterschool program, except with music as the primary focus and purpose. Kids of all ages could go there to play instruments, perform with a group, compose music, get lessons, do a musical.... With an atmosphere that demonstrates the love of God, the kids will hopefully come to know Him personally. It would be a place that they can come for community, counseling, etc.