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10-year-old Ohio cellist raises money to help refugees by playing for tips

Once or twice a week Taran Tien plays music for people in his neighborhood.

Oh, what a glorious symphony we can play if we just take the time to learn the notes.

The same can be said for music.

Perched on a foldout chair on the front yard of his Clintonville home, Taran Tien, 10, holds the bow that slides across the strings of his cello.

He’s quite gifted. He picked up the classical guitar at age 6 and got his cello last year. But playing isn’t just for show it’s for purpose. Even during a pandemic, Taran is thinking of others.

“The International Rescue Committee,” he said. “And they help refugees in over 40 countries.”

The IRC is an international organization that helps provide water, shelter, health care and education to refugees.

“It’s important because I really don’t like to see people, like, homeless or people who are just not really doing well and need help but aren’t getting enough help or need help,” Tien said.

His mother Rebecca says that’s just who Taran is: caring.

“I feel like ever since he was 6 he’d be [in the yard] with a table…he’s always driven to help people,” Rebecca Tien said.

Once or twice a week Taran sits and puts bow to strings for people in his neighborhood. His tip jar is the payoff for playing in the key of decency.

“Yesterday, I raised around 20 bucks, maybe,” he said. “30 bucks.”

Humanity is a glorious symphony we can all play if we just take the time to learn the notes.

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