Redevelopment of the old: Wo Cheong Pawn Shop

Happy New Year! It’s happy to meet people from different parts of the world here in wordpress. I mainly share my piano teaching and learning experience in this blog. Now in new year let’s try something new here. Let me take this chance to introduce Hong Kong to you.

I like history. I work as piano teacher and my daily job comes with many antique music works ( you know many famous composers have passed away many decades ago! :P), reading autographs and manuscript. Besides music I am also interested in other antique stuff.

You may think Hong Kong is cosmopolitan with lots of modern architecture but there are still places with mixture of old and new harmoniously.

Last week I went to Wan Chai and find the building Wo Cheong Pawn Shop (和昌大押). Pawn Shop is a kind of business that provide people loans with people’s personal properties as collateral. Pawn Shops were common in old Hong Kong. And at that time Hong Kongers were not rich so some of them may even use blankets as collateral to get the loans. As Hong Kong develops people get richer and this type of Pawn Shops greatly reduce.

From Wiki, Wo Cheong Pawn Shop was built around 1888-1900s. It has 4 floors with balcony. It is great that in 2007 Urban Renewal Authoriy decided to redevelop Wo Cheong Pawn Shop. Now the Pawn Shop turns into a western resturant and some shops.  The original Wo Cheong Pawn Shop company moves to a shop in a nearby street and continues their business.


Wo Cheong Pawn Shop--main entry

main entry of Wo Cheong Pawn Shop


Wo Cheong Pawn Shop

old Pawn Shop adjacent to modern apartment




Wo Cheong Pawn Shop--side view

side view of Wo Cheong Pawn Shop. You can see the red logo of Pawn Shop company on the wall. This is the universal logo for all Pawn Shops, with Chinese characters show their company names.


In the turn of year, I just wonder if I may try this kind of redevelopment in classical music?






May music stay with you throughout this year!


Copyright © 2016 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved



noise and white noise

I live in a small apartment in city centre in Hong Kong. It is surrounded by roads and other buildings. I can easily hear many kinds of sound, from traffic sound to the pumping sound of construction sites.

Hong Kong is small and crowded of people. I think many Hong Kongers like me are used to live with sound. You may say this is noise but we get used of it. It is part of our daily life.

Of course noise may annoy you in some situations. For example you are hurrying for your work. You need silence so you can concentrate. Noise may disturb you or you may then lose temper. Or you may feel sleepy but sadly find that you are awaken by noise.

It is ideal to live in suburb or having sound-proofed home. If it is not possible to move, you may also try white noise. White noise is a kind of random signals with a constant power spectral density. It is usually used in electronics engineering and architectural acoustics of performing venues. White noise is also used as background signals to calm people down. Sometimes no matter you are in a quiet place or not you may be still very tense. The followings are the free websites for white noise:


Not only white noise, you can also listen to pink and brown noise  in SimplyNoise.  You can also set timer for sleeping. Paid mobile app version is available.

White noise player

If you think white noise generated by computer is too artificial, you may think white noise from here.  You can select different types of daily life white noise here, from fan, vacuum to wind here, though I don’t know whether they are recorded from real life or not.


It is the “raining” version of SimplyNoise. In SimplyRain you can adjust the intensity of rain to give different raining sound. You can also choose to add thunder into the background. Paid mobile app version is also available.

Rainy Mood

You can also hear raining sound here. It also has an option of “today’s music”. You can listen to it altogether with raining sound as background. I like it very much. Free mobile app version is available.


Copyright © 2014 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved

Background music & your shopping behaviour

How do you listen to music? MP3 players, youtube, spotify, or from traditional media like TV and radio. But do you know that we have many opportunities in listening to the music passively.

Last day was my day-off. I went to a shopping mall in Mongkok. It’s crowded with people. I went to a large global fashion brand store. Impulsive, rhythmic and energetic background music is broadcasted inside the store.
Then I went to a restaurant to have my lunch. Here the music is relax and much slower.

Do you have similar experience? When you pay attention to listen to, you will find that music is in everywhere.

Lots of researches are conducted to see how background music stimulate sale. They think impulsive music can drive your desire to buy more. I’m not sure if this is true. Perhaps next time when you do shopping, observe whether you are under the influence.


Copyright © 2014 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved

Horse and Chinese music

Happy Chinese New Year! We Chinese use 12 different animals representing a cycle of 12 consecutive years. This year is horse. let’s talk something about horse here.

In Peking opera (京劇), the actors use horsewhip to symbolize the horse-riding activity. Furthermore, they use different colour of horsewhip to represent colour of horses.

Horse-riding in Peking opera


Copyright © 2014 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved

What does your musical taste say about your personality?

It’s said that”you are what you eat”. But is it also true to your musical taste? Jason Rentflow from University of Texas has headed a research program to examine the role of music in our daily life. An online test Short Test of Music Preferences (STOMP) by Greg Dunn and a researcher with Philips Research is available to see how the musical preference reflects your personality.


You may have a look of it in here.請前往以下網站:

mus preference

Select “take the test on-line”. You will then move to here:
選擇”take the test on-line”, 然後就會出現一個問卷:


You have to rank your likeness of quite a certain types of musical genres such as blues, rock and classical.

It gives quite an accurate description for me. You may have a trial.


Copyright © 2014 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved