A Bridge Home: Music in the Lives of Asian Pacific Americans

"Home is not a place; it is an idea, a state of mind, an attitude."
Home exists as both a memory of our origins and an anchor in our everyday lives. In the United States, home is influenced by many cultures and ideas. For Asian Pacific Americans, music weaves elements from Asia, the Pacific Islands and America to help define notions of home.

Newcomers may sing to recreate memories of home. Others play instruments to remind themselves of their former lives. Music comforts and provides a means of expression in their new surroundings. 

At family gatherings and special events, sharing music can bridge generations. Adults teach children music to pass down their heritage. By extending traditions from their ancestral lands, Asian Pacific Americans define their own culture and place in the United States.

Over time, immigrants come to call America home. For some musicians, the customs of their ancestors may seem far removed. Influenced by many traditions, their music becomes part of America's dynamic and unique culture.