Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

NYPD sergeant connects with the community through classical music

Over the course of a decade, New York Police Sgt. Chris Yip went from not knowing how to play a note to being a classically trained pianist who performs at venues across New York City to benefit nonprofit organizations.

Yip had always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but money was tight in his immigrant family, and there wasn't enough to pay for lessons. After working as a teacher and counselor at a nonprofit in Queens, Yip became an NYPD officer in 2004, and in 2007, while on patrol outside the Brooklyn Music School, the music he heard flowing out of the building pushed him into finally signing up for lessons.

He soon realized that as he played, the stress of his job evaporated. After years of practicing and weekly lessons, Yip, 37, decided to give back to the community by holding benefit concerts that raise money for scholarships and City Harvest, an organization that feeds the hungry. "I can use the performance to help someone else," he told People. "As officers, we see people who really could use some assistance." Catherine Garcia