Lin Yao was born in 1987 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and started to learn Pipa (Chinese lute) at 6 year old. She is the chief Pipa player in Wenzhou Folk Music Group and a music teacher in Wenzhou School for Special Education. Pipa is a short-necked, four-stringed plucked Chinese lute. It is one of the oldest Chinese musical instrument with a history over 2,000 years. Modern pipa appears as a shallow, pear-shaped body with a wooden belly, along with 29 or 31 frets. The four strings run from a fastener on the belly to conical tuning pegs in the sides of the bent-back pegbox. Its name suggests the plucking direction: pi, "to play forward," pa, "to play backward." The strings of Pipa that once made of silk, are now usually replaced with nylon-wrapped steel.