Learn Poetry, Sing the Classics
To better assist the South Australian community and to meet the needs of children learning Chinese, the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide has created an online poetry singing program (introductory) for children. The program aims to stimulate children’s interests in Chinese poetry, unlock their musical talent and enable them to get closer to the arts in a fun and relaxing manner. Since it was introduced, the program has gained popularity among parents.
On 4thJune, the first session of the Chinese poetry sing-along program attracted over ten families from the community. Nearly 20 children who were interested in music and Chinese, sang a Chinese poem online, experiencing first-hand the beauty of Chinese language and culture.
During the first session, we taught the children to sing a poem written especially for kids, namedOde to the Countryside.Based on their individual abilities, we first helped them master the pronunciation of the Chinese characters in the poem correctly through reading. At the beginning of the session, teachers engaged the children’s attention by using numbers in the poem, helping them find enjoyment with the poem. The teachers introduced the meaning of this poem to the children through vivid pictures and simple words. Then teachers led everyone to read the poem, sentence by sentence. Children are born with a passion for reading aloud, so they soon had a good command of the pronunciation, as well as an understanding of the quantifier in Chinese poetry.
The children became more excited when it came to singing. Under the instruction of the guest music teacher, Abao, who played along to the poem with his guitar, the children slowly started to sing along. It was relaxing and enjoyable to show thevitalityand beauty of the poetry through singing. To enhance the children’s interests, the teacher also swapped the poem’s rhythm to help them be more accurate with their singing. Everyone enjoyed themselves singing along with the music. Parents and teachers were impressed by the children’s enthusiasm and happiness.
To help the children continue to practice their poetry and singing after class, we prepared some relevant learning materials. Older children could use themusic sheet we provided to play an instrument while singing the poem and younger children could choose to do coloring or drawing with the learning pack we offered,helping them experience the picturesque beauty of Chinese poetry.
After the first session, we have received feedback from the parents. They told us that, some children were so passionate about singing poetry at home, and others loved the program so much that they continued to sing the poem even after the class. Some parents also expressed their satisfaction with the content and format of the session. We feel proudly encouraged reading the feedback.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from engaging with the children face-to-face, but the online poetry singing program helps bring us closer. The Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide will continue to introduce new programs and projects to continuously assist multicultural development within the South Australian community and to open the door for children to further understand Chinese culture.
The first online poetry singing program organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide will be held on Thursday, every fortnight from June 4thto September 24th. We will continue to hold the other 7 online sessions and will organize an online poetry singing performance at the end of the program. We warmly welcome more children to join us and experience the infinite charm of Chinese poetry through singing.