New York's China Institute launches Chinese music education program

The New York City-based China Institute launched a new educational program on traditional Chinese music in partnership with the Bard College Conservatory of Music (BCCM) on Sunday.

Starting from spring 2019, the "Music at China Institute" will offer classes on guqin, erhu, and guzheng, each with eight sessions.

For toddlers, a "Mommy and Me" series will bring the fun of learning Chinese musical rhythms and movements for their intellectual and social development.

Small group classes are taught by professional instructors who are also award-winning musicians and educators, each carefully selected by BCCM.

Cai Jindong, director of BCCM's U.S.-China Music Institute, and Yu Feng, president of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, were among the guests at Sunday's opening ceremony of the program at China Institute's Lower Manhattan headquarters.

Yu, whose institution has been collaborating with the BCCM in Chinese traditional music education for over a year, congratulated on the inauguration of the program, saying that music, as a universal language, could promote cultural exchanges between China and the United States.

Both Cai and Yu will head to the Bard College in upstate New York to attend the second annual conference of the U.S.-China Music Institute scheduled on March 11-12, during which professionals on music education and exchanges from around the world will be sharing their thoughts on teaching traditional Chinese music in the West.

China Institute President James Heimowitz told Xinhua on Sunday that the constant desire of Americans to understand China in a "more human way" prompted his organization to launch the program.

"Today's collaborative effort is really, really special. It's the first time that we are bringing to an American audience the ability to learn about Chinese instruments here at China Institute," he said.

A number of Chinese instruments players living in the United States performed several classic pieces, including Drinking Spree for guqin solo, Henan Tune for erhu and guzheng, and Happily Ship Crops for erhu solo, winning loud applause from an audience of some 200 music lovers and professionals.

Founded in 1926, China Institute is the oldest bicultural, non-profit organization in the United States to focus exclusively on China.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency