Updated: Apr 29, 2020
This January, we are learning about sound energy. Our class have been very interested in traditional Chinese instruments ever since a Grizzly Class student's grandfather gave a presentation on Chinese instruments last semester. We really enjoyed the beautiful sounds and wanted to know more about how the sounds are made. Last Friday, a group of Chinese musicians came to Stanford Bing Concert Hall. We could not miss this great opportunity to learn more about Chinese instruments. We enjoyed the performance from the Melody of China and carried out interview with the Chinese musicians after the performance.
The artists from the Melody of China introduced their special Chinese instruments one by one and performed beautiful songs. For instance, the pipa player showed us how to use pipa to mimic natural sounds, from the sound of raindrops to a horse neighing. And She played the famous Chinese pipa song "Racing Horse," accompanied by other traditional instruments.
We were also attracted by the percussion instruments. Two Chinese artists performed "Harvest," a traditional Chinese drum dance. We were impressed by the beats, sounds, and beautiful dancing. It reminded us of our Chinese New Year performance. Many students mentioned that they wanted to try it out in our play.
After the performance, we got a chance to meet the artists and interview them in Mandarin. They were very friendly and answered our questions patiently. It was a very authentic experience in using our target language outside of school.
We also connected our learning about sound waves with the design of the Bing Concert Hall. Students talked about the materials used for the ceiling and walls. Based on our knowledge about sound and waves, we made the assumption that the rough and soft surfaces can absorb sounds, and the smooth surface can enhance sounds.
Can you guess what traditional Chinese instruments we are playing in this picture?