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Institute shares music overseas

Generate:2015-05-28 23:49:03 Reader:[1554] Creator:

Description:Institute shares music overseas

A thousand pupils are just the beginning for conservatory of traditional instruments

Liu Yuening has become a frequent flier since she helped create China's Music Confucius Institute three years ago. She just returned from a tour exhibiting and sharing Chinese music in three European countries

"We brought a traditional Chinese music ensemble named Jasmine to the top universities in the countries, and it was warmly welcomed," said Liu, a professor and dulcimer player at the Central Conservatory of Music. She is also the director of the Music Confucius Institute's Beijing Office.

"Some universities in the countries have showed interest in cooperating with us to establish Music Confucius Institutes," she said.

Less widely known than the 100-plus Confucius Institutes that focus on teaching Chinese, the first Music Confucius Institute opened in Denmark at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in June 2012 under the support of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Central Conservatory of Music.

By hosting events like concerts and lectures for the people of Denmark and other European countries, the institute intends to popularize and teach traditional Chinese music played with traditional Chinese instruments.

Discussions are underway to set up a Music Confucius Institute in the United States, and there also is keen interest in South Korea, where Liu is flying in a few days for talks.

"It's a new starting point for Chinese culture to go out, and it has enriched the forms of Confucius Institutes, which have been focusing on the teaching and the spread of the Chinese language," Liu said.

Music is more easily understood and acquired than languages, she said.

As the director of the MCI's Beijing office, Liu said she worked hard to create the institute from scratch with the help of Guo Shulan and Wang Cizhao, leaders at the music conservatory.

Their efforts paid off. Now the number of registered learners at the institute has reached 1,000. It was only a dozen or so in the very beginning.

A universal language

To offer performances and instruction, each year the MCI selects and sends teachers and graduate students from the Central Conservatory of Music to Denmark. In the first year, it sent teachers and students of six Chinese musical instruments, the dulcimer, guqin, erhu, pipa, guzheng and percussion.

"We did a survey before deciding which musical instruments to teach and found that people showed most interest in the six," Liu said. This year, they will bring another traditional instrument, sanxian, a lute, to the northern European country.

"As local people's interest, knowledge and understanding grow, we'll bring more musical instruments and open more courses there," Liu said.

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