Waist drums

Waist drums make moving music

The waist drum performance in north Shaanxi Province has strong and masculine rhythm, which is suitable for the campus atmosphere. Therefore, Ms. Dai, who has been teaching Chinese language at St. Louis University High School for years, built there a waist drum performance troupe.

Photography by Dr. Tai Ching-ling, Confucius Classroom at St. Louis University High School, US

By Cheng Ye
本刊记者 程也
The red ribbons around the drum sticks danced up and down like flames. While the rhythmic drum music sounded on the stage, the hearts of audience echoed pleasantly with it. A boy student said to his classmates excitedly, “Cool! I want to learn how to play the Chinese waist drum.” At this time, Dr. Tai Ching-ling, the teacher at Confucius Classroom in St. Louis University High School, was watching the waist drum performance closely by looking through the curtains at the back of the stage. This was a debut performance made by her student drum troupe.

Ms. Dai has been teaching Chinese language at St. Louis University High School for years. During these years, she has kept considering how to help her students experience the Chinese culture in person. The waist drum performance in north Shaanxi Province has strong and masculine rhythm, which is suitable for the campus atmosphere. Therefore, Ms. Dai asked her friend to purchase waist drums from China and built a waist drum performance troupe.

Many students were present on the first day when the drum course was given. However, they found it was not easy to control the small waist drum, so most of them wanted to give up. Seeing this, Ms. Dai kept encouraging them and introduced them to Chinese drum culture. Gradually, the drum beat became unified and the troupe started to grow.

waist drums
When waiting to get onto the stage, the students were busy practicing playing the drum and changing the formation.

 

waist drums
Receiving waist drum training and experiencing the Chinese culture in person.

 

waist drums
The waist drum performance troupe showed up on the stage celebrating the Chinese Dragon Year. Their presence was warmly cheered.

 

waist drums
The presence of waist drum troupe captured great attention in the Chinese Culture Days activity in St. Louis.

 

waist drums
While teaching some Chinese during the waist drum practice, Ms. Dai also introduces the Chinese customs of some traditional  festivals in China. This has aroused their keen interest in learning the Chinese language.

 

Ms. Dai is able to tell the name of each student in the waist drum performance troupe in this boys’ school. She is called the Chinese Mum by the students.
Ms. Dai is able to tell the name of each student in the waist drum performance troupe in this boys’ school. She is called the Chinese Mum by the students.

 

The Chinese Club initiated by Ms. Dai organizes diverse activities and many students work as volunteers here.
The Chinese Club initiated by Ms. Dai organizes diverse activities and many students work as volunteers here.

 

The students in the waist drum performance troupe are showing more interest in Chinese language learning.
The students in the waist drum performance troupe are showing more interest in Chinese language learning.

 

The students like experiencing the Chinese culture in the Confucius Classroom. The colorful Peking Opera facial masks are favorites of young boys.
The students like experiencing the Chinese culture in the Confucius Classroom. The colorful Peking Opera facial masks are favorites of young boys.

Confucius Institute Magazine 23

pdfPublished in Confucius Institute Magazine
Number 23 Volume VI. November 2012.
View the PDF print edition

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