Updated: Mar 4
The cultural activity provided by the programme on the 24th of July happened to be a lesson in the Zither.
Before the lesson all of the Edu-Pals changed into our Hanfu, the traditional Chinese clothing, and were given Chinese tea as guests while we listened to the teacher talk about the history of the instrument. From this brief lesson we learned that the instrument takes over a year to make, making them extremely expensive and therefore only dedicated musicians can often afford to buy it. To start off, we learned how to read music for the Zither, which differs from normal instruments which use 8 notes to an octave.
After we learned the basics we moved on to practice a simple, well known song in China which was used at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Everyone practiced in unison and then took in turns to play a section each. Anyone with a background in music would have found it easy to pick up, though the coordination involved was tricky for beginners. I myself was able to pick it up ok, but it was a bit funny to see some of the others madly attempting to pluck at the strings (there was encouragement of course after our laugh)! After everyone had given it a go, we all watched and listened to the teacher sing us a song with the Zither whilst we all drank more of the traditional Chinese tea, which was a pleasant way to end the event.
(You can check the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79TZvCeZYUQ )