In this autumn Music Confucius Institute (MCI) has been organizing Chinese language teaching sessions for 4 teachers at The Royal Danish Academy of Music

The 4 teachers began the Chinese language course at the beginning of September with great enthusiasm and each of them had their motivation for learning the language. The purpose of the teaching is to teach them basic Chinese with a focus on how to use it in a musical teaching context with musical expressions. The team leans to pronounce their student’s names, about important Chinese cultural and historical knowledge, and to communicate basic everyday talk. 

Teacher in choir conduction and organ, Bente Colding-Jørgensen said about the first class: “It was fun and interesting [to start on the course] and even though I was the only one on the team that had not been traveling in China and could not speak one single word beforehand, the teaching was very thorough and systematic and I had no problem in following the class.” 

The teacher Yuan Lili has a lot of experience in teaching Chinese to Danish Speakers and gives the pronunciation and phonetics great attention. Because Chinese is a tonal language, with 4 different tones to learn, it is just as important to learn the tones as the words, because a wrong tone can change the meaning of the word. This aspect was not an issue for the music teachers because their musical background helped them differentiate clearly between the different tones. 

“I liked we immediately began with the phonetics – and there is a kind of a musical approach, which is really good for me,” said Bente.

Assistant Professor in Music teacher, Rhythmical training, and Entrepreneurship, Kirsten Juul Seidenfaden said: “I think it was fast how we got an insight into what different elements the Chinese language contains.” 

The Chinese course will continue throughout the autumn semester and will be a combination of offline and online teaching. All the teaching will be recorded, so it can be used later as a self-study course for interested teachers, who want to interact more clearly with their Chinese students.