Guzheng Demonstration Nurtures Cultural Curiosity

February 14, 2023 / Andrea Wenger
Guzheng demonstration in elementary music class
Guzheng demonstration in elementary music class

A visit from a local guzheng player helped to nurture elementary students’ curiosity about various cultures’ musical instruments recently.

Chin En Hu demonstrated the instrument for students during music class. This Chinese plucked zither — stringed instrument — commonly has 21, 25, or 26 strings.

Chin En, a 10th grade student at Spotswood High School, played wearing fingerpicks on one or both hands.
She told students how the instrument is tuned to a scale typical for Chinese music, and how it can be played for our more familiar Western scale with 12 tones. She played different arrangements on the guzheng and students identified wind, water, storm and mountain sounds.

Learning to appreciate the music of many cultures helps our students develop curiosity and appreciation for people from varied backgrounds and walks of life,” says Joy Anderson, music teacher.

Anderson knows Chin En through a friendship and professional relationship with her mother Bin Shin-So, a local dance instructor and choreographer. Bin-Shin choreographed EMS’ recent production of Godspell, which Anderson directed.

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