Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rob Amchin in China Part 2

Beatin' Path author and composer, Rob Amchin, has been in China for almost 2 weeks now, touring and teaching at various sites throughout the country.  Here are some of his observations.

We've been traveling on three lane roads turning into five lanes with pedestrians walking with babies across the street. Motorcycles and bicycles are everywhere and everyone seems to be honking their horns for no apparent reason except to warn the other guys that they are cutting into the traffic. (They are close enough that you can put your arm into the window of the next car.)  It's amazing, wild, and so crazy that we are holding our breath most of the time we're moving along the roads.

The taxi was a buck to go cross town

And oh my the dirt... street cleaners always have streets to broom.  Floors are washed with dirty mops.  I love it! And the people are beautiful.

Fireworks every other night..... Wedding celebrations bring fireworks. This does not make for happy sleeping but it is festive, exciting  and memorable.

For this in-service Deb had them playing stick games with chop sticks.... pretty funny replacement for rhythm sticks but they have billions of chop sticks here!

Exploring legato movement to traditional music

Attendees to the training session--Rob presented the first three days of the 10 day training session.

Teachers here have responded well to my teaching because of my work in the past two years.  Working last year in the Xiang-e mountain school helping the victims of the 2008 earthwake has been recognized and applauded.  I am still receiving gifts of appreciation for this.

I will write about the Xiang-e school, which was destroyed in the horrible earthquake in Sichuan province in May 2008.  Many children died as a result of school dormitories being destroyed during the devastation.  With an international determination, the school was rebuilt and became the most structurally sound building in the small mountain village just 10 minutes from Dujianyan, a city near Chengdu.  The reconstructed school was built with a fine arts wing with the goal of using the arts to help students heal in the horrible disaster.  An Orff program and music therapy training was suggested and I was the first westerner to go the newly constructed school.  I helped the music volunteers unload their instruments and to begin learning how the Orff approach could be of musical and therapeutic benefit to children.  I was able to present an in-service to teachers in the region about Orff pedagogy.  While we were not able to go to Xiang-e school this trip since it was summer recess, I'm hoping to return to this community and be a partner in the healing of this community.

Discussing Orff Schulwerk with the President of the China Orff Schulwerk Association.

- beatinpath@mac.com

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