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Grade 5 Musical Concert & A Chinese Learning Experience

Popularity 2Viewed 3724 times 2013-5-16 19:01 |Personal category:Ron's Journey in China 2013|System category:Life| Grade, Musical, Concert

Grade 5 Musical Concert attended by Invitation, back on track Wednesday May 15

My apology as my last post was for Tuesday May 14,  (not 15.)


I was back on the ferry, heading to Gulang Yu to meet my friend to attend a grade 5 Musical concert that he had been invited to by his students.  Fortunately the heavy rain that was falling in the morning had stopped, and I was able to get to my destination without even opening my umbrella.

We walked through the lovely side streets with the majestic older buildings winding our way around to the entrance of the school.  After validating our invitation and calling someone to escort us to the music hall, we were allowed in to the school property.  Upon arriving at the entrance to the school hall I was introduced to a couple of students, which were going to perform in the concert and the parents of one of them.


During the course of the next two hours I was impressed with professional format and conduct of the students performing their solos in the concert.   The students that I was introduced to were playing their selection on a cello and on a grand piano.  At the start of the concert the audience was advised they are welcome to take pictures and make personal videos of the concert but they are requested (required) to be quiet during all the performances.  As quickly as the announcement was over the concert began.  Throughout the concert the performers would assist with set up for the next selection, then one participant would introduce then next student (and I assume, as all communication was in Chinese, advise the audience on what musical selection and instrument would be performed.)


I am not sure what impressed me the most.  Was it the advanced skill level, which each of the performers displayed during their solo, or was it the professional way they moved from performer to performer?   Even I could tell that some of the students were at a higher skill level than others but without exception they are all to be praised for their cooperation and professionalism.  I was advised by my friend that the cello player was very advanced for his age by any standard and from my ear alone was able to tell that both the students I was introduced to were fine musicians.  I felt privileged to be able to sit in on the concert.


Following the concert another friend of mine joined us for a simple Chinese dinner, following which we were invited back for a glass or two of wine and a pleasant evening.  After sharing stories, pictures and discussing their upcoming move we departed for the ferry and headed back home.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

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Reply Report RonJaDa 2013-5-17 11:45
When I was introduced to the father of one of the students which were performing in the concert, I was praised on my Chinese. I said 很高兴认识你  (very nice to meet you,)  as I shook his hand.  The father said: Wow, you can speak Chinese very well.   I thanked him for his comment and said我只会说一点点中文 (I can only speak a little Chinese.)
The father said he was impressed at how correct my pronunciation was and how fluently I spoke.   Again after thanking the father, I told him, I cannot carry a conversation but I am getting better with each month or week that passes.   I am developing a good basic vocabulary but need live practice to be able to hear, think and answer in Chinese.  I will try to take advantage of each opportunity I get to practice my Chinese in real situations to ensure I make the most of them.

When speaking English (unfortunately most of the time,) I still have to force myself to slow down when talking to people that only know a little English.  A friend informed me that he has noticed that Chinese men will listen to you intently and give no indication they have lost understanding when an English native is speaking to fast.  Instead they will keep listening until such time as they have enough information to rejoin the discussion and pretend that they understood everything.  I looked at my two Chinese male friends and they nodded in agreement, and confirmed that it was normal behaviour, as they do not want to interrupt.

Studying Chinese one of my Chinese friends has started asking me each day what do you want to learn today.  Then he will teach me a few phrases and or verbs.  I will ask a question or two about what he taught me and a couple pet questions that I needed answering because of the interaction I had that day.

May 14th’s Lesson was due to my trip on the Xiamen BRT.  As I do not yet have a transit pass, I must purchase my individual ride tickets at the ticket booth.  At the entrance to the BRT is a nice map that shows all the stations.  I can ask a young person how to pronounce the station name by pointing to the station on the map then repeating it enough times to be able to say it enough that the ticket agent can understand.  However if there is no one to help me I am at a loss as there is no map at the ticket window that I can point the station out.   Once I am inside the station on the bus platform the stations are listed with the pinyin, but that does not help me get into the station beyond the turnstile.

Yeah I know,  I could print a map of the station, or have one on my mobile device (which I will do.)   However I wanted to learn how to say the last station on BRT Rout 3,   or the next station.
May14  Lesson
站                    Zhàn                         - station   or verb  to stand
上                    Shàng                         - last
上一站          Shàng yí zhàn                 - last one station
下                 Xià                         - next
下一站             Xià yí zhàn                 - next one station
左                Zuǒ                         - left
右                Yòu                         - right
中                Zhōng                         - center or middle
往左                Wǎng zuǒ                 - turn left
往右                Wǎng yòu                 - turn right
火                Huǒ                         - fire

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed and /or learned something.
Reply Report 坤咏1999 2014-5-30 11:21
WOW! You are truly a patient and active learner. Wish you a fruitful learning journey!

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Semi Retired Canadian - enjoying a sabatical from work, traveling, learning Chinese Language and cooking.


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