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ECNU’s “Education for Dreams” initiative in Chishui of Guizhou Province: Three days to form a choir


 Starting from scratch,  the “Chishui Youth Choir” was formed within a mere three days. Several pieces of music were rehearsed to a relatively polished state, as excellent music educational resources were shared with both students and teachers from Chishui. This summer, the Guizhou division of ECNU’s School of Music, as part of the “Education for Dreams” initiative, accomplished a “seemingly impossible” challenge.


During the thematic education period, supported by ECNU’s party-building brand program “Education for Dreams” and in response to an invitation for education assistance from Chishui No.1 Middle School, the first Guizhou division was dispatched by the Party branch of the faculty of the School of Music, ECNU to carry out a four-day summer research and a special teaching support campaign of “Education for Dreams” lasting from August 9th to 12th. Simultaneously, in collaboration with the Youth League Committee of ECNU, a special social practice campaign: “Brilliant China, Youth in Action” was also organized. Led by Professor Shi Chunxuanzi and Associate Professor Tan Yaru from the School of Music, a team of 9 individuals assembled in Chishui, Zunyi City in Guizhou Province, the location of the former The Great China University, one of the predecessors of ECNU.

More than 900 applicants signed up early and 52 of them were finally selected to form the choir. The news of forming a summer choir of Chishui No.1 Middle School quickly attracted a group of teenagers with a strong “music dream”. Associate Professor Tan Yaru, along with a student volunteer team, took the time to understand the students’ interests, vocal abilities, and the current state of music education at the school. They tailored their teaching methods according to the students’ individual circumstances. With great enthusiasm and concentration, the students devoted themselves to the choral training and quickly learned to sing two choral songs, as well as the “Solar Terms Song”, which was specially composed by Wang Qingqing from the School of Music, especially for the “Education for Dreams” choir.

“Ms Tan is here to help us realize dreams…”, the choir members expressed unanimously, “Her rehearsals are exceptionally practical, covering everything from the fundamental principles of vocalization and breath control to standardized sight-reading and rhythm training. It’s hard to believe that in just three short days, we’ve undergone such a remarkable transformation. We feel truly fortunate.”

“I have loved music since childhood and always wanted to learn music, but my family cannot afford it, so I’ve been self-teaching through online videos,” Student Kuang said frankly, a student participating in the choir. Another student rehearsing with them added, “One of the most touching moments for me was when we were singing the song ‘The brightest star in the night sky’. There was a moment when it felt like the stars were actually shining…I really hope to have the opportunity to step onto a stage and share such beautiful music with everyone.”

Three days flew by in an instant. The choir achieved rapid progress, from the selection and formation of a brand-new choir, to rehearsing several relatively well-formed songs. In light of this, the members went the extra mile to create a commemorative video showcasing their achievements.

With deep emotion, Associate Professor Tan Yaru conveyed her heartfelt message to the choir members: “Music is like sunshine and air, though invisible, it is an indispensable nutrient in our life. I hope that music can become your confidant, accompanying you with its melodies on the journey of life ahead!”

Copy editor: Huang yan, Philip Nash  

Editor: Yvaine Lyu