Friday, December 30, 2016

Cock a Doodle Do! Chinese New Year Welcomes the Year of the Rooster!

 I have several posts about Chinese New Year (CNY) you can find on the right side scroll bar or you can find them all here.

The Year of the Rooster begins January 28, 2017 .  Asian countries follow the Lunar Calendar, hence the changing date each year of CNY!

Chinese New Year, also known as Asian New Year, Lunar New Year, and the Asian Spring Festival, lasts for 15 days and is the biggest holiday celebrated in China and most Asian countries.  Families celebrate by hanging special banners, eating special foods, lighting firecrackers, and giving money away in special red envelopes.  Typically, children have most of the month off of school, as do most workers!  Many families travel great distances to celebrate with extended family.
 
Our daughter was adopted from China and we therefore are an Asian-American family who celebrates CNY in many ways!  My daughter also dances in a Chinese Dance Troupe with CNY being our busiest performance season.
Here are many ways you can introduce and celebrate CNY and Chinese music in your classroom!

1.  The Story of Nian 

This is a short (3 minutes) video that tells the story of the mythical Nian and about some of the traditions of Chinese New Year. 
 

2.  Shadow Puppet video of How the Chinese Zodiac was named.

Another short video (2:42) of how the Chinese Zodiac came to be in the order it is.  I love this one for its brevity and shadow puppets (very traditional Chinese art form).

3.  The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine
ISBN-13: 978-0525420682, available here from Amazon.com.

 
 
1. Prepare movement having students walk to a drum beat, when music stops, they freeze.  Add running movement as eighth notes are played on temple blocks.  Add float or glide when  chimes or  gongs are played, etc.
 

Runaway Wok Music:

 
 
After each singing about wok going to rich/poor man’s house, play a different piece of music to which students respond by walking, running, skipping, galloping, floating, marching, etc. You will need 8 pieces of music.  Tell the students this is how the the wok if moving to the next house (change the words of the story after each movement time, “The wok galloped down the road the poor man’s house”, or, “The wok danced down the road to the poor man’s house”, etc.
Try to use pieces that are Chinese or played on Chinese instruments.

Suggested pieces: (click on names of pieces to be directed to youtube links)
1.   Sneaking/Creeping:  
Pizzicato Polka Op. 234 (played on Chinese instruments)
2.  Gallop:  Horse Racing
3.  Sliding/Skating: 
Kangding Love Song
4.  Floating/Gliding: 
Moon Reflects on Erquan Pond
5.  Slow Spin/Float:  Hammock Hanging Between Betel Trees
6.  Float:  Tibetan Bowls
7.  March:
Gong Xi Gong Xi
8.  Dance:
Goddess Choo Choo
Read story, play musical selection after each “Skippity hoppity ho” is sung. Play for about one minute, students move the way they thing music sounds (offer suggestions), when music is stopped the return to starting places.
Continue reading/singing/moving throughout the book.
 

4.  New Year Song, Chinese New Year Song (in Mandarin):


 
 
 
 

Pronunciation Guide:

Process:


·        Teach melody with text.

·        Add “sweep” movement every two beats; pretend to hold broom, sweep  side to side, transfer to bass and metallophone instruments, add snaps, transfer to glockenspiels, claps for TB (Temple Blocks).

·        Perform introduction with basses and soprano recorder solo or small ensemble playing melody.

·        Add “B” section with unpitched percussion. 

·        Develop suggestions for performance.

Teacher Tip

This is a great piece to break out the gongs and metals.  Noisier the better; firecrackers are lit at Chinese New Year to scare away the monster, Nian!  Also consider using ribbon streamers and having some students use scarves or dance fans (find on ebay; look for Chinese dance fans or belly dance fans) to create a New Year Lion/Dragon dance. 
Want to go the next step and make a Chinese dragon/lion? 




 
5.  Zodiac Cards to create word chains, work with UPP, meter work, or alternate "B" section to song above.
Musical Magic has a fabulous set FREE on TpT, in color, with eighth notes and quarter notes printed on cards to go with the names of the zodiac!  Yes, every zodiac animal works as quarters/eighths!  Love when that happens!
These Chinese Zodiac Cards are a free download and don't have eighth and quarter notes listed.  These I would use with my second or third graders as it is a great way for them to determine division of beat.  Once they had chosen 4 and finalized order, I would add a repeat sign and have them write out their order with eighths/quarters on dry erase boards.  Then we could play around with saying, playing, singing, and creating! 
 
 
 HAVE FUN!! Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year)!



9 comments:

  1. I just ordered "the Runaway Wok" thank you for the wonderful ideas for Chinese New Year!

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  2. I loooooooove this! Did it with my 3rd and 4th graders today! We have a population of International students from China at my private school (We host one in our family!) and this was SO FUN! We are going to perform for the Chinese students at the end of the month! Thanks again! God bless! :)

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    1. I am doing a little happy dance here in my classroom! Thanks for the comment! So glad you enjoyed it!! We also have several students from China and a big group of high school students from our sister school in Luzhou, China, is visiting here this week! Xie Xie (shee-eh, shee-eh) means thank you, so Xie Xie!

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  3. This has been a great post. So useful with great links! I tried the Mandarin song today with my choir and they were singing it all afternoon! I will be ordering the Runaway Wok for future use! THanks again!

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    1. Yay! Glad you enjoyed it... very catchy tune! The book is delightful!

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  4. This was fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing. My students loved moving to the authentic music while reading "The Runaway Wok" which I borrow from the local library. Now we are composing music using the rhythms of the Chinese Zodiak. Thank you again for sharing.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it! The book is a gem and I love the music, too! Thanks for your appreciation!

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