THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — The Culture and Sports Department in Huế has signed an agreement to co-ordinate with the local Education and Training Department to add folk singing to the academic curriculum in schools.
The art of ca Huế will be included as a school subject. Pupils will take part in excursions and extra classes at museums on the art form. Pupils will also attend art shows and camps on song composition.
The two agencies will encourage pupils to use libraries, as well as organise free reading weeks and mobile libraries so that pupils can access information at school.
This month, the Art and Culture School of the Thừa Thiên-Huế Culture and Sports Department will host a training class on Huế folk singing to 30 teachers from secondary schools in Huế City. Experienced singers will also teach during the class.
“We will train both music teachers at secondary schools and pupils from the schools at Huế Folk Singing Clubs in the city,” said Phan Thanh Hải, director of the Culture and Sports Department.
In three months, teachers will be trained on general knowledge of music, culture, history; learn how to sing folk melodies; and exchange with singers.
“The programme will not purely aim to teach pupils to sing Huế folk songs but also help them understand the values in the songs,” Hải said.
“Teaching Huế folk singing at school will help young people understand Huế folk singing and traditional music in general, enhancing their awareness of and improving possibilities in protecting and developing the folk art,” said Đặng Phước Mỹ, deputy director of Thừa thiên-Huế Education and Training Department.
“The teaching programme will also promote culture, art and sport activities at schools, help enhance pupils’ physical health and provide them with useful entertainment,” Mỹ said.
Before Huế folk singing, schools in the province introduced folk games like skipping rope, Mandarin square capturing, shuttle cock kicking and duet singing into the curriculum.
Some schools have organised contests of folk games, Mỹ said.
The education and training department has also hosted contests on history for local pupils.
Huế folk singing is a variation of Huế royal court music and is considered a type of chamber music that originated from performances in the royal and mandarin houses during the imperial era.
The art form is said to bear similarities to traditional Vietnamese music such as đờn ca tài tử (southern folk music) and ca trù (ceremonial singing performed in the north). The music is played on traditional Vietnamese musical instruments, while the musicians and vocalists all wear the national long dress, áo dài.
Huế folk singing was listed as a national intangible heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. — VNS