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Year in Review:

Students sing to learn



Editors note: This is the third in a series of articles highlighting the 2011-12 school year.Halle Prentice and Joe Coehlo sing

On any particular afternoon of the 2012-12 school year, one could hear the melodic chants and songs of ancient Chinese culture in the halls of Tech Valley High School. Close one's eyes and a visitor may even believe that he or she has traveled half way around the world and enter the halls of a Chinese school.

That's because students in Tech Valley High School's Mandarin Chinese Language 4 class frequently advanced their understanding of the language and culture by singing traditional and not-so-traditional Chinese songs during class.

Just as their counterparts a half-a-world away may be singing the same songs, the students at the regional public high school rose to attention while singing and used hand gestures to symbolize the meaning of the words as they strike a harmony.

"It's amazing," one visitor to the school recently said when coming upon the seniors singing without hesitation a traditional Chinese folk song.

TVHS Mandarin Chinese Teacher Sophia Hsia, an immigrant from China, said Chinese culture values song in education.

"We believe that there's a really wonderful and close connection with language and music. And it is said that a higher percentage of Chinese people have what is called the perfect
pitch," said Hsia, who majored in music education and performance at SUNY Potsdam's
Crane School of Music.Students sing

She added that "students learn a lot of Chinese through songs because it is easier to pick up and less intimidating than just learning a bunch of Chinese words. And they enjoy it more."

In the top photo, seniors Halle Prentice and Joe Coehlo strike a pose while singing.

In the bottom photo, students sing.