CyberFair Project ID: 4796

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Hengchun folk song
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Hengchun Primary School
    Pingtung County, Taiwan, Taiwan, Republic Of China

11 students, ages 12~13 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 28, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Kai-Ping Chen, Kwan-Zan Liu, Fwun-Hwa Liu

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The city, where those beautiful folk songs showed in this web come from, is our home town - Hengchun. Located at the southern tip of Taiwan and surrounded by sea on three sides, Henchun Peninsula is known as Taiwan's tail. On the west edge of Pacific ocean, it's about the same latitude as Havana in Cuba. Because of it's variety in special tropic terrain and landscapes, Kenting National Park is found here in 1984, to preserve these gifts from nature. It's the best classroom for studying topography and geology. More than two million tourists visit Kenting National Park every year . It's an inviting destination for travelers to come over and over again. 130 years ago, in the first year of Guangshu of Qing Dynasty(1875), Shen Baojen build a city ,Hengchun County, with wall surrounded in Langqiao.( Hengchun was known as Langqiao in old days.), to defense Qing's claims on Taiwan over the waters surrounding the island. Hengchun Ancient city is built for the sake of defense with Chinese feng shui. It is centered at Houdong Mountain and surround by four other mountains outside it's wall . Most of the people here are the descents of the early immigrants from China Mainland in 18 century. The ancestors, their hard working and struggling for living, are still recalled in the folk songs sung here. But like many other places in the modern world today, these culture treasures are fading, only the elder people over 60 years old know these well. So, this is especially meaningful for our young students to have the chance to study Hungchun folk songs in this project.

2. Summary of Our Project

The formation of Hengchun folk song came mainly from the people in the early age of Taiwan's migration history (about 18 century) who migrate across the sea from China Mainland to here. The life of farming this new land was very hard. In order to relieve, they would sang tunes made up by themselves with words about their daily life. People to people, everyone around here knew these songs finally, and the original writer could not be specified any more. There was another saying about the creation of these folk song : certain balladeer has made them, and sang around in Henchun area. But consider the inconvenient traffic then, it was most unlikely that songs could be popularized this way. The rhythm can be changed as singer wishes. And the tune varies slightly to avoid homonyms as singer needed. No matter how they were changed, Hengchun folk songs have their own style always. They talk about the life, events, scenery or the singer's feeling about these things. Hengchun folk song includes five tones : “Ox tail”,“Thinking of”,“Five Holes”,“Four Season Spring”,“Pingpu” “Farming Song”. In the past some thirty years, Taiwan has continuously promoted the folk music in all efforts. This project intends to record the process of the refinement of folk music. By way of promoting the beauty of the folk musical culture, we expect to have mutual international interaction, and further to surge the new life of innovation, continuation, exploration, and development for the folk music.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

There is one computer classrooms in our school, consisting of 35 computers. They connect to Our school's LAN by a 100MB backbone which is further connected with Pingtong City Education Network Center via EPON(Ethernet Passive Optical Network), and in turn, linked to Taiwan Academic Network. Apart from the computer room, computers in faculty offices can also be hooked on the internet. There are one Server, WWW Server, Proxy Server, E-Mail Server ,etc.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) It is not easy to get in touch with Mr. Jhu Ding Shun, and Mrs.Chen Ying, the famous folk song singer here. After we did, thanks to them, we were able to have more contacts with other important folk song singers and interviewed them. (2) It is difficult to arrange a schedule for all our team members besides their regular school time. (3) To dispatch task among all the members was complicated. For our theme study, the member must write many learning sheets, interview records and thoughts, the task load was impressive, so we decided to set up a “single window”. All the work was to be submitted in electronic files to Kai-Ping’s mailbox. This way, not only the issue was solved, the efficiency was also increased.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The passion the old folk song singers show to promote the folk songs deeply impressed everyone. The treasure is in our life, around us, we should thank all of them.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

We put folk music into the lessons for all grades in our school. This type of activities is one of the special features of our school. The folk music match totally with the arts and humanity, musical and physical education, set forth in the twenty years in one curriculum, presently in force. During the planning of this project, we learned how to collect and organize information, courtesy and techniques for our interviews, the key points to consider during the records, and the technology of web page production and photography. All these contents also match the fields of language, variety, social studies, computer science and other fields. Taking Hengchun Primary School for example, our folk team not only performs at the school anniversary, school variety show every year, it is sometimes invited to perform in other places, to exchange culture in other communities. Also, it is given a great opportunity to present the aesthetics of folk music in front of more people.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

1. Telephone: contacting and discussing with interviewers and team members. 2. Computer: making web pages, uploading photos, and integrating articles and information. 3. Disc, flash driver: in storing documents to facilitate work processing. 4. Internet system: searching related data, learning from the past works, filling out progress report, and contacting members and submitting reports. 5. Printer: printing references for discussion. 6. Recorder: recording the interviews for paper writing. 7. Digital camera: taking photos of visiting, interviewing, and discussions. 8. DV: filming the interview, record the performance of folk songs singing. 9. Computer software: employing softwares such as Windows, Office, Flash, and Dreamweaver in all the data managements.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

At the beginning of this project, we know nothing about Hengchun folk music. Our team members visited Hengchun Folk Song Society first, and they provided us lots of information about the background, person, and activities of Hengchun folk music. Our young members were all very touched by the emotion embedded in Hengchun folk music. Then with the help of our Education Director in school, whose family has long live in this area and know some folk song singers, we interviewed Mr. Jhu Ding Shu and Mrs. Chen Ying, they are considered as the national culture treasure in folk song singing. The project and the enthusiasm our young members shows encourage all the elder folk song singers we visited. They were very pleased that young people could pay attention on culture things and help preventing them from fading out. So we were able to record some unique, touching live performance by them, and got to know other singers. We gain more than we expected as we carried our project on. Our activities even caught the attention of a local news reporter and made an interview on us too!

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Due to the change in modern society, traditional cultural arts are fading out gradually. If nothing is done, we are bound to lose them. So is Hengchun folk music. For this, we hope to raise the attention and caring about the importance of the folk music through this study. We also hope to promote the folk music to as many places as possible, to allow the spirit of this tradition to be carried on forever. This project with its outcome of building a web is a solid announcement that we are doing something. Our activities had even caught the attention of a local news reporter who interview our members and wrote a brief report! Besides these, our young members learned a lot about Hengchun folk music through this project, they could even play the 2-strings instrument and sing some folk songs! This is great, and they will be the seeds of Hengchu folk music in their home, class and among their friends. This project and our young enthusiastic team members had also made the elder folk song singer see hopes. If we all can continue this work devotedly, then things may just be different!

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We interviewed many people in the field of Hengchun folk music. Some of them are voluntary workers in promoting societies; some of them are elder people who can play and sing folk songs. After they know our project, they all generously provided us the data we need to build this web. The video clips of the singers’ performance we recorded during our interview made our web even more unique and vivid! In addition, Principle Su-Zeng Whang, Director Kwan-Zan Liu, and Ms. Fwun-Hwa Liu who have always supported, encouraged, and accompanied us. We also want to express our sincere appreciation for their warmth and kindness. It’s all because of their timely help that we can obtain such rich and valued information, which makes our website much more colorful and meaningful. Their help and encouragement really gave us the strength to keep moving. Once more, we must say “thank you so much” to all of them.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We did not expect that we could go this far and deep in Hengchun folk music study at the beginning. But the elder people we interviewed were all so outstanding in this field and support our project so generously. We got to record some live folk song performances by them. And though their help, we learn more and meet more people than we originally planed. This encouraged us a lot. Besides, our young team members worked surprisingly good as well. They were active in asking questions, writing reports, and behaved properly in interviews. We were left amazed and delighted by the unlimited potential they showed.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4796)

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