The Chinese language is now considered as one of the most important languages to master. In a world where the largest multi-national corporations and employers are Chinese, having Chinese literacy capabilities will certainly give your child the potential to succeed and remain competitive in the future.
The formative years are the best time for a child to pick up new languages and hone bilingual competency. Research has shown that bilingual children have better concentration, analytical and multitasking skills, which results in better academic performance. They also tend to have a better sense of self-worth, identity and belonging in society.
In line with this, Alphabet Playhouse has developed a unique programme of teaching the Chinese language that is both fun and exciting. By incorporating Cajon drums into the Chinese lessons, the children are better able to learn the various rhythmic intonations and remember it better. This programme is known as “Learning Chinese Through the Cajon Drums”.
A Cajon drum is a box-shaped percussion instrument that originates from Peru and is made from thin plywood. The player sits astride the box and plays it by tapping and slapping the front, side or rear surfaces with the hand, fingers or sometimes sticks and mallets.
The Peruvian Cajon in its purist form is a six-sided instrument, with a sound hole cut into the back panel. The front panel is made from thin wood for resonance, leaving the other five sides to provide the structure. The sound is dry, the root tone is bass, and its primary role is as an accompaniment instrument. It traditionally didn’t have or need the bells and whistles, buzzes and snares that have been added to it over the years.
“A Brief History Of The Cajon” – Drum Magazine
This programme provides the children at Alphabet Playhouse with the platform to learn Chinese through the medium of music. With the Cajon drum, they enjoy a musical experience with songs, develop rhythm and intonation through poetry, master hand coordination by practising movements, tell compelling stories with the drumming sound, and conduct performances by cooperating with their fellow friends.
When a child plays the Cajon drum, it helps them to develop cerebral function by improving intelligence and promoting the development of the left and right brain. While tapping the drum, which is what they naturally enjoy doing, their sense of rhythm is trained and developed. It also helps them better manage anxiety and improve their memory.
By incorporating the Cajon drum into the Chinese curriculum, the children are able to learn the language in a quicker and effective manner, at the same time improving their reading and speaking skills.
This is a lesson where the children learn 大鼓和小鼓 or “Big Drum & Small Drum”. They begin by familiarizing themselves with the three main sounds of the Cajon drum which is “咚 dong”, “哒 da” and “次 ci”.
A song sheet is provided, and the song is played for the children to listen and sing to. Then they are taught the rhythm and beat on the Cajon drum.
Lastly, they gradually incorporate the singing and drumming into a song performance.
The “Learning Chinese Through the Cajon Drums” programme is indeed a delightful and effective method of learning the language for the children. Come and visit Alphabet Playhouse to find out more and to see the children in action with the Cajon drums!