Students from China and Korea address SDG through music and art
As everyone knows, music is one of the most important elements of human culture. This week, on November 29, music brought students from Zhenjiang Vocational College, China, and Incheon Performing Art High School, South Korea, together. During the Live Class, students shared their passion for dancing and music while discussing Music and Humanity in the two countries. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, both schools managed to participate directly from their classrooms, which facilitated great interactions between all students.
Throughout the semester, students worked on diverse activities, devoted to music and art and their connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of the Live Class was to share the results of semester-long efforts, learn about partner country’s music as well as develop new attitudes towards the role of art for humanity. Chinese students presented the development of rap in China and introduced a famous Chinese rapper, Jackson Wang. According to their research, his music not only promotes common values such as love, hope, and peace but also is calling against cultural division between East and West. Additionally, they performed a dance on one of J.Wang’s songs. Korean students shared their reflections on the famous song “Heal the World'' by Michael Jackson. Students explained that the main theme of the song was covering many of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, in the reflection part, they mainly focused on SDG #16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions”.
After the presentations, students discussed similarities and differences of both artists’ music, its’ role, and main messages. Students concluded that although Jackson Wang and Michael Jackson might have different audiences, both artists’ music is addressing important goals for humanity in a fun and memorable way. Also, they noted that both artists are calling attention to global issues and aim to make this world a better place.
During the Performance time at the end of the Live Class, students got a chance to show their talents and sang songs in Korean and Chinese. Since both schools’ students joined from their classrooms, they could exchange immediate reactions and show their impressions altogether. Such direct online contact between students from two classrooms raised their interest in their partner’s culture and language.
Overall, students were encouraged to view the role of art in cultures from different perspectives. Live Class activities helped students to realize how art connects the world, how similar are its goals and means. While listening to partner school’s presentations, students learned how to express their behavior and attitude towards foreign artists correctly in a foreign language. As the principal from Zhenjiang Vocational College noted in his closing remarks, this Live Class was “a breakthrough in form and content”. Indeed, students explored a new side and purpose of art in a memorable way and at the same time gained new intercultural knowledge about each other.