In 2012, the song “motherland” composed by BAI Ling resonated at the party of SCUT’s 60th anniversary, which moved the audience with its delicate feeling and artistic appeal. However, BAI Ling’s influence was far beyond that anniversary party – in the celebration of the return of Hong Kong and Macao years before, her two works Dream realized and Time of reunion had received wide praise.
A dreamer obsessed with music
BAI Ling was born in an intellectual family in Nanning, Guangxi Province and her parents both loved literature and art. In her primary school and middle school, BAI had always been a student officer as well as leader of the propaganda team, and her grades ranked top in the class. Initially she tried to compose class song and school song while studying in senior middle school, which she joked as her earliest “music composition”.
In 1977, as one of the first batch of college students after the resuming of college entrance examination, BAI Ling was enrolled by Guangxi Arts Institute, majoring in composition. The 21-year-old girl was, unexpectedly, the youngest student in the class and one of the only 8 students enrolled, and some of others had already won a little reputation in that field. With a weak foundation as she assumed, BAI Ling conscientiously studied on various theories of composition and improved her character and personality. BAI was a talented student, and also a very hard-working one—she was always the last to leave the classroom, thus she naturally got good grades in the exams. Her performance on solfeggio courses was especially outstanding—ranking first for three years in the class, which explained why she chose solfeggio as her direction in teaching.
BAI stayed at Guangxi Arts Institute as a teacher after graduation. To improve her teaching skills, she went to Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in 1988 to study teaching theories of solfeggio under the supervision of Prof. ZHAO Fangxing. In 2001, she went to CCOM again as a visiting scholar to study under the guidance of Prof. SUN Hong. Referring to her teaching, BAI Ling said, “I have my own firm beliefs and I always know what I want and what I like. That’s very important.”
Arousing students’ music ears
Art education pursues beauty and builds souls. As a teacher of basic music lessons, BAI Ling needs to train the students’ ability of inner hearing, i.e. their “music ears”, which is an important requirement for them to be good professional musicians in the future. Besides, in chamber music, chorus and symphony orchestra, any problem in one’s pitch, rhythm, timbre, mode or tonality can negatively affect the expression of music. That’s why solfeggio is set by many music institutes as a compulsory basic course and calls for high-level skills of teachers.
In 2004, BAI Ling was transferred to SCUT as an introduced talent. In her class, she had strict and specific requirements for students in composing, sight-reading, pitch and so on, so as to train their quick and accurate reaction to music. Now BAI is proud that many students have made great progress in their basic courses after years’ training like that. They can even readily handle difficult monophonic and multi-voice music.
BAI Ling’s teaching is an integration of moral education, intellectual education and aesthetic education. And her standardized and highly-interactive classes can help students find the beauty of music. She hopes that, through music study, her students can find ways to express their feelings, realize themselves and build up self-confidence. “Music makes people calm, awakens their tired body, and enables them to relax, feel, think and understand.”
Developing students’ artistic sentiment
In a university of science and technology, improving students’ artistic attainments plays an important role in promoting campus culture, perfecting students’ knowledge and personality. Apart from basic courses of School of Arts, BAI Ling also taught an optional course open for students from other schools, hoping that this could help improve their artistic accomplishments. In her eyes, those dancing notes, like innocent and noble fairies, could really purify human hearts. Through art education, BAI Ling led those students to feel, appreciate, express and finally create beauty. One student who took that course just for the two credits at beginning said after finishing it, “I brought assignments of other courses to the classroom at first, preparing to kill time there; but without realizing it, I had been deeply attracted by this course.” Another student said, “Every week I waited anxiously for this special day and I really enjoyed singing together with others.”
Education influences people subtly. The communication between students and teachers is based on more than music and language—teachers’ life value and pursuit also have a great influence on students. BAI Ling is a teacher who cares much about her students. Once a student suddenly fell ill and vomited in the classroom before the class began. On seeing that, BAI immediately asked another student to send him to hospital and gave all the cash she had to him as deposit for the hospital. Then she took the mop to clean the classroom with other students without causing delay to the class.
With years’ teaching practice, BAI Ling gained not only rich experience, but also deep love for her career and students. All the students she taught were impressed and inspired by her sincere and strict teaching style. After graduation, some of them became solfeggio teachers in music schools, and others became music composers, conductors, performers etc. Among them, we can find many famous people such as erhu player of “Twelve Girls Band” LEI Ying, bamboo flute player LIAO Bingqu, and conductor of Central Youth Radio Choir CHEN Nuo. Of course, BAI Ling was happy to see their growth and proud of their achievements.
One philosopher once said, “Music is the speech of angels.” In SCUT, many other art teachers like BAI Ling are full of enthusiasm and love. They are teaching students art knowledge, arousing their humane spirit, and letting music resonate with love.
Edited by HU Nanping and WEN Qiang
From SCUT News Network