Home / Campus Life / Content
Campus Life
Stories and Songs:non-stop love and dreams
Author:Gu Ning & Gao Fei  Date:2023-04-11  Clicks:

When it comes to music, what enters your mind? For Zhang Yiren, Yuan Yinyi, and other members of the ‘Stories and Songs’ project, music is a way to connect people, encourage children in rural China to develop an appreciation for music, and germinate love and dreams in their hearts. Stories And Songs’ is a national key project led by the team of Professor Wu Jiang from the School of Information Management at Wuhan University (WHU). It aims at promoting rural revitalization by raising awareness about remote regions through music. 

A playground concert, one of the main project activities, was successfully held on the evening of March 4. When hundreds of music lovers rushed onto the playground, soaking themselves in the audio-visual feast, the atmosphere gradually warmed up, notwithstanding the chill of early spring. Soon the audience began to join in with the rhythm of song.

Students attending the concert at the 912 Playground

The activity named “Carrying the Message of Love to Children in Rural Areas” was also given an enthusiastic response during the concert. To encourage more students of WHU to join the project, members of the project team handed out postcards to the audience, encouraging students to write down what they wanted to share with children in rural areas. Piles of postcards transmitting love and hope from WHU to the countryside were collected through this activity, showing that music can really strike a chord in the hearts of an audience.

Collected postcards full of love and kindness

The idea behind “Stories and Songs” was the result of a perfect combination of opinion and opportunity, said Zhang Yiren. “I’d been thinking for years that I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. To realize this goal, I have insisted on holding performances and concerts on campus. However, I found that it had little effect without a practical target. By coincidence, Professor Wu Jiang happened to be responsible for a national key project on rural revitalization. It occurred to me that there are large numbers of children in rural communities who lack confidence or motivation and really need more attention. I therefore decided to transmit some spiritual vitamins by playing music for rural areas,, especially where children live.”

However, the process of planning and preparation was not smooth, especially in the very beginning. The first challenge was how to build up their own team. Under difficulty, Zhang and Yuan held the first concert to publicize the project and recruit new team members, which produced satisfying results. Additional difficulties arose in relation to many aspects, like applying for an arena and funds, reporting the project status, and even adjusting audio devices at the venue. Luckily, in joining efforts for the same goal, all the team members successfully cooperated on the project.

Teammates make preparations for the concert

The implementation of this project could not have proceeded without the support of various people.  Wu Jiang, the vice dean of the School of Information Management, took the lead in handing over the project to this team, Professor. Wu Ke and Secretary Jiang from the School of Information Management assisted in the project approval. From the leaders of the Youth League Committee to the students of the Student Union, from the Graduate Student Union to the Art Center, from team members to the person who provided the equipment free of charge, Zhang Yiren listed many supporters and expressed his gratitude.

When it comes to the next two concerts, Zhang admits that the pressure will be doubled. “The venue will move from WHU to the countryside, so the negotiation with the local government will play a key part. A deep insight into the preferences of rural children and their acceptance of selected songs also matter.”

Zhang is optimistic as always: “Considering WHU as the cradle, our preliminary plan is to call on other domestic universities to participate.” Zhang’s next step is to film a documentary for remote areas relying on the fast-growing and easy-accessible Internet, to organize flash activities like, ‘Gift of Wishes’, which is aimed at delivering students’ wishes to rural children. Zhang said, Until then, we’ll collect gifts at the entrance of canteens.” Zhang believes that the longest journey starts with a single step.

Floating box for the activity “Gift of Wishes”

“Music can act as a catalyst and lubricant. When you are standing on a stage, in kids’ eyes, you’re definitely shining! As a result, they’ll focus on your words instead of rebelling,” said Zhang. Since music is expected to be the carrier of such immersive guidance, the whole team carefully selected seven theme tracks for the countryside concerts, such as courage, innovation and contentment, to deliver hope, passion and strength.

After a fairy-tale music night, Zhang hoped there won’t be nothing left, or nothing changed ever.  If only one child received the seed of dreams in his or her heart, and began to figure out what kind of person he or she wanted to be, and what field he or she wants to make achievements in, the entire team’s efforts would be paid off.

Less interests. More interest.”  This is a sentence Zhang repeatedly mentioned. His ‘useless’ persistence, conversely, has contributed to ‘useful’ progress beyond the reach of utilitarians. Someday in the future, we may see him in a live broadcast of agricultural products or in some digital project for rural revitalization, with those non-stop songs of love and dreams lingering around.

Photo by Lin Yangjie, Yuan Yinyi

Edited by Li Tong, Li Jing, Yang Caiyi, Zhang Yilin


Prev Section:The beauty under cherry blossoms
Next Section:WHU holds its First Dumpling Making Competition

[ Close ]

Copyright @ 2014 Wuhan University