As the first step, Hong Shao intends to continue offering her project which has been offered at numerous schools across Kentucky including James Lane Allen Elementary and Paul L. Dunbar High in Lexington. The project includes training and directing students for Chinese music and dance performance. The project aims at introducing Chinese music and culture and to compare Chinese and Western culture. The program is designed for students to learn about Chinese music, and to a greater depth the Pipa, and its history and characteristics. They will compare and contrast the Pipa with similar Western string instruments such as guitar. The elements of music — rhythm, melody, form, timbre, harmony, tempo, and dynamics — will be examined in the music of both cultures. In addition, students will participate in playing and singing. They will play percussion instruments to accompany the artist's Pipa. The program will create a greater understanding of how the basic elements of music exist in both Chinese and Western music, and how musical instruments are similar around the world. The target grade level and residency length are k-12 and 5 days, although it is possible to further extend up to 10 days.
One of the major goals of this project is to promote cultural diversity. To address the cultural diversity, the artist will first use her professional quality performance to attract students' attention and interest and demonstrate the beauty of another culture. Further, all the activities offered in this residency program are accessible for persons with disabilities, including the hands-on participation and playing percussion instruments for the Chinese song with the artist.
The project includes a detailed lesson plan, a list of pre- and post-questions, follow-up sheet for review and questions, and a list of on-line and off-line resources. The pre- and post-questions are designed to measure students' progress in understanding the Chinese culture, the instrument pipa and its history and characteristics, and the similarity and differences between the pipa and guitar. The progress will be used as a mean for self- assessment. In addition, the artist will provide the participating faculty an evaluation form for feedback.
The curriculum areas which will be reinforced includes Academic Expectation 2.26, which states that through the arts and humanities, students recognize that although people are different they share some common experiences and attitudes and 2.23, which states that students analyze their own and other artistic products and performances using accepted standards.