GuZheng FAQs
Submitted by: Joanna Zhong

What do you like about guzheng? (Character, colour, tonality, history)
Guzheng is a Chinese plucked string instrument with 21 strings, also known as the Chinese zither. It is a Chinese traditional instrument with more than 2,500 years of history. Guzheng has a very sophisticated character – gentle but powerful, expressive but introverted. In Chinese classical music, guzheng were often used to represent things as grand as mountain, also as delicate as streamlet. Guzheng players are always elegant and peaceful, like they just walked out from one of the Chinese paintings. The way to play and demonstrate guzheng music is connected very closely to Chinese philosophies. You must have a peaceful mind state to fully deliver the guzheng music, or vice versa, playing guzheng to develop a peaceful mind state. I love guzheng because of its tonality, every note connects closely and directly to the soul.

How to teach guzheng (teaching philosophy)? How to make Guzheng fun?
No matter children or adults, having ‘interest’ is always the NO.1 thing when comes to learning an instrument. A guzheng class should be full of joy. It is always good to give the students a brief idea of what guzheng is about – its history, character, tonality etc. Once the students have a general understanding of guzheng, then it is time to dip into the techniques. It is also extremely important for the students to know why they have chosen guzheng as their instrument. A note can sound completely different on guzheng if using different playing techniques. The teachers should always show the students the potential of guzheng and what guzheng is able to achieve on a music level. Combining students’ interests with the teaching curriculums and designing the curriculums accordingly will certainly boost the learning outcomes, and to give the student a memorable learning experience every time they go to a lesson.

Are guzheng lessons necessary? Do guzheng lessons help? Are guzheng lessons worth it? Do guzheng work? Are guzheng important? Why take guzheng lessons?
Guzheng is one of the most popular instruments in China. It is also known as the “Eastern Piano”. In China, more than 50% of the students choose to learn guzheng other than other instruments. Taking guzheng lessons are definitely important for people who likes guzheng and wants to learn an instrument properly.

What age should guzheng lessons start? How old should you start guzheng lessons? Can adults take guzheng lessons? When to start music lessons for babies?
Study suggested that 3 to 5 years old is a good time to start learning musical instruments, but there are no restrictions! Our guzheng students ranges from 4-year-old to 80-year-old. Adults can definitely take guzheng lessons and excitingly almost 50% of our guzheng students are actually adults. It’s never too late to start. Anyone can learn guzheng even with no previous music experiences.

Why should I take guzheng lessons at JZ Centre Stage? Do online guzheng lessons work? Do online music lessons work? Can you take guzheng lessons online? Should I take guzheng lessons or teach myself?
JZ Centre Stage offers students a comprehensive teaching curriculum focusing not only on a technical perspective, but also on students’ creativity and potentials. Online guzheng lessons will give students a general idea on how guzheng works, however less focus on each independents’ learning patterns. It is suggested to use online tutorial as supplementary materials when necessary, but not as a substitution of a face to face guzheng lesson.

How many guzheng lessons do I need before I can play a song?
Students will be able to play a few songs after each lesson starting from the first lesson. The teachers usually teach techniques along with some songs, so students can practice techniques and at the same time play their favourite songs. In the process of learning a new guzheng playing technique, a couple of songs will also be carefully chosen for students to practice that particular technique.