Bringing Xoan singing into schools has been recognised as an effective way of keeping the traditional art form in the hearts and minds of local people in the northern province of Phu Tho, its cradle.

The effort aims to realise the target of preserving Xoan singing during the 2013-2015 period. The ancient genre is currently listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent protection.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Education and Training Nguyen Van Liem said Xoan singing has been taught and performed in schools since 2010, adding that his department also works with local sectors to organise extracurricular activities featuring the singing at schools.

During the school summer holidays, the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism instructed Xoan clubs and cultural houses to open singing classes for students and invited artisans to pass down their skills to the youngsters, said the department’s director Nguyen Ngoc An.

However, in order to popularise this traditional style of ritual folk singing among young generations, it is important to raise their passion for the art so that they can be fully aware of the significance of conserving and upholding its spiritual values.

Music teacher Nguyen Thi Thanh Van at Dinh Tien Hoang primary school said before teaching her students to sing, she allows them to study its origins in order to raise their interest in this national heritage.

“I also introduced the melodies, lyrics and simple dance movements to my students, and I realised that they are extremely enthusiastic about my lessons,” Van said.

At Kim Duc primary school, Xoan singing has been included in the curriculum. As well as establishing a Xoan club, it also invites local artisans to perform for its students.

Meanwhile, children at Hoa Hong kindergarten in Viet Tri city have been given the opportunity to watch videos about Xoan singing. Teacher Nguyen Thi Quynh Hoa also composed a number of her own songs based on Xoan melodies to help inspire her students.

Artisan Nguyen Thi Lich said: “I was very happy to see that many students came to my house to learn about Xoan singing. I believe that with enthusiasm, they will preserve this traditional art form.”.-VNA