North American Guqin Association



Chinese poetry through the guqin: a practical tool to learn Chinese language and culture

Dear Qin Friends,

Confucius said: “To educate somebody, you should start with poetry, emphasize ritual, and finish with music”. NAGA has developed a series new class that will combine poetry and music with guqin study and aims to deepen the appreciation of Chinese poetry and guqin culture through the exploration of guqin songs.  It is designed for complete beginners and experienced players alike.

It will start Sunday, April 8th, 2012 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Space is limited so please register now.

Courses objectives

Students will not only learn how to play the guqin and sing poems by famous poets from different Chinese dynasties, but also will learn standard Mandarin through these poems. This course will provide a practical, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Chinese language and culture.

About 3000 pieces of guqin music have been handed down from past dynasties, of which about a third contain lyrics. However because the guqin has become an endangered instrument, they are unknown to most people. This course therefore also aims to preserve and promote guqin music and the singing of guqin songs. 

At the end of the course, students will be able to sing at least five famous Chinese poems while playing the guqin, and will have a broad appreciation of Chinese culture.

Course description

Topics covered include:

­      systematic coverage of guqin playing and performance techniques

­      guqin history, tradition, theory, handbooks, and repertory

­      the use of singing to enhance guqin playing and of guqin playing to enhance singing

­      the historical background of the poems, authentic diction of the song texts, pronunciation of classical poetry, recitation and singing, and poetry translation

­      the technique of traditional guqin songs following the method of guqin master Zha Fuxi, which is now almost lost

The classes will consist of lectures and practical sessions, and will include PowerPoint presentations to explain guqin notation, to show music in guqin tablature and staff notation, and to show poems in Chinese characters, Pinyin with tone indications and English translation.

Practical information

Fees $400 for 5 weeks


Union City , CA. Address to be announced after registration. Accessible by public transportation.

Class size

Because we intend to run a beginner-friendly group using a traditional teaching style, one student per guqin, space is limited.


Instruments can be either rented for the full 5 weeks duration of the course(rental can be credited towards the purchase of a qin) or purchased from the teacher.

Chinese music specialist and NAGA class sponsor will provide discounts for students enrolled in the 10 week class, with prices of guqins starting from only $399 (please see the description of each model recommended for students enrolled in this class).

Good guqins will be provided for use during the classes, one for each student. Students do not need to bring their own instruments.



The guqin is a unique Chinese musical instrument with many playing techniques that need to be taught orally by masters. Unfortunately, there are very few guqin teachers in the United States. More and more people are people are becoming fascinated by the guqin but cannot find a qualified teacher. Even self-teach is very difficult because there is no English instructional material.
If there were any shortcut to learning the guqin, it would be to follow a master’s guidance. Renowned guqin teacher, scholar and performer, NAGA director Wang Fei is the only inheritor in the North America of the world’s greatest guqin grand master, China National Treasure Li Xiangting. She has inherited the traditions, styles, concepts and masterpieces of her “grand teachers” Zha Fuxi, Wu Jinglue and Guan Pinghu, the three greatest guqin masters of the last century, and transmits them through her guqin teaching, performance and promotion in the western world. She is also one of the very few bilingual guqin players recognized in both the US and China by mainstream universities, music festivals and museums. She has toured internationally and has given lectures, workshops and seminars on the guqin at many prestigious universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and the Central Conservatory of Music. Wang Fei will impart the essence of her more than 25 years of guqin playing in those classes.

For a brief introduction to the guqin in English,please see

Please follow Wang Fei on Facebook
Wang Fei's Chinese twitter, one of the most popular guqin weibo groups:


The number of places is limited, and space is available on a first-come-first-served basis, so please register now! Email registration is highly recommended! Please email your registration form to

Your reservation is not confirmed until NAGA staff contact you and your registration is fully paid. No refunds or exchanges once payment is received. Tuition is non-transferable.

Fill out the registration below and print out along with your payment send to:

North American Guqin Association

PO BOX 7113

Fremont, CA 94537-7113

Please click here for registration form:


For details of any of these classes and to enroll, please email or call 1-866-841-9139 ext.1555.


About NAGA

The North American Guqin Association (NAGA) is a nonprofit cultural arts organization dedicated to the public presentation and preservation of the art of the guqin, spreading community appreciation of Chinese culture through the traditional art of the guqin and building a bridge for cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the Chinese and American communities. NAGA offers guqin classes, performances, recordings, workshops etc.
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