WMCI Community Classes

The William & Mary Confucius Institute is offering two sessions of community courses this autumn, from September 16th - November 14th. These include courses in the Chinese language, as well as other fun and educational cultural courses!

In Session I, we will be offering Chinese Level I, Classical Poetry Showcase, Chinese Flute, Hulusi, Tai-chi Workshop, and Chinese Painting. Session I will run from September 16th - October 14th.

There will be a Chinese Cooking Class held from October 10th - October 31st.

Session II, which goes from October 21st - November 14th, includes classes such as Chinese Level II, Chinese CalligraphyHulusi, Chinese Flute, Classical Philosophy Seminar, and Tai-chi Workshop.

 The cost for each course is $10/class, to be paid in full on the first day of class. In general, each session holds 8 classes per course ($80). W&M faculty, staff, and students always receive a 50% discount (e.g. $40 for 8 classes). Payment is due on the first day of class and accepted by cash or check. Please make a check payable to: The College of William & Mary. 

Please sign up today to secure your spot, as the classes are filling up quickly!  

Beginner Chinese: I-II

Open to students of all skill levels, this class covers the basic phonetics, grammar, and writing systems of conversational Chinese. The lessons integrate Chinese Culture, including character etymology and relevant holidays, with each lesson. The class places the most emphasis on listening and speaking.

Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy, the most revered of fine arts in China, is closely linked to Chinese culture, aesthetics, philosophy, and history. The class is designed to help students appreciate the artform's unique beauty and learn how to write traditional Chinese characters with a bamboo brush. Students will understand the way calligraphy is integral to various aspects of Chinese culture, improving the students' cultural proficiency and writing. The course's main emphasis is individuality and creativity while practicing the age-old techniques.

Chinese Flute Workshop

Flutes have existed in China for almost 7,000 years. The first flutes discovered in China were made of animal bone. They have since evolved into bamboo instruments, and are still widely popular today. The Chinese Flute, or Di in Mandarin, is made of bamboo and is the most popular Chinese traditional wind instrument. It bears many similarities to the Western flute, but has a unique Chinese sound. In this class, students will be introduced to the instrument by learning basic notes and techniques, while being exposed to more complex classical pieces that will enhance their understanding of Chinese musical culture.

Hulusi Workshop

Originally played by ethnic-minority groups in Yunnan province, the hulusi, a gourd-shaped free reed wind instrument has gained nationwide popularity throughout China with its pure, mellow clarinet-like sound. In this class, students will be introduced to the instrument through basic notes and techniques, while enjoying beautiful folk songs and understanding Chinese musical culture through regular practice. Click here to listen to Student Intern Lu Yang play the hulusi on the Crim Dell Bridge.

Chinese Classical Poetry Showcase                                                                                                               

With a history of more than two thousand five hundred years, classical Chinese poetry distinguishes itself by employing rich imagery to depict nature’s wonder, express feelings of joy and pain, and views of life and death. In this course, we will embark on a time-traveling journey from early 1000 BC to 1200 AD to appreciate the beauty of classical Chinese poetry and better understand Chinese philosophy through the rhymes, rhythm, and storytelling.

Chinese Painting

Chinese painting, with its emphasis on the beauty of simplicity, smooth brush strokes, and graceful designs, reflects time-honored principles of Chinese philosophy and culture. Practicing Chinese painting is a great way to relax and creatively express yourself. During this course, students will learn basic knowledge about traditional Chinese painting and its differences from western works, appreciate different kinds of Chinese painting, and work on traditional Chinese flower and bird paintings. Our schedule will include lessons on painting orchids, bamboo, lotus flowers, and forsythia, along with butterflies, dragonflies, swallows and pandas.

Chinese Philosophy Seminar

As one of the leading forces that influenced thought in the East, philosophy in China has a deep and interesting past that offers a different point of view than that of traditional Western thought. In this course, participants will examine eight unique excerpts from Chinese classics and gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese values.

Tai-chi Workshop

Tai-chi is an ancient martial art that combines breath work, balance practice, and intentional movement into one calming method of meditation. The Thirteen Postures (8 Gates and 5 Steps) are referred to in various ways by Tai-chi Chuan authors. Some call them the "Thirteen Powers = Shi San Shi."  Others call them the Thirteen Postures, the Thirteen Entrances, the Thirteen Movements, or the Thirteen Energies. All thirteen postures involve some movement of the feet and legs, but the final five postures involve more extensive movements of the feet and legs.  These are collectively referred to as the Wu-xing - Five Elemental Phases of Change.  The last five gates are associated with the 5 elemental processes (Wu-xing) involving:  metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.  


Click here to see the classes we have offered in the past.