William & Mary

Previously Offered Classes

  • Beginner Chinese  Students in the Beginner Chinese class, taught by WMCI Student Intern Junshu Fang, practice saying the days of the week in Chinese.  
  • Hulusi  WMCI Student Intern Feng Wang explains to her student how to play a song in her Hulusi class.  
  • A proud student displays her finished knotwork bracelet to her fellow classmates and instructor Xiaojing Zou
    Chinese Knotting  A proud student displays her finished knotwork braclet to her fellow classmates and Student Intern Xiaojing Zou.  
  • Chinese Cooking  Local Chef Ge from Peter Chang Restaraunt instructs a group of community members on how to properly cook a smoked fish dish.  
  • Chinese Paper Cutting  A group of students learns how to cut and fold paper with Student Intern Xuwei Hou.  
  • Taiji  Local master Stan Rockwell instructs his weekly class on proper Taiji technique.  
  • Chinese Painting  Students diligently learn how to paint plum blossoms.  
  • Calligraphy  Student Intern Xiaojing Zou displays her work alongside her students' own pieces.  
  • Chinese Language Classes  Student Intern Xuewei Huo teaches a student how to say "Happy Valentine's Day" in the beginner Chinese language class.  
  • Erhu  William and Mary students learn how to play the traditional Chinese instrument under the guidance of Student Intern Feng Wang .  
  • Pipa  Student Intern Xiaojing Zou shows her students how to play a few notes on the pipa.  
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Language Classes

Beginner Chinese

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

Culture Classes

An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Festivals

This course will give a cursory introduction to traditional Chinese festivals including the Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Seventh Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ninth Festival and Laba Festival. The history, customs and traditional cuisine of each festival will be discussed in detail. The comparison between traditional festivals in China and those in America will also be discussed to promote cultural exchange.

An Introduction to China's World Heritage Sites

China is an ancient civilization with a rich historical legacy and magnificent natural sceneries. In this class, the instructor will introduce cultural items, history, geography and natural beauty of each world heritage site using power-point presentations with exquisite photos. Research and protection of cultural and natural heritage sites undertaken by the Chinese government will also be discussed.

Preparing to Travel in China

This course is designed for those who dream of traveling to China or simply want to know more about Chinese culture. Topics will include places of interest in China, expressions to use while traveling, and Chinese dos and don’ts. Come join us to learn more about Chinese language and culture in a class focused on travel and practical use.

Sample of China

China has a rich history of art and culture spanning almost 5,000 years, including theater, painting, music, literature, and poetry. While we could spend decades before we reach mastery in any one art, this course will introduce the basics of and an appreciation for four of China’s art forms: calligraphy, paper cutting, Chinese knotting, and musical instruments.

Appreciation of Chinese Poetry

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-travelling 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.

Beginner Sun Style Taiji

The ancient Chinese martial art of Taiji (太极) combines breath work, balance practice, and intentional movement into one beautiful and calming method of meditation. Sun Style Taiji incorporates the best classical exercised, such as Qigong, Bagua, and Xingyi, into a unified Taiji practice that reduces physical pain, relieves mental stress, and improves sleep quality. The course is taught at beginner level and open to students of all skill types. Stan Rockwell, an experienced local martial arts master, develops and teaches the classes.

Beginner Yang Style Taiji

The ancient Chinese martial art of Taiji (太极) combines breath work, balance practice, and intentional movement into one beautiful and calming method of meditation. Yang Style Taijiquan is the most widely practiced form of taiji in the world.  Taijiquan can help reduce physical pain, relieve mental stress, and improves sleep quality. There is a focus on breathing and carrying your body in a skillful way, and each movement has a health intention, a martial intention, and a root in the philosophy of yin and yang. This course focuses on the first eight movements and the final movement of the Yang 24 form. It is taught at beginner level and open to students of all skill types. Stan Rockwell, an experienced local martial arts master, develops and teaches the classes.

Taiji Fan

Taiji Fan is a fitness activity which is based on traditional Taiji; Taiji Fan combines the movements of martial arts with the body awareness of dance and the mindfulness of Taiji. In this workshop students will learn the basics of Taiji Fan and learn to improve their focus, balance and poise.

Chinese Martial Arts Workshop

Are you interested in learning self-defense?  Or perhaps you are looking for an engaging way to exercise? In this Chinese Martial Arts Workshop, you will be able to learn forms for both purposes—self-defense and fitness. In addition to learning the basics of Chinese Martial Arts, you will also gain an understanding of the culture behind it, including its special characteristics and functions.

Chinese Board Games

Popular among people of all ages, Chinese board games combine skill and luck creating competitive entertainment shared by the community. In this class, students will learn the basic techniques of four popular Chinese board games, namely Chinese chess, Mahjong, poker and gomoku and enjoy the excitement of competition through hands-on practice.

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 Cooking

Taught by local Chef Ed McMahon, the WMCI Chinese Cooking classes are an excellent way to experience more Chinese culture. The class will teach students how to prepare many varieties of authentic Chinese food. This class was previously taught by local Chef Peter Chang.

Chinese Dance

Chinese dance utilizes song and movement to entertain and delight audiences of all cultures. Each ethnic variety is expressive of the particular spirit and aesthetic sensibilities of the culture from which it originally emerged. Dance, therefore, serves as a great lens through which one can better understand the complex multiethnic culture of modern China. Over six class sessions, this course will focus on one or two ethnic minority dances such as Tibetan dance, Uyghur (Xinjiang) dance, or the Yang-ge folk dance (handkerchief dance) of the northern Han people. Over the course of the section, participants will gain a deeper understanding of Chinese ethnic minority culture, as well as the ability to perform the dances independently and as a group.

Chinese Handicrafts

China has a rich culture of many handicrafts for the common people to partake in. In this class, students can discover the joys of Chinese paper folding, paper cutting, and knot tying. Chinese paper cutting is one of the most popular Chinese crafts, often seen in windows for New Years celebrations and thus often called, "window flowers." Chinese knot tying is a more advanced skill which is distinctly Chinese. You may start to notice Chinese knots decorating restaurants or wedding halls after taking this class, as they represent unity and sticking together. You will be sure to walk away from this class with great souvenirs and better knowledge about traditional Chinese handicrafts!

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 Knotting

Chinese knotting is a popular craft in Chinese folk art. In the class, students learn various knotting techniques, such as Fortune Knotting (Ji Xiang Jie) and Three Rings Knotting (San Er Jie). Each student will have the opportunity to create gifts like bracelets and hanging decorations while being introduced to the culture of Chinese Knotting with hands-on experience.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

This workshop will introduce the authentic and traditional tea culture of China. Each class consists of three parts: an introduction to one type of Chinese tea, a demonstration of Chinese tea ceremony, and hands-on practice for the learners.

Paper Cutting

Chinese paper-cutting is one of the oldest and most popular Chinese folk arts. Using only a pair of scissors and paper, students learn centuries-old techniques to create wonderful objects and designs. Over the course of the class, students will acquire a basic understanding and background of Chinese paper-cutting and be exposed to different kinds of paper-cutting work, ranging from Chinese Characters so snowflakes as well as plants and animals.

Tea In Chinese Culture

In China, there are many nuances surrounding tea, from customs regarding its consumption, to its long history.  This course will cover the history and culture surrounding tea in Chinese culture.  Students will learn how to properly prepare and drink tea, as well as proper tea-drinking etiquette.  During class, students will also have the opportunity to try various kinds of Chinese tea, such as green tea, red tea, black tea, Pu’er, oolong tea, and more! 

Music Classes


Introduced during the Tang Dynasty, the Erhu ( 二胡) has played a central role in traditional Chinese music for over 2,000 years. This class is designed to teach students basic Erhu techniques and songs while exposing them to classic Erhu music.


Originally from India, the Pipa (琵琶) has been at the heart of traditional Chinese music for over 2,000 years. In this class, Students will be introduced to the instrument through basic notes and techniques, while being exposed to more complex classical pieces that will enhance their understanding of Chinese musical culture.


The Ruan () is an ancient Chinese stringed instrument that is often compared to the guitar. It was first introduced during the Qin dynasty around 2,000 years ago. In this Class, students will learn how to play some traditional Chinese and American songs, as well as listen to some famous music.

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 Volunteer Teacher Lu Yang play the hulusi on the Crim Dell Bridge.