"With the gentle wind blowing over the field, we admire the beautiful rainbow, hands in hands," sang a chorus of 21 children on a wooden stage beside a picturesque lake in East China's Zhejiang province. The scene is featured in the last episode of Tian Ye Li De Ge Sheng (Songs Sung from the Fields), a 10-episode TV program which has recently concluded its first showing on CCTV-17.
All the participating children were selected from various schools across the country. None of them received professional training for singing or dance before. They had stayed together for 15 days in a special "campus" in Fuwen Township Primary School, receiving tutoring lessons from some of China's top singers and musicians such as Cai Guoqing and Yan Weiwen.
The program has accumulated more than 660 million views through its hashtags on Sina Weibo, one of the country's most popular social platforms. Many netizens have commented that the songs rendered by children are full of healing and contagious strength.
Guo Shengjian, a professor with aesthetic education at Hunan Normal University, said the program has explored an ideal aesthetic education model by creating harmonious atmosphere between nature and humankind, exemplified by several angles that capturing the children's chorus joyfully singing in the fields.
Li Bo, a literature professor at Nanjing Normal University, said aesthetic education — various in multiple classes including fine art, literature and music — plays a key role in helping a child grow up healthy.
With limited resources in facilities and staffers, most schools in the rural areas might not value aesthetic education as much as those in bigger cities, but students in the countryside are mostly passionate about such education programs, according to the producers. The producers added that they hope the program draws more societal attention and support to helping such students.