Rural schools in East Kazakhstan revive art of playing ancient instruments

Rural schools in East Kazakhstan revive art of playing ancient instruments

The younger generation is renewing interest in the ancient music of the steppes. New children’s orchestras were created in remote villages of eastern Kazakhstan. Children will be taught to play such old national instruments as zhetygen, sazsyrnai. For example, 8-grade student Gulim Orazgalinova learned to play shankobyz in a year. She admits that it fascinates her with its unique sound.

These instruments were collected thanks to the sponsorship of the district’s sustainable development fund. They donated 121 copies to schools worth 12 million tenge (US$27,364). Now, the project organizers are to equip remote rural educational institutions, following the example of the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.

“We plan to invest 200 million tenge (US$456,069) in each school. There are three pivotal villages of Katon-Karagai district in our strategy. These are Ulken-Naryn, Katon-Karagai and Uryl, which have six schools. We intend to equip all six schools in the future,” said Serik Zhunussov, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Public Fund, Katon-Karagai district.

“Our children learn to play several instruments at once. They can play shankobyz, sazsyrnai, sybyzgy. They are also learning to play such a rare instrument called dangara,” said Nurdana Omarkyzy, Music Director of Orchestra.

Educational facilities of Katon-Karagai were upgraded with the latest equipment. There are a small sewing workshop and a robotics classroom. The level of knowledge is not inferior to city schools, parents highlighted.


Translation by Saniya Sakenova

Editing by Saule Mukhamejanova