'Real life School of Rock' video goes viral in China

A handout photo. A video clip of the students has become an online sensation overnight, and has been viewed about 60 million times on micro­blogging platform Sina Weibo.
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

The rhythmic drum beat sets the stage for the performance. Five girls in uniform — a drummer, two guitarists, a bass player and a vocalist — from Haiga Elementary School in Guizhou province perform a cover of a Miserable Faith single, appropriately named Sing for You.

Their talent has given them high hopes, as has the location of their school: About 2,900 metres above sea level, halfway up a mountain in Liupanshui, it is nicknamed "The school in the clouds". Most students are from the Yi ethnic group.

A video clip of the students has become an online sensation overnight, and has been viewed about 60 million times on micro­blogging platform Sina Weibo.

On June 19, Miserable Faith, a well­ known indie rock band in China, reposted the video, commenting that "Every angel loves beauty ... there will be a larger stage for you in the future".

Many internet users commented, with one saying "This is the real life School of Rock". This refers to a hit 2003 movie detailing how teacher Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock superstar, turns his class into a rock band.

Behind the Haiga rock school, Gu Ya, who has taught the Chinese language since 2016, is the real-world Finn, bringing music to students in the mountains.

"We are just playing music for fun," the 32­-year-­old teacher said, adding at first he just wanted to find a way to reach his students.