LHASA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Music can be a man's best friend. This might especially be the case when you live thousands of kilometers from your family and old friends in an incredibly unique but undeveloped region.
Dozens of officials and professionals from the eastern province of Shandong, who were assigned to serve in the country's far west plateau region of Tibet two years ago, gathered in a classroom Thursday evening, listening attentively to a young college professor giving a lecture about how music can make people feel better.
They were among the thousands of officials and experts that China has been sending from other provinces to help Tibet develop since 1995.
"We can live with the guilt of leaving our family behind and the harsh living conditions, but the after-work loneness everyday can be rather annoying," said Zhang Ningbo, the deputy Party chief of Xigaze, the second largest city of the region.
Xigaze, about 250 kilometers southwest of the regional capital Lhasa, is located at an average altitude of over 4,000 meters which means air there is thin and oxygen is poor.
"We could really use some music," said Zhang, who is approaching 50 years old and is the head of the group of officials from Shandong, which is nearly 4,000 km from Tibet.
Zhang asked Song Liping, a 32-year-old music professor who had just arrived in Tibet to visit her husband, to give a lecture to his team members about "music therapy."
Song's husband Xue Feng, also a member of the team, used to work for Shandong's provincial water resources department. He now assists Xigaze's water resources bureau and has shared his skills with his Tibetan colleagues.
Song, who was on summer vacation and had barely recovered from altitude sickness, handed out notes to her more than 20 students, showing that people in different moods should choose different music to calm their nerves.
"Anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, horror and desperation can be treated with different kinds of music," read the notes.
"If you feel depressed, you'd better play the 'Blue Danube' or the 'Moonlit River in Spring.' 'Pathetique' and 'Fate' are for sadness," Song said.
The group holds lectures or workshops on a weekly basis, said Zhang Ningbo, adding that the get-together activities will not only help them learn but also make their after-work hours fun.