Music Education Special Interest Group
Research Seminar Announcement
Imperatives and Challenges for Popular Music Education in Mainland China
Professor Wai-Chung Ho, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Tuesday 26th November 2013
Further details from Lucy Green, email@example.com
All are welcome
Since the 1990s mainland China's modernisation and globalisation, together with its transition to a market economy, have created new imperatives for, and challenges to the school curriculum. Many reforms have been initiated to improve the quality of basic education in China, including areas such as the school curriculum, material incentives, teachers' professional development, and students' personal interests. As a result, the 2011 reform of the Curriculum Standards for Primary Education and Junior Secondary Education mark the first time that the school curriculum has officially included popular songs. With particular reference to Beijing and Shanghai, this empirical study explores Chinese adolescents' popular music preferences in their daily lives, and to what extent and in what ways they prefer learning popular music, rather than more traditional music curricula, in schools. Data were drawn from questionnaires completed by 2,971 students in Beijing, 1,730 secondary students in Shanghai, interviews with 55 students in Beijing and 60 Shanghai students between 2011 and 2012. The findings can be interpreted as indicating that music and music education, whether in formal or informal settings, are complex cultural constructs that are reinvented through the intertwined interplay between different actors' preferred musical styles in their multileveled cultural world. This study examines the challenges that mainland China faces concerning the promotion of popular music in school music education, by moving beyond oppositions between culture and power, tradition and modernity, the global and the national, and the pedagogical issues resulting from the introduction of popular music in contemporary China's education.
Wai-Chung Ho completed her PhD in music education at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 1996. She is a professor in the Department of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research interests are the sociology of music, school music education, and the comparative study of East Asian music education. Her research has focused on inter-linked areas of development, education policy and reform in school education, as well as values in education across school curricula in Chinese countries, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Wai-Chung is a frequent contributor to leading international research journals in education, music education and cultural studies, and has been published in journals such as the British Journal of Music Education, British Journal of Educational Technology, International Journal of Music Education, and Music Education Research. Her book, School Music Education and Social Change in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Brill, 2011) examines recent reforms and innovations in school music education within these changing Chinese societies, and compares, from a sociopolitical perspective, how music education in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei has adjusted to the forces of globalisation, localization and Sinofication. In addition, Wai-Chung has examined pedagogical issues concerning the introduction of popular music in contemporary education, as well as the unique challenges facing mainland China's promotion of popular music in school music education.