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Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education

Page 2 of 28


Building a New Music Curriculum A Multifaceted Approach

Chi Cheung Leung, The Hong Kong Institute of Education

Introduction This paper addresses one of the four questions of the MayDay Group Action Ideal No. 7 (see http://www.nyu.edu/education/music/mayday/maydaygroup/index.htm): To what extent and how can music education curriculums take broader educational and social concerns into account? A multifaceted music curriculum model (MMC Model)—one that addresses relevant issues, criteria, and parameters typically involved or often overlooked—is proposed for consideration in designing a music curriculum. This MMC Model and the follow up discussion are based on the results of a larger study entitled The role of Chinese music in secondary school education in Hong Kong (Leung, 2003a; referred to here as the “original study”), and one of its established models, the Chinese Music Curriculum Model, which was developed in connection with research concerning curriculum decisions for the teaching of Chinese music. The original study employed a questionnaire survey of 209 secondary school music teachers and interviews with 26 professionals from the cultural sector in Hong Kong.

The MMC Model approaches curriculum from a comprehensive perspective, and underscores the importance of addressing a range of different dimensions and issues in designing music curriculum. The aim of the MMC model is to lead stakeholders in music education to consider all relevant dimensions necessary for planning an effective curriculum. Since the model incorporates a multiplicity of variables, it may well be of use for curriculum planning in other countries, even those where no single traditional music repertory exists. The four dimensions emphasized in the Model are: (a) the importance of popular, traditional (including folk and classical), and contemporary music; (b) music at the local, national, and global level; (c) embedding academic studies in appreciation, composition, and performance activities; and (d) integrating elements of other cultural subjects in the teaching of music. These four dimensions, although quite well known to most readers, all need to be considered

Leung, C. (2004). Building a New Music Curriculum: A Multi-faceted approach. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education. Vol.3, #2 (July 2004). http://act.maydaygroup.org/articles/Leung3_2.pdf

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