Towards 21st-century music teaching-learning

Reflections on student-centric pedagogic practices involving popular music in Singapore

Authored by: Siew Ling Chua , Hui-Ping Ho

The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472464989
eBook ISBN: 9781315613444
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042013


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This chapter discusses the teaching-learning of popular music in Singapore’s general music classrooms, focusing on issues of music pedagogic practices and, perhaps more critically, the music teacher’s role in effecting these practices. Green’s (2006, 2008) work in highlighting issues of autonomy, authenticity and music pedagogy has stimulated vibrant discussion in the field (Folkestad, 2006; Green, 2008; Ho & Law, 2014; Smith, 2013; Väkevä, 2006). A significant impact of these developments is that they have opened up the music teacher’s pedagogical repertoire. 1 Running in tandem with these exciting developments is the pan-Ministry call for a “student-centric” education and the nurturing of 21st-century competencies (MOE, Singapore, 2010). Drawing from vignettes in Singapore’s music classrooms, we suggest that 21st-century music teaching-learning involving popular music needs to be student-centric, give students autonomy and empower the student voice (Finney & Harrison, 2010). We call for highly nuanced and thoughtful facilitation by teachers, so that students are meaningfully guided towards their learning goals.

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