Gender differences in instrumental learning among secondary school students in Hong Kong

Wai Chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the extent of gender differences, and discusses the role of gender in musical instrument learning. It focuses on the collective instrumental experiences of 1493 Chinese students (774 boys and 719 girls attending grades 7-13) within Western and non-Western musical traditions in Hong Kong. The discussion draws attention to gender differences in the learning of Chinese and Western musical instruments, in musical interest and instrumental learning, and in the reasons why students learn or do not learn musical instruments. The paper argues that, while female and male students exhibit different attitudes towards the types of instruments learnt, significant correlations exist between their interest in music and parental support for their instrumental learning. Gender is brought to the fore by the pedagogical actions of the teacher, the mass media and by parental efforts to reduce gender bias and stereotypes through school, public and family education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
Number of pages18
JournalGender and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Gender differences
  • Hong Kong
  • Instrumental learning
  • Music education


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