This study focuses on the collective musical practices of boys and girls within Western and non-Western musical traditions in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei. Participants were 3,864 Chinese students (1,902 boys and 1,962 girls) attending Grades 4 - 9. No significant differences were found for students' self-reported musical learning in the three Chinese communities. Most children based their preferred learning on instruments and activities based on Western music, and stated that mostly preferred popular music. Nonetheless this study found significant differences between boys and girls with regard to the types of Chinese and Western instrumental learning, participation in extra-curricular activities and musical preferences. Findings pose challenges for the music education systems and highlight the need for providing both boys and girls should with a wider choice of instruments to select from and also encouraging children to participate in varied musical activities as well as learn a wider, more comprehensive range of musical styles in schools.
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