Moral education in China’s music education: Development and challenges

Wai Chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers the conjunction of moral education and music education in order to understand the ways in which music is a sociocultural product with political and moral meanings and implications. Moral teaching through music education, from Imperial to modern China, has aimed to reproduce a coherent political ideology with which to bind together obedient and self-disciplined citizens. This article therefore focuses on music education for the sake of ethical and nationalist moral education. Role models are of importance for the development of moral education through music teaching. Recent music education in China has been asked to redefine moral education in terms of a new and complex blend of nationalism, tradition, cultural diversity and social harmony, and to incorporate diverse cultures, including popular culture, as a means towards positive social change in response to the evolving society. In conclusion, the article considers ongoing and new challenges for teachers in school music education as they face calls for moral education in recent demands for the reform of Chinese education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Music

User-Defined Keywords

  • challenges
  • China
  • development
  • moral education
  • music education


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