Music lessons in the elementary schools of Vancouver and Hong Kong: content and pedagogy

Marina W Y WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This is a cross-cultural comparative educational study about music lessons in elementary schools of western and Chinese societies of the Pacific Rim (Vancouver and Hong Kong). The purpose of this research is to document and compare the content and pedagogy used in the music lessons of the elementary schools in Vancouver and Hong Kong. Observation of the cases reveals that the diversity of content of music lessons can be attributed to the influence of curriculum and preferences of teachers. The approaches of pedagogy of the participated teachers clustered into two categories: (1) an enjoyment-oriented child-centred approach among the cases in Vancouver; and (2) an achievement-oriented teacher-centred approach among the cases in Hong Kong. The former approach (as observed in the Vancouver cases) nurtures children’s interest and creativity, although children may not master the skills and accuracy in music. The latter approach (as observed in the Hong Kong cases) emphasises on mastery of the musical knowledge and skills, such emphasis may have nullified the subsequent interest and creativity of children. Educators in both countries may have to re-examine the content and pedagogical approaches used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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