Singing competency of monolingual and bilingual children in Hong Kong

Esther Mang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Literature on children's singing development in the past seventy years has been skewed towards findings based largely on English speaking children. The present study aims to fill the gap in research through an investigation of the effects of age and gender on the singing competences of monolingual and bilingual children in Hong Kong. One hundred children age seven and nine years participated the study. Fifty children are Cantonese monolinguals and fifty are monolinguals, with equal numbers of boys and girls in each age level. Each child performed individually a criterion song "Happy Birthday" and two independent judges subsequently rated the recorded singing. Two rating scales, Welch's model of Pitch-matching Development (1986) and Rutkowski's Singing Voice Development Measure (1988) were used to evaluate the overall singing competences. Acoustic analyses were also performed on the vocal data to extract fundamental frequency for calculation of pitch accuracy in melodic intervals and maintenance of tonality. Findings and implications will be discussed with reference to research literature and in light of the educational and language contexts of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurriculum Innovation in Music
EditorsLai Chi Rita Yip, Chi Cheung Leung, Wai Tong Lau
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherDepartment of Creative Arts, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9629491346
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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