Students’ experiences with popular music: the case of Beijing, China

Wai Chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980s, the establishment of a socialist market economy has quickened the pace of China's economic development; at the same time, increased modernization and globalization have influenced, to varying degrees, the development of music and music education. With reference to 12 secondary schools in Beijing, this empirical study examines Chinese students' preferences for popular music in their daily lives, and in what ways and to what extent they prefer to learn popular music in school. Data were drawn from survey questionnaires completed by 2,423 secondary students in the 12 schools, together with follow-up interviews with 55 of these students, between March and May 2012. This study provides empirical data that both supplements and challenges existing literature on popular music and music education in a Chinese context. It also highlights a discussion on the complex relationships between students and teachers and between Chinese authorities and teachers regarding the introduction of popular music into school music education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Beijing
  • China’s transformation
  • classical music
  • popular music
  • school music teachers
  • students’ experiences


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