The Shaping of China’s School Music Education Between Globalization, Nationalism, and Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century

Wai Chung Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


Examples of using music education to build a responsible, cohesive, and robust society can be found in both traditional and contemporary Western and non-Western worlds, respectively. The purpose of this study, which concerns globalization and nationalism in Chinese society, is to analyze how multiple citizenships in school music are put into practice, interpreted, and negotiated within educational settings. This paper traces and examines the policy and practice of school music education in China through a critical analysis of Chinese public texts such as official policy documents, curriculum standards, selected music textbooks, and related commentaries, and reveals the following two major findings. First, the Chinese authorities have advanced diverse musical cultures (including popular music) to development and citizenship that has been caused by an increasingly relaxed social environment in terms of a market system, and the cultural and economic influences of globalization. Second, the China state determines its development course, defines its national identity ad citizenry, and selects it nation-building curricula following the path of socialist education with Chinese characteristics to nurture young students to prepare them to join the socialist cause. Despite the introduction of multicultural music (including popular songs) and socialism in school education, this paper argues that the Chinese Government attempts to use traditional Chinese music and traditional Chinese culture and values (such as the importance of harmony in family and society delineated in official approved songs) to bridge the gap between the discourses of globalization and Chinese socialism and nationalism to meet the needs of a dynamic China nation in school music education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023
EventThe 11th European Conference on Education - SOAS & University College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 202317 Jul 2023


ConferenceThe 11th European Conference on Education
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The Shaping of China’s School Music Education Between Globalization, Nationalism, and Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this