Tong Lau, Wai

The Historical and Musical Frameworks for Developing a Curriculum to Teach Chinese Music Literacy
Both the music teacher education and school music curriculum of present-day China show a lack of Chinese music literacy among teachers and students in China. This phenomenon of lack of understanding of musical heritage among a country’s general citizens places the continuation and education of traditional music of China into a serious risk. The purpose of this study is to investigate on the past and present status of Chinese music education and the nature of Chinese music in order to form frameworks for the development of a curriculum to teach Chinese music literacy.

This study draws information from research studies related to the following three topics: (1) the historical development of music education in China, (2) the nature of Chinese music, and (3) theory, design and practice of curriculum. The work of previous investigators in these three topics serve as point of departure for this study.

Different stages of the development of music education in Chinese history are examined and this provides a more substantial understanding of what has been believed and practiced and what political, social, and psychological factors brought into being the present problems. A review of the nature of Chinese music makes clear what kind of music literacy traditional Chinese music requires. These two aspects of study help the curriculum developer to see the historical significance, present needs, and appropriate content for a Chinese music curriculum. Furthermore, this study attempts to make suggestions on how the content of this Chinese music curriculum should be systemically organized and structured according to the theories of aesthetic education, conceptual learning, spiral curriculum, and creative thinking.

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