UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Lee, Tian Tee
Thesis (Ph.D.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Tang, Kelly 
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

This dissertation has two key objectives. The first is to develop a ground-level analysis of the current state of wind band music education in Singapore, and to build an understanding of the specific challenges facing local band instructors. The second is to develop a set of formative recommendations and guidelines based on the data collected in order to assist band instructors and to serve as a foundation and guide for future governmental policy-making aimed at providing students with a music education that contributes to the overall development of an appreciation for the arts and music. Chapter One begins with a brief history of wind band development, both in general and specifically the movement in Singapore. Two complementary philosophies of band music education are presented in Chapter Two - the utilitarian and the aesthetic, and they form the framework and guiding principles for the analysis and recommendations to be developed. Chapter Three presents the results and analysis of a comprehensive survey that was carried out over a period of three years to collect data from students, band instructors, and teachers-in-charge of bands. Based on the data collected, it is evident that there are several issues in the current band music education system that need to be addressed. The most prominent issues are a lack of band instructors with the appropriate qualifications and a national curriculum guideline for wind band education, both of which are traceable to the relatively low importance accorded to aesthetic music education. Based on the survey analysis, Chapter Four makes recommendations on steps that can be taken to improve the situation and suggested guidelines and teaching material are presented to aid band instructors in their teaching. Finally, the expanded role of band instructors as music educators and the challenges facing Singapore's wind band music education in the 21st century are discussed in Chapter Five. Suggestions are made to allow the wind band music education system to evolve to the next level of producing students who have a life-long appreciation for the aesthetic value of the arts and who will remain firm supporters of the arts long after they leave the education system.

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