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

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Name of Author: 
Tan, Soon Leng
Thesis (M.A.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Howard, John
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 
Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea

The topic of this research is The Education and Training of Performing Musicians from Hong Kong. South Korea and Singapore - A Comparative Study' The purpose of this research was to analyse the nature of training and the education of a sample group of performing musicians, in order to assess the effectiveness of their training and to make a detailed study of some outstanding music institutions in the home regions as well as overseas. It was also to make recommendations for music training and education in Singapore. Three methods were adopted to arrive at the findings of the research. These methods were - the case study approach, the evaluation of performers and the evaluation of curricula. The Case study involved fieldwork, which required hte researcher to make site-visits to Hong Kong and South Korea over a period of two weeks. The data collected for the case study was derived from the following sources: (a) Interviews with performing musicians and music teachers/ lecturers /professors from the three countries; (b) Interviews with parents of the performing musicians from the three countries; (c) Teacher's questionnaires; (d) Performing musician's questionnaires; (e) Parent's questionnaires; (f) Researcher's Observations A total of twenty-four subjects (eight from each country) who played either the piano or an instrument from the symphony orchestra, formed the group for case study. Using evaluation of performers as an indicator, this part of the research involved three pianists from Singapore and three from South Korea. Each pianists did a tape-recording of his/her performance of two works from two different historical periods. Following that, interviews with these performers were also carried out. Thereafter, a panel of four qualified and experienced local pianists / teachers were asked to assess the performances of the pianists based on Keith Swanwick's criterion statements(1990). The evaluation of the curricula involved a total of two music institutions each from Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. These institutions were chosen because they proved to be popular among the subjects in this research. The data collected for the evaluation was derived from the following sources: (a) Informal visits to some of the music institutions; (b) Interviews with students and staff from some of the music institutions; (c) Review of prospectus, handbooks , brochures and any other relevant documents or materials. The findings of the research imply that Singapore has the means and is ready to support full-time music study. Thus, to set up a kind of music institution to train performing musicians for a performance career and other music related fields will be appropriate. However, establishing this institution will require careful planning and the full support of both the government and the community. It is the intention that the findings of this research will help to identify the future provision for the training and education of performing musicians in Singapore.

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