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

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Name of Author: 
Teo, Timothy Kheng Guan
Thesis (M.A.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Chong, Sylvia
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

This study attempts to explore the musical preferences of a sample of primary and secondary pupils in Singapore. It seeks to find out if musical preferences are significantly affected by variables such as gender, age, race, musical training and familiarity with given musical stimuli. Subjects (N=360) were pupils randomly selected from primary 6, secondary 1 and secondary 2 classes in the Special, Express and Normal streams. These classes were chosen from the Special Assistance Plan, Government-aided and Government primary and secondary schools. An equal number (N=180) of male and female pupils were selected. The instrument used in this study was a Musical Preference Scale (MPS) designed by this researcher. It consisted of 2 parts: a questionnaire and listening scale. The questionnaire was meant to elicit information on subjects' gender, age, level of musical training and the types of instruments they played. The 5-point listening scale allowed subjects to indicate how much they like or dislike the excerpts played to them. In addition, subjects also indicated, on the same 5-point scale, how familiar they are with each of the excerpts. Results obtained indicated that musical preference was significantly affected by the variables identified in this study. Several implications for music education in Singapore and recommendations for further study were discussed and proposed. This researcher felt that, although musical preference is relatively under-represented in educational research in Singapore, it has potential in the light of the recent emphasis in the Arts (eg. Music, Dance) in the country

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