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

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Name of Author: 
Ong, Ka Mei
Thesis (M.A.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Chong, Sylvia
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

This study investigates the role of aural perception in music education at tertiary level. In particular, the aural programmes within the Singapore tertiary music curriculum were sought to explore the role and possible effects of the different approaches in aural development. This was based on the musical learning contexts of Singapore students, which was unique to these institutions. It also aims to develop a sample approach to aural development at tertiary institutions relevant to this content. As opposed to the traditional method of aural development, a review of recent literature suggests that relevance to music learning contexts is essential in an aural development programme. The mental processes involved in the development of aural perception however, indicates a need for localised study of music elements before the application of these music elements can take place in aural perception. In addition to diagnosing and standardising the level of students' ability at entry to the programme, it is demonstrated in this research that curriculum and vocational objectives also play a role in shaping the aural perception programme. The recommendations and implications as a result of this research are : a) the need for aural perception classes to be directly linked to students' musical study contexts, for instance, perception classes linked to music history, or music literature, b) the need for relevance between aural perception content and objectives, including the style of delivery, and eventual career objectives; c) the need for participation in band or choir activities and so forth, to provide "practice sessions" for the application of aural perception skills in the real music making context. This is found to be a necessary component in effective musical learning in providing a main performing activity, which can be cross-related with active listening skills, enhancing musical experience, thus, ability; d) the need for course planners to draw exemplars from as wide a range of styles and situations as possible, as such, a coherent music study programme is ideal; e) and lastly, the maxim to produce and be as well-balanced and versatile a musician, regardless of vocational objectives.

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