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

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Name of Author: 
Suriati Suradi
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Chia, Wei Khuan
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

The purpose of this study was primarily to examine the role of singing in Singapore's primary classroom music curricula since 1965-2004. The specific areas concentrated on were singing activities that took place in general classroom-based music lesson, methods of teaching singing and the importance of singing among pupils. The aims of this study are : 1) determine the role of singing in primary schools; 2) find out if there is any significant difference in the repertoire used for classroom singing in the textbooks since 1965; 3) identify the general vocal range of the repertoire and its suitability within the primary schools music program. As this study involved an investigation of characteristics, mainly concerned with discovering and describing past and current methods of teaching singing and tracing singing activities in the classroom, a qualitative descriptive research method in the form of historical research was selected as the appropriate method, employing analysis of textbooks and interviews are two other main research tools. The textbooks analysed were from the years 1965 to 2004. Interviews with experienced and inexperienced music teachers were also conducted and documented. The findings revealed that the role of singing has changed slightly over the years. Textbook analysis shows that similar songs have repeatedly been used over the years and the singing activities such as singing games and instrument playing to accompany singing provided for the teachers did not vary much. Many teachers also apply similar methods of teaching singing such as by rote and modeling to pupils, not particularly restrictive to only one chosen method but usually a combination of a few. It has also been noted that most of the textbooks' authors follow the pupils' vocal perimeters when selecting songs for singing activities. However, some irregularities were discovered.

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