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

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Name of Author: 
Tan, Siong Hock
Institute: 
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Supervisor: 
Soh, Kay Cheng
Year of completion: 
1997
Country: 
Singapore
Country of Research Data: 
Singapore
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

This study set out to investigate the perceptions of classroom teachers and the achievements of Primary 6 pupils towards the new primary school music curriculum, "The Active Approach to Music-Making" (AAMM) programme. The response of the pupils to their music lessons in the three academic streams, namely, EM1, EM2 and EM3, were also analysed. It also studied the performance of pupils in the "High-Academic" and "Low-Academic" schools. The "High-Academic" and "Low-Academic" schools were determined by the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results for three consecutive years, prior to this study. The "High-Academic" schools had consistently achieved 'above-average' national results in their PSLE whereas those categorized "Low-Academic" had attained "below-average" scores. The target group were eight primary schools. As schools were located in the four zone - North, South East and East - two schools from each zone were selected for the study. The schools were again divided into two categories - "High Academic" and "Low-Academic" schools. Each category also had an equal representation of two schools which had been following the AAMM programme, as well as two which had been receiving a traditional approach to music teaching. Total pupil sample was 622 (423 boys and 199 girls), whilst 18 teachers were surveyed. To maintain a general consistency with reference to race, only ethnic Chinese pupils were used in the study. The instrument used to gauge pupils' achievements was from two parts (out of seven) of the tests taken from the "Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Music Evaluation Kit (MEK)" published by the University of Melbourne. The two selected tests measured pitch and rhythm. Teachers also responded to a questionnaire in which their personal and professional particulars and their perceptions of the AAMM programme were recorded and studied. Teacher perception revealed a general acceptance of the AAMM programme. Favourable responses were made of the curriculum package. The comparative study of the performance of the pupils in the AAMM programme and in the traditional approach with reference to the MEK tests showed comparable performance in the two areas tested - pitch and rhythm. Pupils in the High-Academic schools achieved a much higher score in both areas. In comparing the performance of boys and girls, the test results indicate no difference in performance between sexes. Pupils' perception of their music lessons indicated a high proportion of preference to listening to music. Similar responses were recorded in all the three academic streams.

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