HO Wai Chung (Hong Kong Baptist University), A review of moral education in China¡¦s Music Education, English/16 pages, July 2008


In this paper, I consider the conjunction of moral education and music education in order to understand the ways in which music is a socio-cultural product with political and moral meanings and implications. Moral teaching through music education from imperial to modern China, has aimed to reproduce a coherent political ideology with which to bind together obedient and self-disciplined citizens. This paper focuses on music education for an ethical and nationalist moral education. Role models are of importance for the development of moral education through music teaching. Moral education is political to the extent that it relates to state power and musical knowledge. This is demonstrated in curricular materials, notably the song lyrics and musical styles taught in schools. Recent music education in China has been asked to redefine moral education in terms of a new and complex blend of nationalism, tradition, cultural diversity and social harmony. The dynamic morality demanded of music education in China can be seen in four requirements that respond to its evolving society: (1) the introduction of music embodying contemporary popular and cultural values; (2) the promotion of traditional values and traditional Chinese music; (3) the cultivation of a nationalist education designed to reproduce state-prescribed values; and (4) the development of the appreciation of global cultures so as to facilitate multiculturalism and social harmony in music education.