Pleasure Versus Pressure in the Piano Lesson: Music Education and Examinations in Malaysia

By Jason Kong-Chiang Tye.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The primary purpose of this article is to discuss and unravel the current status of private music education in Malaysia with particular reference to piano instruction. In this context, “private music education” refers to vocal and instrumental lessons conducted outside of the Malaysian public school system. These lessons are based on a set examination syllabus offering certificates and diplomas to successful candidates. The article will explore The primary purpose of this article is to discuss and unravel the current status of private music education in Malaysia with particular reference to piano instruction. In this context, “private music education” refers to vocal and instrumental lessons conducted outside of the Malaysian public school system. These lessons are based on a set examination syllabus offering certificates and diplomas to successful candidates. The article will explore the influence of a uniquely British tradition of music examinations and assessment in postcolonial Malaysian society. This article will also discuss how paper qualifications issued by these British music examination boards takes precedence and is valued as more important over the process of learning music itself. This curious form of “modus operandi” in music education has perpetuated an examination-oriented culture that views music learning as synonymous to music testing. Thus, for many music educators, the responsibility of preparing students for these music exams has singularly become the sole objective in music learning. The music education system in postcolonial Malaysia is at a crucial crossroad of negotiation: Are the noble objectives of learning music a “Pleasure” or a “Pressure”?

Keywords: Music, Teaching, Learning, Assessment, Examinations

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.483-496. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.202MB).

Dr. Jason Kong-Chiang Tye

Senior Lecturer of Music, Department of Music,School of Arts, University Sains Malaysia, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Jason Tye is Senior Lecturer of Music at The School of Arts, Science University of Malaysia. He hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Mount Union College, Ohio, USA, and a Performance Diploma from L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris/ Alfred Cortot. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of South Carolina, USA, where he also received certification in Early Childhood Music Education from The Edward Gordon Institute of Music Learning. He has given lectures and presentations widely and have served as clicinian and adviser in numerous music education programs in Malaysia. His current research interest is in Multicultural Piano Pedagogy and the Social Psychology of Music.

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