The Impact of Popular Music Teaching in Music Classrooms: Perspectives of Malaysian Primary School Music Teachers

Keywords: Popular music, Malaysian Chinese music education, Curriculum standards, National-Type Chinese primary schools, Teachers' perspectives


The music curriculum standards for Malaysian government primary schools are based on the concept of developing musical skills and providing students with the right values through music education. Malaysian Chinese National Type Primary Schools, as a type of government primary school in Malaysia, has also compiled its music curriculum in accordance with the government's standards and guidelines. With the current development of media technology, popular music has flooded every corner of life, and this situation poses new challenges to music education in schools. Malaysian Chinese community, as the second largest ethnic group in Malaysia, deserves to be noticed for its current status and outcome of music education. This study aims to understand the impact of popular music on music education in National-Type Chinese primary schools from the perspective of teachers. This study was conducted through semi-structured interviews with six teachers from different National-Type Chinese primary schools in Kuala Lumpur to explore the impact of popular music on students' learning the school music curriculum. The study's results indicated that music teachers' perspectives towards popular music and their students' preference for it were positive and accepting. However, they also express concerns about its detrimental effects on students' learning outcomes in music class. Therefore, this study argues that it is necessary to enhance teacher training, increase the number of professional teachers, and innovate teaching methods in order to meet the requirements of the curriculum standards for students' music learning, and to balance the contradiction between students' musical preferences and music education in schools.


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How to Cite
Kai Ti, S. and Wong, K. Y. (2024) “The Impact of Popular Music Teaching in Music Classrooms: Perspectives of Malaysian Primary School Music Teachers”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 9(5), p. e002826. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v9i5.2826.