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Popular music and the classroom; student teacher reflections in Singapore
Issue Date: 
Cultural Diversity In Music Education Conference (CDIME 11), Singapore, 4 to 6 January 2012 (pp. 91-100)
In the current syllabus for the General Music Programme for Primary and Secondary schools in Singapore, use of the keyword popular appears with reference to the repertoire in second stage, namely popular songs leading to the ability to [a]ppreciate the use of technology in creating the varied identity of contemporary music (e.g. loops in dance music) (MOE 2008, pg. 8) by the third stage until at Stage 5, involves a discussion of the role of personal and group (read cultural and national) identity in music (MOE 2008, pp. 8-10).

Evident in the GMP document therefore, is the potential and value of working with popular music: beginning with composing, improvising and recreating extending to identity formation either as individual and/or group identities which speak positively of the multiplicity of identity negotiation. An approach involving popular music is very much in line with current broader educational aims to develop individuals with the capacity to be creative and imaginative and socio-culturally well-tempered and that popular music has an important educational role to play in this respect.

This paper discusses a pilot project involving a group of undergraduate Music student teachers who opted to offer popular music as one of their ensemble options during the January through April 2011 semester. With leading questions to facilitate reflections of their learning journey in popular music, this paper examines their reflections of first-hand engagement with musical and extra-musical resources with implications for the place of popular music in education policy.
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