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Prof. Wai-Chung Ho

B.Phil (University of Exeter), M.A. (UCL, Institute of Education), Ph.D. (UCL, Institute of Education)

Professor, Department of Music


  • GRF


  • Comparative literature on music education in Chinese territories can be found, but none of these studies addresses teacher education through school music education in response to changing global and national circumstances. The music curricula and teacher education of Hong Kong and Taiwan have, until relatively recently, been focused on Western music, but with the advent of music technology and the double paradigm of globalisation and nationalism, this has begun to change. The main challenges facing teacher education in school music education are the interplay between political ideologies and contemporary values, and between traditional music and contemporary musical styles. By reframing the major concerns of comparative education around the dynamics of national and global forces, the most probable significance of this study is that it shows how changes in national and international systems and relations result in changes in values, musical cultures and teacher education. The project intends to position music education and teacher education as valid and important in and of itself, and to build support for music education and teacher education among policymakers, educational practitioners, and the academic community.


  • This project explores the dynamics and complexity of the relationship between the state, nationalism and globalisation in music teacher education in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Hong Kong and Taiwan have long been crucibles of cross-cultural encounters between Chinese and Western cultures. They have different political ecologies (in terms of level of democracy), and have different relationships with Mainland China. These two factors have affected the meaning of “home country”, and therefore the promotion of national identity and nationalism in education and music education in both Chinese societies. In this project, nationalism is an important social and political phenomenon that involves making Hong Kong and Taiwan into a definable identity through participation in singing and listening to their national anthems, and by developing Chinese traditional and folk music in school music education. The dynamic effects of globalisation on teacher education are found in the integration of world musics and popular music in both in-service and pre-service teacher education. Up to now no studies of the similarities and differences in the music teacher education of Hong Kong and Taiwan have been found in relation to the double paradigm of nationalism and globalisation.


  • The project was designed to study the status of teachers (including in-service and pre-service) in education in the two Chinese communities in order to provide a fuller understanding of the effect of nationalism and globalisation upon the transmission of music knowledge and non-musical knowledge in school music education. One set of questionnaire was designed for preservice teachers for teaching primary and secondary schools. The project also involved in-depth, semi-structured one-on-one interviews with school music teachers, and music teacher trainers.