Implications of a culturally rich and linguistically diverse musical life for music teaching and learning

Annabella Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

I am a Chinese-Australian musician-educator of over three decades. In this autoethnography, I act as an agent of change by presenting my life as a social project. This assists understanding of a larger relational, communal and political world that moves us to critical engagement, social action and change. Evolutionary psychology asserts that language has evolved from the use of music. Empirical research maintains that children who start learning music early become better learners of languages. Music psychologists argue that music education is crucial in identity construction. Being a multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, and multi-occupational individual, I consider myself primarily a musician. My various identities in music as pianist-accompanist, singer, choral conductor, composer,and dance instructor informed and shaped my other identities as psychotherapist, interpreter-translator, author,teacher and academic researcher. The findings of this study suggest that formal/informal musical engagement fosters executive brain functions that determine my learning outcomes. My research contributes to the national debate about the benefits of music in education. It addresses a research gap identified about the effect of musical engagement on identity formation, and learning in other curriculum areas. The findings can assist music advocacy and provide insight to the preparation of future educators for multicultural Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Music Education
Volume50
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • autoethnography
  • social change
  • Confucianism
  • identity formation
  • music and music education
  • formal and informal learning

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