Engaging with Songs: Transforming Singing in the Singapore Music Classroom

Rebecca Chew, Hui-Ping Ho, Siew-Ling Chua

Abstract


This presentation describes how singing is re-ignited in Singapore primary schools through the professional development initiative by Singapore Teachers’ Academy for the aRts (STAR). Singing brings joy to the child and often, the lack of teacher confidence puts a lid on the capacity of how singing can be a transformative experience to the child. As a national academy with the mandate to improve the quality of art and music teaching-learning in Singapore schools, STAR connects teacher networks to bringing singing into the music classrooms in a more transformative way. Engaging with Songs (EWS) is conceived to deepen Music teachers’ professional and pedagogical understanding in leading singing in the music classroom. It consolidates a growing repertoire of songs, including those from Singapore’s diverse multi-cultural heritage, to support singing pedagogies in the music classrooms. This professional development programme is also designed to support the implementation of the General Music syllabus at the primary school years. The presentation focuses on two key features of EWS: i) its professional development design and curriculum; and ii) the professional learning journeys of the 61 music teachers and 2 school leaders from the 25 schools who embarked on the programme’s first two phases since 2014. Comprising music specialists and generalists, these teachers come together as a community of learners within their schools and across schools, to increase their confidence in singing, and strengthen their music classroom practices in singing.

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