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More than Perspectives: Nurturing Global Music Citizens in Undergraduate Music Courses at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

24 August 2022

10:00 - 10:30 hrs (GMT+7)

Studying history by observing nations in isolation from one another, or approaching world history from a Western-centric viewpoint will only render narrow perspectives. Global history hence emerged in the twentieth century as a pedagogical approach that embraces the multiple social narratives that abound across the globe and that explores the interconnectedness between them. It is important for undergraduate music students to adopt a global perspective in their music studies, especially because of the changing musical landscape around the world. Many undergraduate music programmes have an international mix of students, and there is a growing trend of reimagining and fusing musical traditions from various cultures with Western classical music. Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreak catalyzed online music performances which have redefined how musicians reach out to audiences beyond physical boundaries.


When teaching music in higher education with a global perspective, teachers must take care to avoid creating yet another form of centrism. To cultivate a balanced global perspective in students, values and skills such as empathy and a sensitivity to biases, must be cultivated. This paper examines these values and skills in detail. By interviewing students in contextual and professional integration modules at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, I explore which values, skills and teaching approaches are most important in fostering a global perspective in the study of music. It is hoped that the insights gained will aid in redesigning higher education music curricula in order to create greater inclusivity.


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