Multiculturalism And School Music Education Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Before starting to discuss about Macaus music education, the general history background should be introduced initially. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong, which is to the east, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south. The total area of Macau is about 29.5 kilometres and the population is about 544,000. (Macau Yearbook 2007, 475)

The history of Macau can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), Macau was under the jurisdiction of Panyu county at the time. Between the years 1368 and 1644, under the Ming Dynasty, fishermen moved to Macau from Guangdong and Fujian provinces. Therefore, Macau was a normal fishing village before the arrival of Portuguese. Macau was a former Portuguese colony, and was both the first and last European colony in China as well. Since the Portuguese arrived in the 16th Century, Macau started to be developed as a major settlement. In 1535, Portuguese traders obtained the rights to anchor ships in Macau's harbors and to carry out trading activities, though not the right to stay onshore. (Fung, 1999) In 1887, Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire and its sovereignty transferred to the Portuguese.

Macau became one of two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China (the other being Hong Kong) in 1999. Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the Chinese government is responsible for the territory's defense and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy.The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operates with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the handover. Macau participates in many international organizations and events that do not require members to possess national sovereignty.

Macau's economy is dependent largely on tourism and gambling which make up nearly 50% of the economy. In particular, gambling in Macau was legalized by the Portuguese government from the 1850s, and Macau has been known as the "Monte Carlo of the Orient" since then. It is worthwhile to consider that most of the visitors come from Mainland China and Hong Kong. Thus, it can be concluded that the Macau's economy heavily depends on Mainland China and Hong Kong.

The population of Macau is consist of 95% Chinese, includeing Cantonese and Hakka. The remaining 5% foreigners which includes Portuguese, Japanese and Filipino members. (Result of 2011 population census. 11) Thus, various ethnic groups and exclusive history background shape Macau as a multicultural society, and such phenomenon exists in anywhere. The first instance is the multiple languages. The official languages are Portuguese and Cantonese Chinese, and there are 40% and 1.5% of the population in Macau are able to communicate through Mandarin and English, respectively. In addition, Hokkien and the creole Macanese language also exist. Moreover, the second example may be the festivals. Not only should the Lunar Chinese New Year be one of the most significant festivals in Macau, but also the Christmas may be celebrated, as well.

2. Macau's education in colonial period.

In the 16th century, the government clung to the education system of Portugal and almost all the educational events were supervised by the Catholic missionaries in Macau. In 1572, the Jesuit priests established a school in Macau, aiming to teach children and the adults who were willing to be a Christian missionary (Li & Choi, 2000). Moreover, in 1594, the first Western university was founded in Macau by the Jesuits, which claims the title of the first Western university in the Far East(Li, 2001). Such situation also happened in other colonies at the same time. In 1599, the Jesuits transformed their school originally founded for the Indians into colleges for instruction in liberal arts (Havighurst & Moreira, 1965).

From the 16th to 19th century, except a tiny number of children from rich families who could hire private teachers, a huge amount of kids were taught only by preachers. For example, a primary level school named the St. Rose of Lima School was established in 1692, which targeted to teach basic reading, writing, Portuguese, Latin, French and English to children who come from impoverished families. (Silva, 1998) To sum up, there were very few quantities of primary schools existed at that time.

In the mid of 19th century, the government paid more attention to Macau's education in order to consolidate the Portuguese status in Macau. Li & Choi (2000) point out that the Macau colonial government established the first Portuguese primary school in 1847 and managed by diocesan priests. The first Portuguese Government secondary school was founded in the 1893 and managed by the government.

In the 20th century, with the booming development of Macau's education, a series of problems were also exposed. The political statutes of Macau was unique due to the approximately 50 decades' colony by Portuguese. Such unique statues has sometimes been considered as a result of the contradiction between Chinese and Portuguese governments, and was also be influenced by the exclusive manner in which Portuguese sovereignty had been carried out locally. Franco Nogueira, who was the Portuguese Foreign Minister, concluded the situation in 1966 as follows: " … We have never been truly sovereign over Macau; we have always outlasted out of China's good favor, and authority has always been shared with them." (Nogueira, 1966), namely there was limitation of Portuguese sovereignty over Macau.

Rosa (1990) also points out that such situation also happened in local education system in the 1980s. The government's policy could not follow the pace of the education development in Macau. Even more, there were very few students: only 5 percent of Macau's student population, study in the public schools. In institutional terms, on the one hand, the vast majority education sectors were private Chinese stream schools and which held about 85%. On the other hand, there were only 15% schools in Macau were government-run. In other words, the education in Macau had different systems, and both of the private and government schools were "struggling to meet the Territory's needs - but barely succeeding in doing so." (Rosa, 1990)

Due to the lack of proper organization and funding, the system of Macau's education was highly based on related countries and areas, such as Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, the United Kingdom and Portugal. Such dependence can be seen from the curriculum and the contents. However, the imitation and dependence may not meet the requirement of Macau itself. The reason might be that the Macau's unique history and culture background may not be totally same as other countries or areas.

Rosa (1990) believes that there were several defects in the area of human and physical resources. First of all, the absence of the available teaching stuff might be a serious problem in Macau. For instance, the teacher/student ratio was extremely high at the pre-primary level of private Chinese stream [1] school in 1988 (1/45). Secondly, academic qualification of the teaching staff was unsatisfactory. There were only 54% of the teachers had accepted teaching training or hold education degree; on the contrary, 34% of the teachers might only finish secondary school. In terms of the physical resource, the private schools always suffered from overcrowding in classroom and shortage of teaching equipment. However, there had been some advantages in Macau's education. According to the research from Rosa, the age of most of the teaching stuff in Macau was under 50 (which was about 84%); furthermore, 62% of teachers were between 20 to 39. Evidently, the young teacher might be very helpful to overcome the predicament at that time.

In addition, in the 1980s, the private schools, which occupied a huge amount of the schools in the Territory, lack of proper intervention and support from the government, leading to a lot of Macau's families being unable to pay fees for school and the increased rate of dropout. Hence, the government approved the Law No. 11/77/M on October 22 1977 and then some financial assistances was set out based on it. The beneficiaries of such assistance included the privately-owned school, their teaching staff and the students. First of all, the financial assistance helped the teaching institutions to renew equipment and renovate works. Secondly, teachers received government extra subvention in order to encourage them through the Government Order No. 199/85 in 1985. Thirdly and the most importantly, lots of the students, even not all of them, received subsidies from the government, which not only lightened the family finances burden, but also reduced the dropout rate which was extremely high. Nevertheless, the financial assistance might not enough to meet the need of the development of Macau's education. For example, the students' allowance only occupied about 40% of average schooling fees, namely Macau did not have free general education at that time and might not achieve the goal of equity of education.

Furthermore, according to Rosa (1990), there was a Chinese stream teachers training course sponsored by Macau Education Department since 1987. Rosa also shows that in the academic year 1988/89, there were 106 local teachers who took part in the teachers training course.

To sum up, there were several issues exist in terms of Macau's education during the colonial period. Initially, lack of organization and systematized structure resulted in heavy dependence on other counties' systems. However, it was coincidence with the cultural and social reality of Macau in a small degree. The second problem might be the limitation and lack of resource, including in human, space and financial aspects. On the one hand, the shortage of eligible teaching staff and adequate space may lead poor quality of education; on the other hand, lack of education funds would be the reason of the high rate of drop off, and undoubtedly, such a high schooling fees no doubt increase the financial burden of many poor families.

Nearly all the problems in Macau's education could be partly attributed to the unfitness of local government supervision and management. Even more, there were no exact official guidance and regulation in terms of education area.

Therefore, the government since handover has already changed their attitude to such aspect and improved relevant policies and systems. For instance, the most important and necessary action is to enforce and guarantee free schooling, especially in the first six years of primary school. And then, the mainframe Law on Macau's Education System has been approved urgently in order to fit the Macau's reality of the development of society and culture.

3. Macau's education since handover

3.1 General education in Macau

Macau enjoy a high degree of autonomy according to the "one country, two systems" policy since handover on 20 December 1999. In terms of education, as prescribed by the Basic Law of Macau Chapter VI Article 121, the Government of Macau "shall, on its own, formulate policies on education, including policies regarding the educational system and its administration, the language of instruction, the allocation of funds, the examination system, the recognition of educational qualifications and the system of academic awards so as to promote educational development" and "gradually institute a compulsory education system" (Basic Law of Macau). And it also provided that Macau's general education is charged by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (the DSEJ).

In institutional terms, the structure of Macau's education sector rests mainly on private-owned institutions. As TABLE 1 (DSEJ, 2012) shows that about 85% of local schools are private. Instead, only 15% schools are government-run. Even though the rates in 2011/2012 academic year are very close to which in colonial period, this situation has changed. From the academic year 2007/2008, a 15-years free education is offered to the students who have been enrolled in the schools that are belonging to the free education school system, namely it is free of charge from kindergarten to secondary in all public schools and great majority of private schools. Meanwhile, students of non-free school would afford allowance from the SAR government every year. For example, students of non-free kindergarten and primary received 10,000 MOP (Macanese pataca, approximately 800 British Pounds), and the students from these secondary schools acquired 12,000 MOP in the academic year 2009/2010.

TABLE 1. Number of General School in Macau 2011/2012 (DESJ, 2012)











Free education school system*

Public schools



















Private schools of non-free education school system


















Supplementary interpretation:

- There are totally 35 schools providing inclusive education. Among which, there are 8 public schools, 22 private schools of the free education school system and 5 private schools of the non-free education school system.

According to the TABLE 2 we can infer that the number of students decreased continuously in these 10 years. The reason might be the sustained reduction of birth rate from 1989 (statistics from DSCE, 2012). But it is worthwhile to consider that the number of teacher increased incessantly, in other words, the teacher-student ratio have became more reasonable than in the colonial period times which was 45 students per teacher. And the ratio, which was about on third of colonial period, was 13 students per teacher.

TABLE 2 Figures of General student numbers in recent 10 academic years (DESJ, 2012)

Academic Year

Number of students

Number of classes

Number of teachers
































































Not only the amount of teachers is creasing, but also the quality of teaching stuff in Macau is improving, as well. From the TABLE 3 (DESJ, 2012) we can infer that most of the teaching stuff in Macau are possessing pedagogical training: more than 90% of teacher of kindergarten possessing pedagogical training, and more than 80% and 70% of the teachers from primary and secondary schools received teacher training course from 2008 to 2012 academic years. Furthermore, there are vast majority of the teachers training course are organized by DESJ, and other are supported by public university (see the TABLE 4,), in other words, it sponsored by the government. In addition, the numbers of trainees are continuously grow these years. Thus, the sufficient attention paid by the government is beneficial to improve the level of teachers' specialization and teaching ability.

TABLE 3 Rate of teachers possessing pedagogical training (for in-service teachers only) in recent 4 academic years (DSEJ, 2012)

Education level

Academic Year 2008/2009

Academic Year 2009/2010

Academic Year 2010/2011

Academic Year 2011/2012
















TABLE 4 Figures of teachers training (including normal education) in recent 3 academic years (DESJ, 2012)

Organizing institutions

Number of trainees (by frequency)




Education and Youth Affairs Bureau




University of Macau




Macau Polytechnic Institute




Colegio Diocesano de Sao








In terms of financial resource of Macau, according to the TABLE 5 we can infer that investment from the government increase steadily. In 2007, the percentage of public education expenditure to gross domestic product is 2.1%, and which was 0.2% lower than 2008. After then, the rate arrived the peak at 2009, which occupied approximately 2.6% of the GDP.

TABLE 5. Public education expenditure and gross domestic product (DESJ, 2012)

Unit: million Patacas


Year 2007

Year 2008

Year 2009

Gross domestic product




Public education expenditure








However, the rate of public education expenditure to GDP of Macau was much less compared with whether western or nearly countries. For instance, according to the statistics from the World Bank (see the TABLE 6), the rates of both the United Kingdom and the United States held steady from 5.4% to 5.6%, and which was almost twice more than Macau. On the other hand, the rates of Hong Kong and Japan, both of those are Asian countries and close to Macau, were also much higher than Macau and floated between 3.0% and 4.5%. Thus, the proportion of Macau's education expenditure to GDP was still at a low level.

TABLE 6. The percentage of public education expenditure to gross domestic product of United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong, Japan and Macau.


Year 2007

Year 2008

Year 2009

United Kingdom




United States




Hong Kong












In brave, according to the dates above, it can be concluded that:

Firstly, the 15-years free education system might be the most impressive aspects of Macau's education, which brings several benefits; for example, it would helpful to achieve the goal of the education equality. And also, it lightened the financial burden on household. The most important is that it would have profound effect on the development of the society.

Secondly, the teacher-student ratio became more acceptable compared with the period times. Furthermore, due to the growing number of free teacher train course, the overall quality of the teaching might improve in some extent.

Thirdly, the government increased financial input to education, and the proportion of public education expenditure to GDP raised. However, it might still lie at lower level compared with western and some near countries.

3.2 General Music Education in Macau

The development of Macau's music education may not be balanced in different aspects. Social music education has shown it trend of vigorous development: more and more private and extracurricular music classes organized by the government, the mission and civil groups appeared and "plays one of the most important role in Macau's music education". (Dai, 2004a) On the other aspect, tertiary music education grew rapid since handover: firstly, in 2009, the Macau Conservatory united the attached middle school of China Central Conservatory of Music to organize a music secondary school; secondly, the new course - music performance - is added in to the School of Art, Macau technical Institute, which expand the field of tertiary music education.

However, the development of general music education seems to lag behind compared with social and tertiary music education. According to a survey in 2003, Dai (2004b) points out that Macau's general music education is " free and spontaneous, instead of regular and normative", and "the teaching quality is uneven… there are series issues and may hinder the development of music education, which keep the level down… (It may) not assume its duty and obligation".

Dai (2009a) introduces some basic information of Macau's general music education. Initially, in most cases, the primary and junior secondary schools offer one music lesson per week. What's more, it is frequent to offer music extracurricular activities in the schools [2] . In addition, the music teaching equipment is relatively complete. Furthermore, an overwhelming 89 proportions of the schools own music classroom.

In terms of teaching materials, which are multiple and nearly all of them are imported from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Because there is no explicit regulation or guidance from the local government, teachers should choose teaching materials by themselves.

The insufficient number of teacher can be one of the most note worthy characters of Macau's general music education and it may increase the teachers' workload in some extent. It is also worthwhile to consider the teacher's quality is different, some of them may not own music background or education levels are lower than expect.

On the other hand, although the government intervention in schools is restricted, it may lead to a growth of music education via to hold a series music activity. For example, Macau Education and Youth Bureau (DSEJ) organizes interschool singing competition every year, which may promote development of general music education via communication of music performance among the schools. In addition, the DSEJ holds series of activities to popularize art music and some music groups are invited in order to perform to the secondary school students. The aim of the activity is to give a chance to the students to go to music concert hall every year because the organizers believe it may arouse students' interest of music appreciation. What's more, the annual Macau Young Musicians Competition, held by Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau S. A. R, aims to advance the musical arts in the territory and enhance the training and performance abilities of young local musicians. For well over two decades, the competition has given thousands of young people the opportunity to gain precious stage experience, and thus has played a vital role in the improvement of the musical skills of Macau' youth.

To sum up, the character of Macau's music education can be concluded as: rapid development of social music education and imperfect general music education. The latter includes 3 aspects: issues on teaching materials, government and teacher resource.

III. Issues and Challenges in Macau

Teaching materials

Data analysis

Current situation of teaching materials can be described by two questionnaire surveys in 2003 and 2009. Both of them are completed by music education professors of Macau Polytechnic Institute. (Dai, 2004b & Dai, 2009a)

TABLE 7. Resource of the teaching materials of Macau*

Origin of teaching materials






Mainland of China



Hong Kong






Complied by the schools themselves






* Multiple choices

Most of schools selected teaching materials that are imported from Hong Kong; and then comes to the teaching materials that complied by the schools themselves and Mainland China, and those occupied 74.6%, 36.5% and 28.5% separately (multiple choices). Moreover, only 4 percent schools use Macau and Mission editions. In addition, the number of schools whose teaching materials are determined by principals occupied about 15 percentages; teaching materials of the rest 85% schools are decided by their own music teachers.

Furthermore, those surveys also illustrate teachers' attitudes towards teaching materials. An overwhelming 93% of the teachers consider that the qualities of teaching materials are tolerable but still have room for improvement, 7.4% of them think the materials are obsolete, 3.7% of teachers regard that students may not satisfied with the teaching materials and more than 20% of them do not think the teaching materials reflect local conditions or are suited to local needs (multiple choices).

Issues and challenges of teaching materials

According to the questionnaire surveys shows above we can infer that the lack of unified and proper teaching material could be a serious problem of Macau's music education. Xv (2008) indicates in her research that the current situation of Macau's music teaching materials is complicated. Various different editions are applied in both primary and secondary schools, including the materials exposed from Hong Kong and Mainland of China, complied by schools themselves, reference from songbooks and music instruments materials. In addition, the uncertain applications of those teaching materials make the situation more complex. At the first glance, it seems benefit to the teaching multiplication because of the diversification of teaching materials. However, it may also have several disadvantages. First of all, there is strong subjectivity and random in the selection of teaching materials, it may lead the insufficiency of standard. Secondly, the spotty quality of the teaching materials may harmful to the education equality.

Such teaching materials system may because of the unique political, cultural and economical situation in Macau. Before handover, the Portuguese-run colonial government took a largely laisser-faire and negative attitude towards Macau's culture and education, and this led to lack of standardization and considerable diversification of the educational system. (Huang & Chen, 2007)Moreover, the policy of Macau's teaching material has not been stipulated by law explicitly, whether the Proposta de Lei do Sistema Educativo da RAEM (Proposal for the Education Law Special Administrative Region) legislated by Portuguese-run colonial government in 1991 or the Lei de Bases do Sistema Educativo Não Superior¼ˆNon-Higher Education System Outline Method¼‰legislated by Macau government in 2006. However, Hong Kong where has a similar colonial history as Macau implements much more positive standards and policies imposed from British government. On the other hand, due to Macau's economy that concentrates on gambling and tourism and relies considerably Mainland of China and Hong Kong, its education and culture form a feature that is regarded as dependence. Consequently, such reasons underlie several features of Macau's teaching materials - diversification, liberalization and dependence (Huang & Chen, 2007)

The systems of music teaching materials in nearby areas, like Mainland of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, are dissimilar from Macau. For example, from 2001, Mainland China practices examination and approval system for teaching materials. That is, the publishers should compile music textbooks observed by the New Music Curriculums Standards, and then those books need to be examined by the Examination Committee. (MOE, 2006) several kinds of textbooks arose after the policy of "One Principle, More Textbooks" issued by the Department of Education. Taiwan has similar teaching materials system with Mainland China. (Huang & Chen, 2007) In terms of Hong Kong, Huang (2000) indicates that the Hong Kong Education Bureau issues the Recommended Textbook List to schools every year. There are many varieties of music textbooks on the list. For instance, there are 7 kinds of music textbooks in the junior secondary school list. (Hong Kong, EDB)

Unlike the system of Hong Kong, Macau's government dose not recommends any textbooks to schools. And also, there is no explicit standard and guidance presented by the government of Macau, and which is different from Mainland China and Taiwan. Moreover, there is no music teaching material was compiled or published the local education department. Although some schools may compiled teaching materials themselves, the quality and the character of localism may be weaken due to the limitation of local teachers' professional level. In summarized, the level of Macau's teaching material system may still far behind the which in nearby areas.

In brief, the lack of unitarity, the deficiency of regulation and the problems left over from history could be three major reasons which cause the current situation of teaching materials in Macau. And such issue has been widely concerned by local music educators. For instance, the Dai's survey (Dai, 2009a) shows that almost all the music teachers agree that it is necessary to compile a series of music teaching materials with in order to meet the local need. And also, a teacher suggests that local characters should be added into textbook. Such research reflects the requirement from music teachers of local music teaching materials.

To address the issues mentioned above, specific suggestions and recommendations will be given in Chapter IV.

Teachers and teacher training

Date Analysis

The researches from Dingcheng Dai & Baisheng Dai (Dai, 2004b & Dai, 2009a) in 50 primary and secondary schools, the status quo of music teachers lists below:

TABLE 8 Number of music teaching stuff








65 %

Guest Teacher






The surveys indicate that the total amount of music teacher in the primary and secondary schools is 83 (1.66 per school). There are 24 full-time teachers and occupied 28.9 proportions. It is worthwhile to consider that the amount to part-time music teacher which hold overwhelming 65 percent.

In terms of education background of the teachers, only 13 of them hold bachelor degree or above, which account for 15%. 21 of them graduated from junior college. The rest of the teachers may receive certification of secondary school.

The situation of academic activities is also contained in the research. There are 10 papers published in journals (0.2 per school). Furthermore, 17 textbooks are complied by the teachers (0.34 per school) and 48 songs are composed by them (0.96 per school), as well.

The DSEJ (Macau Education and Youth Affairs Bureau) issued a Music Syllabus in 1999 [3] , 22% of the teachers select the option that "I am familiar with it and will implement it strictly"; 56% of them express their attitude that " I know it but can not enforce it strictly"; and rest of the teachers (about 22%) may not be aware of such government documents at all.

2.2 Issues and challenges of teachers and teacher training

By the dates and researches shows above we can infer that a lot of deficiencies exist in the Macau's music teacher resource. Initially, insufficient of amount of teacher can be one of serious problems. Dai (2009) indicates that it may increase the teachers' workload, and underlines inability to further training and development. A research by Beijing Normal University (2007) also points out that it is almost universal that the teaching stuff in Macau is suffered from long working hour and heavy workloads. In terms of music teachers, on the one hand, because a teacher may teach a lot of different grades, who may suffer from endemic pressure to prepare lessons and often be exhausted. For example, the surveys show that there is a teacher should teach 8 different grades. On the other hand, due to some music teachers should teach not only music, but also other subjects like Chinese and English, they have no sufficient time and effort to attend teaching training and further studying.

Secondly, the low quality of the teachers can be a severe problem of Macau's music education. According to the data above we can infer that an overwhelming 85 percent of the teachers may not hold bachelor degree. And more notably, most of the teachers are part-time and may not receive professional music education or training ever. For instance, a teacher studies mathematics in undergraduate and who may be both mathematics and part-time music teacher. Thus, strictly speaking, the education background of the teacher is undesirable, as well. Therefore, only a very few of the teachers' professional background can meet the requirement of eligible music teacher. Moreover, the surveys also indicate that not only the consciousness of academic research is insufficient, but also the theoretical thought of music education is scanty.

The history of tertiary music education can be traced back to 16 century. Li (2001) mentioned that the Saint Paul College, which founded by Portuguese and claimed the title of the first Western University in the Far East, offered music course since 1594. It is regrettable that the development of Macau's tertiary music education was stagnant since 1726 when the college closed. There was a blank of tertiary music education that was approximately 250 years until 1997 when the music course was established by the Macau Polytechnic Institute. Hence, the historical blank of Macau's tertiary music education not only suspended the excellent tradition, but also had left harmful influence to its development until today. For instance, more than half (54%) of Macau's music teachers are received music training or education outside of Macau (Dai, 2009a). At the first glance, it indicates diversification of talent, but the lake of local music teacher education was emerged, as well.

There are two universities in Macau that offered the course related to music education. The first one is the faculty of Education, University of Macau that offer music education as an optional course to primary and pre-primary education in the first or second semester of year-2. However, such short-term training (one semester only) may not satisfy the requirement as a music teacher.

The second is Macau Polytechnic Institute that offers a 4-year professional music education course, which brings a great possibility for the development of tertiary music education. However, some problems still exist. Initially, small scale and student source limited could be a major impediment to the development of tertiary music education. Due to the small number of enrolments (15 - 20 per year) and the cost of education input, seldom of optional courses can be offered, which may not meet the need of the students. In addition, the sources of students are restricted because the amount of resident decreases continuously; and also, it seems less attractive to the students from Mainland China even though the school accept them since 1996. Furthermore, the university can not organize external course due to local government regulations, therefore the requirement of further training from the local music teachers may not be satisfied. Moreover, it has less internship opportunities than expect, thus some of the students can not develop experience knowledge from internship, and the university may acquire feedback from the students about the current situation of general music education which may helpful to adjust its curriculum.

In addition, although further teacher training courses are offered in several organizations [4] , seldom of them are focuses on music or its pedagogics. It should be a serious issue in Macau's teacher resource.


Data analysis

The TABLE 9 shows public and non-tertiary education expenditure between 2007 and 2010. The percentages of those to total government expenditure in the four years are also listed. The amounts of public education expenditure are increase from 2007 to 2010. The percentage of which to total government expenditure is 16.2% in 2007; However, over the next two years, the proportions decreased to 14% and 13%. But in 2010, the percentage rose to 14.9%.

Although the actual number of public expenditure of non-tertiary education grows from 2007 to 2010, the percentages of which remain the downward trend between the 4 years. The proportion was 10.2% in 2007, and fall to 8.9% and 8.2% in 2008 and 2009. It hit a new low in 2010 and which was 7.5%.

TABLE 9 Education Finance Indicators of Macau (DESJ, 2012)


Year 2007

Year 2008

Year 2009

Year 2010

Public education expenditure (Unit: 10 million Patacas)





The percentage of public education expenditure to total government expenditure





Public expenditure of non-tertiary education





The percentage of public expenditure of non-tertiary education to total government expenditure





Issues and Challenges

The insufficient of investment of the local government for public education should be a one of the most primary factors restricting the development of public, especially non-tertiary education. According to the TABLE 9 we can infer that although the actual input is increase, the percentage of public non-tertiary education spending is decrease continuously. The reason of such situation might be that the rise of non-tertiary education expenditure can not keep up with the total government expenditure. Because the total government expenditure remains increase in the four years due to the rapid economic growth of Macau [5] . It also suggests that the speed of Macau's education development is slower than the rapid economic growth of Macau.

The TABLE 6 shows the percentage of public education expenditure to gross domestic product of United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong, Japan and Macau. According to the statistics we can infer that the degree of public education expenditure lags far behind the Western countries. Even more, it remains far less that the percentage of Hong Kong which is such similar to Macau, no matter the history background or the current economic situation.

The local education department lack of valid documents and measures which could guide or direct the development of general music education could be the other drawback. Because the Portuguese government took laissez-faire approach to Macau's private schools, that system of the schools and curriculum are diverse. Such approach may also lead the school education lack of unified standard. (Feng, 1999) Furthermore, Macau Education System (1991) provides that the government does not have the right to interfere teaching programs of the schools, as well.

However, Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, which is in charge of Macau education, has an obligation to guide, manage and assess the non-tertiary education, and thus the DSEJ establishes Education Commission, Youth Commission and educational supervision system. But it is regrettable that music education seems seldom involved in the educational supervision system. And also, the commissions may mainly focus on the extracurricular music activities, such as the interschool singing competition. Even though the activities promote growth of general music education in some extent, and flourish activity of general music education seemingly, those may not entirely represent the situation of Macau's school music education. The reason may be that, firstly, those are not routine, namely it is timeliness. Attention will be attracted only if few months before it stars, and schools may prepare it without effort. Secondly, only seldom of students can participant of the activities, and it may not benefit to all the students. Therefore it is unfair to the students who do not attend the activities. Thirdly, the survey of Dai (2009a) indicates that some of the teachers consider that music class may replace by such activities [6] . However, music class is the only way to achieve the goal for comprehensive, equal and sequential general music education. The DSEJ may ignore such phenomenon and importance of general music education at some extent.

Moreover, some school leaders may attach too much importance to result and ranking of the activities, and put unusual pressure on the music teacher. For example, result of the singing competition may influence bonus and evaluation of the music teachers. Hence, the music teachers concentrate on preparing of the competition instead of general music class, and which can not offer benefits to the students' music study. In brief, even though the DSEJ and the Cultural Affairs Bureau make a great effort to organize music competitions, the correct guidance for the activities is absent, and the basic function of music education is not achieved.

It is also worthwhile to consider that the government documents for general music education might be lagging. The Macau Education and Youth Affairs Bureau issued a Music Syllabus in 1999 and which is available on the official website (DSEJ 1999). The document contains 3 parts and focus students on different level, including junior primary, upper primary and junior secondary. The website also offers two other links, including the Music Curriculum Standard of Mainland China and the Music Curriculum Outline of Hong Kong. Nevertheless, those two official documents are issued in 2001 and 2003 separately, and which may suggest that Macau's official document is far behind the Hong Kong and Mainland China.

To sum up, the issues of the local government exist in three aspects: the underfunding on public non-tertiary education, the lack of correct guidance and the obsolescence of official guide documents for general music education. In the first aspect, on the one hand, the local government investment for education is not only much less than the Western countries, but also smaller nearby areas; on the other hand, the growth of the investment may not keep up with the rapid development of Macau's economic and society. Furthermore, the education and culture departments of Macau lack proper guidance, thus the extracurricular music activities hold by them may not achieve the goal for music education. In terms of the government documents, which may be outdated compare with the nearby areas.

Need to accommodate cultural diversity

Teaching materials and cultural diversity

Nowadays, multicultural music education has become a trend of music education throughout the world. Meanwhile, local music also be more emphasized because which plays a great important role in multicultural music education. Dai (2009b) insists that as an inalienable part of history and culture, local music represents not only tradition and works, but also a kind of communication between individual and group. The education of local music may help students and teachers to understand themselves' world via a series of comprehensive and related ways. Hence, local music should be a significant approach to link people, society and culture. Music education may be isolated from the culture and the social environment when without local music.

As one of the most important parts of music education, teaching materials should accommodate local music aspect, as well. Fan (1990) insists a successful music teaching materials should help student to not only explore the cultures of foreign countries, but also understand their own music legacy.

However, as I discuss before, the music teaching materials of Macau might be in bad sharp. Local schools either borrow music teaching materials from nearby areas, such as Hong Kong and Mainland China, or compile their music teaching materials by themselves for each grades. On the one hand, Chang (1994) points out that there are two disadvantages of the lack of local teaching materials. The first one should be that the students might miss the chance to communicate with the outside world at some extent. Secondly, he realizes that the students may not to update newest knowledge.

On the other hand, a survey made by Wang (2010) indicated that the music textbooks used in Macau are mainly emphasized on international folk songs, like Japanese, Korean and African Children's nursery songs; and also, the folk songs from different districts of Mainland China are also included in those teaching materials. However, seldom of Macau local music may be referred in those textbooks. Thus, he believes that the application of textbooks imported from Hong Kong and Mainland China could result the fact that "not only can't the local Macau students enjoy efficient music learning experienced in neighboring regions, but the students also lack the opportunities to learn their own cultural and musical heritage from their own music textbooks".

On the contrast, Wang (2003) considers that the locally published teaching materials could "unify student's learning competency in the region" and may give chances to the students to appreciate their own music and cultural heritage more completely. And also, it can provide students the recognition of their own unique national characteristics.

Consequently, we can infer that the lake of local music teaching materials should be one of the most serious problems in Macau's multicultural music education.

4.2 Teachers, teacher training and the government

Music teachers play one of the most important roles in multicultural music education. The teachers should not only teach music knowledge to the students, but also introduce the culture which related to the music. Anderson (1991) considers that "music teachers must prepared to do more than add isolated selections of non-European musics to the curriculum", and they must help students to understand the relationship between people and their music.

Music teachers' attitude and point of view in multicultural music education is extremely important, because it may influence both teachers' strategies and plan, even the classroom atmosphere (Young, 1996). The music teacher's attitude in Macau can be acquired through Dai's (2004) survey. There is a question in the investigation about which kind of music skill the teachers want to learn (multiple choice). There are 70% and 52% of them want to learn more about "choir conducting" and "music pedagogics"; " music appreciation" and "eurhythmics" occupied 44% and 37% separately [7] . There are only 26% and 18% of the teachers interested in "world musics" and "Chinese traditional music". However, those two subjects are the most important aspects in multicultural music education, and therefore we can infer that only a few of the teachers may interest and pay attention to multicultural music education. Such attitude in multicultural music education may hinder its development at some extent.

Current teacher training in Macau may not much help to multicultural music education. As I mentioned above, the University of Macau offer music education as an optional course for primary and pre-primary education. But the subjects related to multicultural music education, such as Ethnomusicology, Chinese traditional music are not available in the music education course in the University of Macau [8] . Furthermore, due to seldom of music teacher training organized by the local government [9] , multicultural music training might be a blank area in it. It is worthwhile considering that the ESA (School of Art) of Macau Polytechnic Institution may be the only university refers subjects relative to multicultural music education [10] . However, because the number of students is small and the history of the university is short, it may not influence Macau's multicultural music education so much.

As I discussed before, the local government lacks of standard and regulation to education, and which also should be a reason of imperfection of music teachers, teaching materials and even more, multicultural music education. The fact that there is little policy should another weakness in multicultural music education. Other countries' government, such as England, issues much more documents in relation to multiculturalism than do government in Macau.

For example, the Music Syllabus of Macau stipulates every year's teaching content and target. In the primary level, neither the teaching content or the target mention multicultural music education. On the contrary, the department for education in the United Kingdom stipulates multicultural music education in every Key Stage. The Nation Curriculum (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) for general music education at Key Stage 1 and 2 stipulates "pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through… a range of live and recorded music from different times and culture". (National Curriculum)

Furthermore, it should be another weakness that the Music Syllabus of Macau mainly focuses on music knowledge and skill, instead of culture. For instance, the teaching content in grade 4 includes five parts: singing, listening training, rhythm training, reading scores and music appreciation. In the last part, the requirements are: 1) listening vocal and instrumental pieces; 2) distinguishing genera of vocal and instrumental pieces; 3) remembering music dynamics; 4) distinguishing AB and ABA form; 5) distinguishing duple, triple and quadruple meter. All of the requirements are technique and seldom of them referred to culture. Such situation may not benefit to multicultural music education.

IV. Suggestions from other countries models

According to the discussion before, the issues of Macau's music education can be concluded in four aspects. Firstly, teachers and teacher training could be a part of the issues: the number of teacher is insufficiency, and the quality of the teachers may be lower than expect. Moreover, the weakness of tertiary music education and the lack of further teaching training, may also impact Macau's music education deeply. Secondly, deficiency of teaching materials regulation and local textbook should also be a problem in Macau's music education. Thirdly, in terms of the government, there are some issues on the government investment. Moreover, the lack of valid guidance and the obsolescence of official guide documents for general music education may be harmful, as well. Fourthly, culture diversity should be accommodated in order to develop Macau's music education.

In order to improve and resolve the issues, some excellent experience and model for general and multicultural music education can be learned from other countries. However, Kennedy (2009) insists that a specific model of multiculturalism can not be transported directly from one country to another, because every model has its own characters. Therefore, three countries, including the United States, Hong Kong and Mainland China, are selected to show their successful models and experiences. The reason why the countries are chosen may be that, initially, the United States is the place to implement the conception of multicultural music education most successfully around the world. In terms of Hong Kong, the situation of which is very similar to Macau: both of them were colony, and then handover to China in the 1990s; even more, cultures of these two place are similar due to the geographical proximity. However, the situation of education in Hong Kong is better than Macau due to the different colonial government policy. Finally, Mainland China share the same culture with Macau, and its multicultural education developed very well in recent years.

Multicultural education in generally in the United States, Hong Kong and Mainland China generally.

The history roots of multicultural education should be traced to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States is the social action of African American and other people of color aimed at challenging racial discrimination, oppression and inequality (Banks, 1989). The movement focuses on equity and emancipation from white domination in both political and educational aspects (Blum, 1997). They demanded for curricular reform in order to consistent with the racial diversity in the country. Such movement also inspired other groups to seek recognition and equality in education, such as women, the disabled and linguistic minorities.

The problems received considerable attention in the educational institutions and organizations in the United States. Thus, a host of programs, practices and policies emerged and mainly focus on slight changes or additions to traditional curriculum. During 1970s, a number of professional organizations encourage the integration of ethnic content and the curriculum via issued policies and publications. For instance, the National Council for the Social Study (NCSS) published the Curriculum Guidelines for Multiethnic Education in 1976 [11] . And also, the standards for teacher education are issued in 1977, by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which require that the multicultural education content should be added to courses.

From 1980s, the scholars mainly focus on developing new approach and models for multicultural education. (Gorski, 1999) He also consists that multicultural education must be understood relative to the social aspect and political structure. Nowadays, the conception of multicultural education was applied in a number of subjects, such as history, mathematics (Sleeter, 1997), visual art and music.

In terms of Mainland China, Wang (2007) believes that mainly emphasizes on "local diversity", that is, the cultural diversity of Chinese minority groups should be the most important aspect of Mainland China's multicultural education. He insists that the multicultural education in the western countries may focus on culture's maintain and development. But in China, the survival and development of the minority groups should be more crucial to multicultural education.

There are 55 minority groups in China and all of them have their own cultures. Even more, 24 of them have their own languages. The Chinese government issues several policies in order to develop and protect multicultural education. Firstly, bilingual education is applied in the place of residence of ethnic minorities, which proposed in 1950 initially in the Plan for Cadre Cultivating in Minority Groups. Secondly, the culture heritage of the ethnic minorities was included in the curriculum. The policy "Strengthening the Ethnic Minorities Education" issued in 1980, which provides that the development of curriculum and the compiling of teaching materials should use their own language, and related to their own history, culture and arts.

As a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong has unique status and always regard as melting pot of western and eastern cultures. The government of Hong Kong attach much importance to multicultural education, and they believes that reformed education can promote the development of multicultural education even which is a relatively new experience for the schools of the HKSAR (Ho & Law, 2009). The global citizenship became a component of civil education for secondary school, and a number of lesson in the curriculum intended to help student appreciate the diverse heritage of the world (Law, 2004 & Curriculum Development Council, 1998).

The government also insists that students should be educated to consider and think deeply on "different values to their own, their relationships with others, the community, the nation and the world at large scale" (Ho & Law, 2009). Furthermore, the government believes it is necessary that the students should have ability to appreciate multicultural diversity in the arts, and understand the values and the traditions of world musics. (Curriculum Development Council, 2003)

Brief Introduction of Multicultural Music Education in the United States, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

The United States is a pioneer and a microcosm of international multicultural music education. The federal government pay attention to the development in arts education and issued the Goal 2000: Educate America Act in 1994 and put forward the clear target for American students: "All students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics an government, economics, the arts, history, and geography". On the one hand, the government offers support in funding aspect, for example, $86.5 million available to states in 1994 to begin developing school improvement plans and an additional $5 million was made available to develop plans to use state-of-the-art technology to enhance teaching and learning. On the other hand, the first National Standards for Arts Education is created with the passage of Goal 2000.

The music curriculum in the United States is developed on the National Standards for Arts Education. The standard requires the student to "understand music in relation to history and culture" and to "identify an appreciate music from different cultures, styles and periods for all grade". There is no doubt that the publication of the standard not only become a milestone, but also symbolizes the mature stage of the multicultural music education in the United States.

In addition, multiculturalism draws attention to music teacher education in colleges and universities. The multicultural components are added in the course. Furthermore, The National Association of School of Music (NASM) stipulates "all (music) undergraduate curricula should… provide… a repertory for study that includes various cultures and historical periods".

Furthermore, some states in the United States "have certification requirements that specify that (music education) students should receive music literature experiences that draw on a variety of music cultures from throughout the world… (Including) African and Asian musics." (Anderson, 1992) Moreover, multicultural education is one of the contents in the examination of teaching certification in some states. For example, Colorado, New Hampshire, Vermont and Virginia have multicultural music requirements; Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Oregon have multicultural requirements in professional education for music certification. (Ma, 2009)

Multiculturalism refers to not only musics from other countries, but also minority ethnic musics. The New Music Curriculum Standards requires students to "develop and expand" minority ethnic traditional musics, and understand musics from other countries.

What's more, the requirement and principle of the teaching materials' compiling are also listed in the standard. In terms of multiculturalism, the standard requires the content of music textbooks should keep the balance between the Chinese traditional music and world musics. It is also worthwhile considering that the standard stipules that the textbook that is based on it should occupied 80% - 85% in the total amount, the rest 15% - 20% should be local teaching materials.

Fan (2009) points out that the characters of music teaching materials in China are "diversity of the content and large of the range". Take the music textbook published by People's Music Publishing House [12] as an example, which contains six units and involves western art music (The Plant Suite), Asian music (Indian, Turkey, Thailand musics), film music (music from "Do Re Mi"), Chinese traditional (yangko) and minority ethnic musics. ANNEX???