My research focuses on teaching Mandarin Chinese through music; engaging with the study of cross-cultural education and language-learning through choral singing. This includes a reflection of Chinese and internationally developed theories of education both from music and other fields. As a part of this, I have produced a “Singing Curriculum”, providing novice Mandarin learners a way to explore the Chinese language and providing an engaging and enjoyable framework for the learning of language.
The development of the singing curriculum was based upon five categories of songs, detailing a linguistic and cultural education through the following formats:
A. daily language and topics in which students are interested, such as colours, animals, family members, body parts, numbers, etc;
B. songs which introduce Chinese cultures and festivals;
C. songs about Chinese characters;
D. songs that teach Chinese tones;
E. original children’s songs.
In addition to these, further sessions work with traditional Chinese folk songs and Classical music, presenting participants with a further understanding of China’s culture of music.
My research adopts a reflective research methodology to the practices of teaching. Within this, the research utilises feedback from participating students and teachers to form an insightful view of how music can be used within language-learning, and how these might inform approaches in both Education and community-based practices. My current research interacts with singing groups from primary and secondary schools, community choirs, and university; applying my research within a wide array of settings and helping to develop an understanding of the contextual differences we might explore within language-learning and music education and participation.