Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Education


This project focuses primarily on the development and implementation of the New South Wales (K-6) Music Syllabus (1984), and the effectiveness of the curriculum development model which was intended to overcome repeatedly identified deficiencies and policy implications arising from these findings.

An examination of the events leading to the development of the syllabus revealed a series of reports on the arts in education which all identified key deficiencies in primary music education and recommended :

• that specialist teachers be used in primary schools;

• that improved resources and facilities be provided for all schools;

• that all children have the opportunity to learn an instrument;

• that teacher training institutions and professional development programs provide teachers with better music education skills and with appropriate knowledge and attitudes; and

• that a new music syllabus be developed, based on children's developmental stages.

Using a model which initially aimed to involve as many interest groups as possible but was finalised by a small group of music experts, the music syllabus was developed over seven years. This research project sought to evaluate the development of the syllabus and its implementation seven years after its launch in relation to how effectively it addressed these identified deficiencies, to identify key factors influencing primary music education and to develop some policy suggestions in response to the problems arising from these results.

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