Jazz, popular music added to O-level syllabus: Ong Ye Kung

More local artistes and styles will be taught in the new syllabus.

Belmont Lay | May 19, 2019, 01:20 AM

Musically inclined secondary school students in Singapore, rejoice.

Jazz, popular music and music in multimedia will be taught to them as the music syllabus has been tweaked, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said at the finale concert for the Lion City Youth Jazz Festival at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on Saturday, May 18.

New areas of study

He said the O-level music syllabus will include new areas of study besides the existing Asian music and western classical tradition to widen students' exposure to music.

According to The Straits Times, Ong said: "Jazz will be featured in the O-level syllabus, and within jazz, (students) get to appreciate all the sub-genres."

"They get to learn about the music and the musicians, such as Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck and Jeremy Monteiro."

Local art included

The revision will include the teaching of contemporary artistes, styles and genres from Singapore.

Ong also said local art will be assured a place in the syllabus.

According to ST, Ong said:

"That will be our approach across all the arts subjects. In literature as well, you don't just learn about Shakespeare, but also Haresh Sharma (a Singaporean playwright).

"In art, as in painting, you don't just learn about Leonardo and Monet, but also Liu Kang (an influential first-generational artist from Singapore).

"We will always feature local art form in our syllabus now. It's a coming of age for Singapore, both understanding ourselves and our own art form, and I think that's the right way to go."

First year of exams in 2020

The first year of examination for these students is 2020.

Students will be able to take the new syllabus in the four-year Music Elective Programme, two-year Enhanced Music Programme and the two-year O-level Music Course at the upper secondary levels.

Top photo via Alexius Pereira