The Current Status of Elementary Music Education in Yangon, Myanmar

  • Saw Moses College of Music, Mahidol University
  • Kyle R. Fyr College of Music, Mahidol University
  • Natee Chiengchana Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University
Keywords: music education, elementary schools, Yangon, Myanmar


Public schools in Myanmar have offered music education as part of the regular curriculum since 2000; however, very little information is available about the current teaching practices of music education as well as differences and problems regarding music education in different types of schools. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the current status of elementary music education in Yangon, Myanmar in three different types of schools: Public schools, private schools, and international schools. A mixed-method design was employed to achieve the purposes of the study. Qualitative data were collected using in-depth interviews with seven key informants. Quantitative data were collected from 93 respondents—33 music teachers and 60 classroom teachers responsible for teaching music—using a web-based questionnaire and telephone interviews. Both the quantitative and qualitative results indicated that compared to private schools and public schools, international schools receive more practical support in terms of qualified music teachers, standard music programmes, and excellent facilities. Although the Ministry of Education in Myanmar has commenced curriculum reform to include music as a compulsory subject in public schools at the elementary level since the 2016-2017 academic year, there are still many challenges regarding music training for teachers, the effectiveness of music curricula, and adequate support for music facilities and other necessities such as musical instruments, teaching aids, musical equipment, and educational resources. The findings of the study also confirm that the support of the government is crucial for music education policy and partnership in Public schools and Private schools.


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Author Biographies

Kyle R. Fyr, College of Music, Mahidol University

Kyle Fyr is the musicology department chair and the Master of Arts program chair at the College of Music, Mahidol University (Thailand). He received a PhD in music theory with doctoral minors in music history and piano performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2011, writing a dissertation focusing on proportionality and performance issues in piano works of John Adams. From 2011-13, he was an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Northern Colorado. He has presented papers at a variety of conferences throughout the US and UK, and has published in the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, the Malaysian Music Journal, Music Theory Online and Notes. He also has forthcoming publication in the journal Music Theory and Analysis.

Natee Chiengchana, Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University

Natee Chiengchana is an assistant professor in Music Education at Ratchasuda College at Mahidol University in Thailand. He has extensive experience as a music educator and music therapist in the area of exceptional children. His research interests focus on inclusive music education and music therapy, music for children with autism, children with behaviour or emotional disorders, and children with hearing loss.


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How to Cite
Moses, S., Fyr, K., & Chiengchana, N. (2021). The Current Status of Elementary Music Education in Yangon, Myanmar. Malaysian Journal of Music, 10(1), 53-71. Retrieved from