MU, ME, and Me: Myth and Realities

Keynote
31 August 2017
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Music (MU), one of the classical areas in humanities, in Thailand has been one of the prominent identity of our nation for more than 700 years. We have our own music, traditional music. Besides, our Thai folk music prevails in all certain parts around Thailand. We can say that our country is rich in music. 


As time passed by, new types of music were imported to Thailand such as country music, Western music, pop music, rock music, etc. All types of music come with different myths or beliefs. As the world changed according to the development of all disciplines, some myths or beliefs changed the way they were perceived, some still lived on, and some were changed or adapted. They morphed into new realities. In music higher education, musical skills are seen as the most important study area for students. 


The belief is that excellent music skills are the most important final learning outcome — the product. Is this the truth or a myth? Isn’t there anything more that the students should learn? Are there any other skills that might be as important as their musical skills? Is the product or the learning outcome the most important aspect of their education ? Is there anything else — any other realities that the students should learn about? Music Education (ME), one of the areas in social sciences in Thailand, was only implemented 60 years ago, based on the belief that in education, focusing only on the product is not the main point but the process is as important. Other skills should also be focused on, i.e. 21st Century Skills. Any applied music major program should consider applying these kinds of music education based principles as part of their program. 


Only knowing music without understanding its related areas is not a reality for the real world anymore. Music Education Program at the Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, (Me), is offering music education majors, both undergraduate and graduate, concerning applied music – both Thai and Western music, music education with the emphasis on the process not only the product, 21st Century Skills. We believe that and it’s real, our graduates have all skills to work and live successfully. 


We hope that Me will eventually be applied to connect music programs with reality.