5 Incredible Things I’ve Achieved with My Music Education Degree
Sponsored by The Education University of Hong Kong
Gigi Lam Chi-ying has achieved many admirable accomplishments in the world of music and theater education since graduating from The Education University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Education (Honors) in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Music Education in 2013.
From directing numerous musical productions to presenting her pioneering dissertation around the globe, Gigi has accomplished so much in a short span of time. She shared with us how her time at The Education University of Hong Kong has opened up many doors for both her academic and professional career.
Designing tailor-made community music programs
Using the skills and knowledge she developed as a music teacher and during her master’s degree in music education, Gigi has created a number of tailor-made community music programs, including the only Cantonese children’s theater in the UK, and interactive concerts tailored for children with learning difficulties.
She told us: “One time, we organized a concert for children with autism and ADHD, who can find it hard to sit still. Therefore, the concert was developed in such a way as to allow them to shout, run and jump to the music.”
At The Education University of Hong Kong, students who study the MA in Music Education degree are trained to understand the underlying fundamentals of the relationship between music and individuals.
So, when it comes to teaching, it’s important to remember that every student is different and learns in their own way – something which Gigi has championed consistently.
“We need to cater for all types of intelligence: verbal, auditory, kinesthetic, interpersonal, visual.”
Gigi’s passion for music education is undeniable, so when asked what she enjoyed learning about the most when it comes to music education, she told us: “I believe music can be used to transform the lives of children. Integrating music education into the wider community and promoting lifelong engagement in music can benefit entire communities and enrich the learner’s experience.”
Setting up an Education Sharing Lab
When asked what Gigi considers to be her proudest academic career academic achievement to date, she told us it was setting up and organizing a student-initiated Education Sharing Lab – a place where students from around the world are able to connect and share their practices of music education.
“These are students trained as professional musicians, yet this space provided them with a space to reflect on how school music education has made an impact on their current career,” she told us.
Directing musical productions, theater plays and performances
At The Education University of Hong Kong, Master of Music Education students can combine their specialist subject knowledge and skills with their own personal educational objectives across different professional musical pursuits – something which has suited Gigi very well.
An avid music director, she has worked with community choirs, ensembles and theatre groups, directing a number of musical productions, theater plays and performances, including Kites (2013), Anglican Little Singers - A Table for Five Thousand (2013), A Christmas Gift (2012), and David and Giants (2011) to name but a few.
Presenting my dissertation around the world
In 2012 and 2013, Gigi was invited to present her dissertation on drama education pedagogy for children with autism in choral training at the International Society for Music conference in Greece and the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association International Conference in Paris.
Becoming a research student at the Royal Music College, London
When asked what drove her to study music in education, Gigi told us: “I was blessed to grow up with music and was lucky enough to receive various support from the community, including financial support, mentorships and opportunities to broaden my horizons.
“I believe music has the power to transform and connect lives.”
With this outlook, Gigi’s current PhD research concentrates on the community scene in Hong Kong and musicians’ perceptions in community practices.
“Throughout my educational training at The Education University of Hong Kong and various other organizations, I’ve been able to reach different target groups such as the elderly, children with special education needs, as well as teenagers with tailor-designed community music programs suitable for them.
“I would like to adapt what I’ve learnt and apply it to the local community, especially when it comes to providing training to local teachers and music practitioners. By connecting researchers and practitioners, we can keep developing our practice and bring music to people in the community at every level, in order to create an impact on the development of music education.”
So, what’s next for Gigi?
Gigi hopes to continue creating and promoting music-participation opportunities for all individuals around the world.
She said: “I hope I can bridge the gap between practitioners and academics with the aim of creating a space which serves as a professional development opportunity for colleagues and an outlet for new ways to educate and promote music.
“I hope to continue setting up and organizing workshops in different communities with more musicians joining to add more vibrancy to the music scene.”
Lead image credit: Lydia Cracknell
This article was originally published in May 2019 . It was last updated in September 2021