Non-Formal Learning: Clarification of the Concept and Its Application in Music LearningReport as inadecuate

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Australian Journal of Music Education, n1 p11-15 2011

The concept of non-formal learning, which falls outside the categories of informal and formal learning, has not been as widely discussed, especially in the music education literature. In order to bridge this gap and to provide supplementary framework to the discussion of informal and formal learning, therefore, this paper will first summarize various literature in this area and then an operational concept about non-formal learning which is applicable in music learning-practices will be formulated. In summary, Non-formal learning refers to a kind of learning which is relatively systematic and (but not necessarily) pre-planned, with a clear intention on the part of the learner and teacher to accomplish a particular learning task. It should be noted that assessment and the intended learning outcomes have not been clearly highlighted. The paper will then present various community music-making activities around the world which belong to this non-formal type of learning under this operational concept.

Descriptors: Nonformal Education, Music Education, Music, Outcomes of Education, Models, Learning, Music Teachers, Mentors, Churches

Australian Society for Music Education. P.O. Box 5, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9925-7807; e-mail: publications[at]; Web site:

Author: Mok, On Nei Annie


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