Non-formal learning: Clarification of the concept and its application in music learning

On Nei Annie MOK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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. Copyright © 2011 Australian Society for Music Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
JournalAustralian Journal of Music Education
Publication statusPublished - 2011


music lessons


Mok, O. N. A. (2011). Non-formal learning: Clarification of the concept and its application in music learning. Australian Journal of Music Education, 1, 11-15.


  • Community music-making
  • Non-formal learning
  • Transmission