The relationship between school music education and folk music culture was explored with reference to historical details and folklore norms. “To acquire the competence to commit sounds and music in life and society” was added to the overall objectives for music in the 2017 Courses of Study (school curriculum guidelines) for elementary schools. The term “life and society” is difficult to define and the guideline provides no clarification. Music and“ life and society” were originally intimately related. Some teachers’ practices enable their students to consider the roles and/or relationships of music in their lives and society in acquiring competence in performing and listening to music. However, several concepts for music education have been based on“ life and society.” Thus, we should also reflect on the contents of the subject because of the characteristics of music and its relationship with “life and society.” Although the guidelines place importance on music disciplines and deep learning, there is no consideration of the outcome of discipline on music. In conclusion, according to folklore and ethnomusicology, which is the discipline concerning music, life, and society, the definition of music in education should be enlarged to encompass additional contents with the ultimate objective of learning music through a wider view of musical disciplines.