The meanings and value of the arts and their impact on students’ learning have long been main areas of focus in arts education research. In Hong Kong, there are only a few studies discussing the impact of performing arts education on students’ learning, which leaves a gap in the overall understanding of performing arts education. This article reports on a study of performing arts education in Hong Kong. The participants of the study are students, teachers, principals and arts groups. A total of 28 focus group interviews were conducted with participants recruited from 25 primary schools, 26 secondary schools, one international school, nine tertiary institutions, five special schools and 20 arts groups. Although this study confirms the claims made by arts educators that performing arts education can promote students’ awareness of creative and critical thinking skills, change their behavior and attitudes, increase their socio-cultural awareness and benefit their all-round development, the stakeholders had different interpretations of the meaning and value of performing arts education. There appears to be a gap between arts groups and schools in the understanding of the fundamental purposes of performing arts education and the role that it should play in the school context. Copyright © 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.