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Nordic research focusing composition education in relation to primary and secondary schools: What do we know and what do we have to investigate further?
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9266-786X
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As the focus on composition, as a part of compulsory and upper secondary music education, has become more clearly outspoken and valued in steering documents lately in the Nordic countries, the need of research has increased. The aim of the symposium is to give a picture of what is going on within the Nordic network when it comes to composition education research in schools, and connect that to existing curricula, as well as to music teacher education. After a short introduction of the situation mentioned above, six examples of ongoing or recent research will be shortly (11 min) presented, and connected to the theme of the symposium. In the end Jon-Helge Sætre will draw lines between the existing perspectives and findings, teaching and learning practices in Nordic schools, the field of music education research, and to what is needed to be investigated further according to his view of the situation (11 min). Finally a discussion between the participants and the audience will take place. Claiming semiotic space with classroom composing: meeting the challenge of the new Finnish national core curriculum Juha Ojala & Lauri Väkevä This conjoint presentation is based on the philosophical-theoretical rationale and practical cases described in our book Säveltäjäksi kasvattaminen ("Educating a composer”; Finnish National Board of Education 2013) that collected together Finnish practices of classroom composing under the theoretical frame of semiotic pragmatism. In the rationale of the book, we portrayed composing as a key practice in building musical lives. Instead of mere creative production of listenables, composing can be seen as quintessential way of claiming semiotic space in the social-cultural realm of sonic actions and transactions. Through several examples of Finnish classroom composing, we argue that such perspective can help us to build a comprehensive view of composing-based music pedagogy that is not stuck to genre-based distinctions between creative approaches, nor restricted to the specific agendas of teaching methods. This, we maintain, is the best way to realize the democratic and inclusive goals of the new Finnish core curriculum for the comprehensive school music. Some key findings from a PhD-study on composition education: The Dynamics of Collaborative Creative Music-Making: Reflection-in-action, facilitation and interaction Tine Grieg Viig This Ph.D.-project focuses on the educational perspectives of collaborative processes where children and young adolescents compose music together with professional artists. The study aims at making a contribution to an on-going discussion of creative processes in the field of music education. Through asking how creative competencies in creative music-making can be taught, learned and developed, this research is based on three case studies where professional artists and children collaborate in creative processes composing music. Interviews with focus groups and leaders of the projects, observations and video-recordings of the creative process along with the musical material make up the empirical data in all the cases. Through a sociocultural perspective on learning and interaction, important foci in the study are the reflection-in-action and facilitation of the creative process through scaffolds and dynamic interaction. The findings point at the important role of an expanded repertoire in these processes, as a basis for the reflection in- and through the musical material in for example aesthetic, artistic and structural modes of reflection-in-action. This includes a discussion of the facilitator role, and the different modes an experienced leader of composition workshops utilizes in the scaffolding of creative collaborative practices. Passed and now intertwining when learning is at stake. - Composing and learning in a musical theatre project Annette Mars This contribution presents a study investigating musical learning among 9th grade adolescents in a Swedish lower secondary school. The adolescents collaboratively composed songs for a self-written musical, which they taught to their peers. The purpose of the study was to explore the ways adolescents acquire musical knowledge in this specific setting. A sociocultural perspective was employed; and the method used was observation and interviews with the adolescents. The results demonstrated that the adolescents’ choice of tools when learning and peer teaching composition, were the same as their teachers’. The written score was distinct in all their musical learning, suggesting the dominance of the written paradigm. In conclusion, in order to support students’ musical learning, music teachers need to know how to create possibilities for peer teaching, and when to interfere and guide the adolescents in a Zone of Proximal Development. Composing with iPads in a 7th-grade music classroom Marja-Leena Juntunen Based on a recent study, this presentation discusses a case in which a music teacher in a Finnish lower secondary-level school explored the possibilities of using iPads in a 7th-grade music classroom (compulsory general music course) searching for opportunities for creative and integrated experimentation with movement, music and technology. The iPads were used to facilitate creative activities and production that included music and movement improvisation and composition, combined with a video recording, and its subsequent editing to match the composed music. The project was facilitated by the teacher’s willingness to incorporate mobile devices in the music classroom in a way that integrated bodily activities and creative production with the use of technology. The case has been examined from three perspectives: students’ experiences, development of agency, and embodied learning. In the presentation, the results of the study will be discussed shortly. Loose control, listen to each other, and create – understanding cooperative music making from a chiasmic perspective Cecilia Ferm Thorgersen In order to create democratic milieus for creative musical group work, relations between individuals and the musical world should be investigated. One way of coming close to the interaction between subjects and music in such environments is to use philosophy as a tool for understanding. In the current article the philosophy of flesh and chiasm as developed by Merleau-Ponty in his later works, is used to acquire knowledge about cooperative composition. Chiasm means criss-crossings between the perceiving and the perceived, self and other, and language and meaning. The aim of the study was to describe and understand the phenomenon of cooperative composing from a pupil’s point of view. The experiences of five 15 years old pupils involved in a New music project constitute the access to the phenomenon. Themes that describe the phenomenon of cooperative composing showed to be: To embody new areas, Intertwinement of ideas, The function of language and symbols in chiasmic communication, Challenges and wonders, and To grow into the field of contemporary composition. Exploring the boundaries of musical meaning making: Using a graphic programming environment to develop higher order thinking in composition Peter Falthin In music composition, manner and methods are often integral to the aesthetic position in which a piece is conceived. This is not to say that choice of method and tools will bring with them a predestination for musical form and expression but rather that a composition as a whole comprises also the process of its making. This paper will discuss some aspects of composition learning that has surfaced in different studies by the author concerning students first encounter with computer programming as a means for composition and development of musical thinking. Some critical issues are connected to, attitude that to varying degree can be sceptical or curious, difficulties to evaluate materials and ideas due to unfamiliarity with the medium, lack of cultural context which can be both confusing and liberating and the indirectness of the medium putting demands on a composer to operate on meta-levels when planning for structures, sound design, playing activities, expression and communication. Results show that the challenge is sometimes positively experienced, and there are several cases where this has meant a turning point for musical reconceptualization far beyond the scope of the original project. Other times the experience is more problematic and seems to cause anxiety and a sense of lack of orientation. The difference does not necessarily correspond with the ability to reach solid musical results in the sense of being able to realize one’s ideas. A number of questions emerge around the role of experience and attitude to learning and thinking in music composition and how it can be dealt with. What do we know and what is to be investigated further? Jon-Helge Sætre Will be formulated upon a reading of and reflection upon the short presentations sent to Jon-Helge in beforehand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Music Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-31480Local ID: 5a8c1bd8-8778-4692-b9ef-5eb34e5fa554OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-31480DiVA, id: diva2:1004714
Conference
Nordic Network for Research in Music Education : Technology and creativity in music education 08/03/2016 - 10/03/2016
Note
Godkänd; 2016; 20160112 (cefe)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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