Earlier studies of educational quality in music teacher training have valued practicum as one of the most important parts of music teacher education. Not a least have those experiences in the field been appreciated by students. In order to develop high quality music teacher education, we have to understand what happens in practicum contexts; in the meeting between, teacher students, practicum supervisors, students, steering documents, culture, and music, when students perceive that they learn how to teach music in adequate ways. This paper tries to understand such meetings and learning situations from a phenomenological perspective, namely based on the concept ”chiasm” as developed by Maruce-Merlau-Ponty. Expressed by the Greek letter χ (chi), chiasm means a crisscrossing of the perceiving and the perceived, self and other, language and meaning. Chiasm also signifies an inter-twining, an intersection, reversibility, or the process of flowing of phenomena one into another. Chiasm is a contextual encounter of individuals and groups who, by taking action together, can change and transform their life-worlds. Chiasm can symbolically represent practicum as an intertwining of theory and practice. Like the crosspiece, practicum within music teacher education can become an endless journey and the meeting place of a student teacher’s self with the world of different and unique music teaching and learning experiences, unpredictable turns, challenges and wonders. This paper attempts to communicate a glimpse of such a journey, expressed through five music teacher students’ stories. The stories were produced through individual and group interviews performed within a larger Norwegian-Swedish research project focusing educational quality in music teacher education. Hopefully the analysed stories can contribute with knowledge about how individuals and groups embody knowledge about their musical teaching and learning life-worlds, whether and how they exercise the power of self-reflective thinking and apply it to solve problems, to challenge existing assumptions, and to create new spaces and conditions for change, through action.
International Conference for Research in Music Education : 09/04/2013 - 13/04/2013