New Perspectives on Music Pedagogy

Learning Objective
This course provides new perspectives on music pedagogy. The course aims to:

  • critically reflect on new pedagogical concepts, ideas and approaches;
  • acknowledge the influence of sociocultural contexts in music making and music teaching;
  • merge artistic practice with educational and pedagogical strategies.

Course description
Due to new developments within the field of educational theory, psychology/pedagogy (i.e. self-efficacy theory and positive psychology) and embodied cognition, it is time to rethink existing music education models, specifically when it comes to music classes in informal educational settings such as community practices. Traditional music classes are mostly product-based and take a rather mechanistic approach to music training. In our course we take a different stance towards music education: learning is student-centred and process-based.

In this elective we will introduce new perspectives on music pedagogy:

  1. perspectives from embodied cognition: the role of the body in teaching and learning strategies;
  2. holistic and transformational teaching methods that look at the relational aspect of music pedagogy: uniting the body and the mind, the teaching and the identity, the curriculum and the community;
  3. open-ended problemsolving strategies that promote self-regulation and reflections skills (i.e. teaching strategies that foster a creative environment);
  4. experiental modes of learning, such as improvisation and authentic music making;
  5. practices that acknowledge the sociocultural influences that shape our musicality (Sööt & Viskus, 2014).

This course is open for musicians as well as music educators, since we start from the assumption that teaching and learning is an intrinsic part of any human life. Part of the course will therefore also consist of writing an educational autobiography.

Course details

teacher Reinhard Findenegg
term January-April 2023
method of instruction Lectures, critical discussion and reflective engagement will form the basis of the sessions.
readings Alsup, J., ‘Teachers as people’. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice 18/1 (2005), pp. 19-24.
  Korthagen, F. A. M., ‘In search of the essence of a good teacher: towards a more holistic approach in teacher education’. Teaching and Teacher Education 20 (2004), pp. 77-97.
  Korthagen, F. A. M. & Vasalos, A. , ‘Levels in Reflection: Core reflection as a means to enhance professional growth’. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 11/1 (2005), pp. 47-71.
  Vella, R., ‘Introduction: Being What You Teach’, in: R. Vella (Ed.), Artist-Teachers in Context: International Dialogues. Rotterdam: Sense, 2016.
  Wagona, C., ‘Defining Music Teacher Identity for Effective Research in Music Education’, in: Published Proceedings from ISME 30th International Conference Conference. Thessaloniki, 2016.
  Miller, R., Holism and Meaning: Foundations for a Coherent Holistic Theory. In: Caring for New Life: Essays on Holistic Education. Brandon, VT: Resource Center for Redesigning Education, 2000, pp. 19-40.
  Bremmer, M. & Hermans, C., Embodiment in Arts Education. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University of the Arts. 2015.
  Van der Schyff, D., ‘Music as a Manifestation of Life: Exploring Enactivism and the ‘Eastern Perspective’ for Music Education’. Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2015), p. 345.
assessment Essay
participation Optional for all master students
credits 5
related electives Music for an Inclusive Society
  The Musical Mind