The FUTURED-project has now officially started

Photo: Tine Grieg Viig and Marthe Seljestad Berg-Olsen

The research project «Music Education for the Future» (FUTURED 2019-2022) started up with a kick off seminar 9th-10th September in Bergen, Norway with researchers from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Oslo Metropolitan University in addition to guest researchers from Norway, Finland, Ireland and The United States.

The researchers presented the three work packages, and had response and critical comments from guests, steering group and advisory board members. This was helpful for moving on with the continuing work in all the different parts of the study. Data will be collected through a national survey and qualitative interviews with preservice teachers in Norwegian music teacher education, as well as through participatory action research with preservice teachers both on campus and in practicum in collaboration with a musician and a music teacher.

The purpose of the study is to map the current situation in Norwegian music teacher education and together with students develop tools to empower educators and preservice teachers to handle future challenges that music education has a potential to meet. Read more about the project here.

Catharina Christophersen is managing the project. Researchers from Culture, Criticism, Community involved in the project are Silje Valde Onsrud, Kari Holdhus, Tine Grieg Viig (postdoc), Eyolf Nysæther (Ph.D. candidate), Judy Lewis (guest researcher) and Ailbhe Kenny (guest researcher). Other researchers involved are Jan Sverre Knudsen (OsloMet), Bendik Fredriksen (OsloMet), Hanne Fossum (OsloMet), Jon Helge Sætre (NMH), and Heidi Partti (University of the Arts Helsinki).

From the discussions of the work packages. Photo: Catharina Christophersen.

Jonas Cisar Romme

Jonas is lecturer in music education and community music and researcher at Western Norway University College of Applied Sciences, campus Stord. Since 2016 he has been central in the development of Scandinavia’s first bachelor program in Community Music.

Jonas is active as a researcher in “School and concert – from transmission to dialogue” – an innovation project on Norwegian professional visiting concerts in partnership with Kulturtanken, founded by the Norwegian Research Council (www.diskoprosjektet.no). This project runs for four years from 2017.

He holds a master’s degree in Creative Subjects and Learning Processes from 2015. The thesis is named “My Music Performance is Changing!” – Perspectives on “The Aesthetic Talk” in Ensemble Teaching in Upper Secondary School.

Teaching subjects: Arranging/Composing, popular music and jazz music history, ensemble playing, how to workshop, ear training, music theory, community music philosophy, history and central concepts, supervision of bachelor candidates.

He has a background as a music teacher in Norwegian upper secondary school (“Musikklinja”), in municipal culture schools, as music reviewer, arranger for choir and big band, and is currently conducting/leading and arranging for a local big band.

Jonas’s research interests are creativity, learning processes, inclusion, democracy and sustainability, the potential of community music praxis in Scandinavian music pedagogy, music philosophies and their relationship to quality conceptions.

Social justice seminar coming up

The open research group seminar “Social justice, arts education and community arts” is coming up, and Catharina Christophersen and Judy Lewis are offering a few reflections on the topic of social justice in music education.

As the field of social justice has grown, music education scholars have questioned the manner in which social justice is conceptualized, theorized and represented. Social justice is a relational concept that is inseparable from related concepts like democracy, equity and fairness or lack thereof, thus naturally also linking the concept of justice to injustice. Democracy is thus a core value of social justice, and must be conceived of “not as ethos, but as experience” (Gould 2007, p. 238). When perceiving social justice from the perspective of experience, the meaning  will inevitably fluctuate depending on context.

The concept of social justice is fluid, contextual and situated. Social justice “resists generalization; meaning, it doesn’t necessarily ‘travel’ well. One person’s or interest group’s social justice may easily become another’s injustice” (Bowman 2007, p. 4). Naming is therefore essential in any social justice enterprise, since concepts like “justice” and “diversity” are euphemisms that may cover up the real issues at stake in certain situations .  Hence, the mere concept of social justice may camouflage the complexity, diversity, and nuances of social justice. The call for social justice in education rests upon the imperative to recognize and acknowledge injustice, an “imperative to care” (Shieh and Allsup 2012, p. 48), that is to “perceive and act, and not look away” (ibid.) . However well-intended, un-reflected urges to correct injustice and to “do something” may very well end up as charity, tokenism or exoticism disguised as acts of social justice (Bradley 2007). Further, scholars and educators need to critically reflect on their own positionality and their own implicatedness in injust practices. Such criticality and reflexivity are vital both in order to recognize possible and actual manifestations of “othering” as well as provide spaces in which silenced voices could be heard.

Social justice, arts education and community arts

The research group Culture – Criticism – Community invites to an open research seminar: “Social justice, arts education and community arts”
Friday October 19th, 09:00-12:00, room C114 (auditorium 5).

0900-0910: Introduction (Silje Valde Onsrud)
0910-1000: The art of listening: What 20 ten-year-olds taught me about social justice (Judy Lewis)

(Short break)

1010-1100: Contextualizing social justice
– Experience of (in)justice and an imperative to care: Contextualizing social justice within arts education (Judy Lewis and Catharina Christophersen)
– Exploring social justice through artistic research (Tine Grieg Viig)
– Making music and research with children in asylum seeker centres (Ailbhe Kenny)
– How heteronormativity can limit students’ musical expressions (Silje Valde
Onsrud)
– Preservice music teachers as agents of change (Catharina Christophersen)

(Short break)

1115-1130: Comment from a perspective of Lived Democracy (Kjellrun Hiis Hauge)
1130-1200: Discussion

About the research group Culture, Criticism, Community

This is the research blog of the research group Culture – Criticism – Community (CCC). The group is an interdisciplinary and international research group that gathers researchers with a critical research interest. The purpose of our research is to raise critical discussion and challenge existing assumptions, ideas and practices within the field, thus ultimately contributing to change. 

Through various empirical and theoretical approaches, our research projects aim to explore arts education, cultural expressions, cultural participation, community arts and arts communities.

Keywords: Culture, criticism, community, context, diversity, participation, equality, justice, and democracy.