Creativities – transcending boundaries in higher music education
Just imagine: The music teachers who graduate now, will educate children born around 2040 who will retire approximately 2105. The only thing we know about them is that they will need a capacity to create something new, something that has a meaning in a new context. They need creativity. Music education carries, within its field, a huge potential to develop creative contexts for learning, and thereby contributes to a transformation of the knowledge paradigm within schools and educational systems.
There is enough research showing that creativity is essential for both individuals and societies. There are also studies showing how the arts, including music, can contribute to, feed and foster this creativity. In the project ”Creativities – transcending boundaries in higher music education” – the purpose was to let these insights impregnate the new music teacher education at Malmö Academy of Music (MAM), and simultaneously contribute to expanding the frontiers of knowledge through national and international research networks. We made it together: practitioners, researchers and students.
Key words: Risk taking comfort, joyful seriousness and collaborative research.
Mission statement: Our project rested on the assumption that creativity requires action, and that creativity is best expressed in the plural. The question ”How creative are you” was substituted by ”How are you creative?”. The energy and spotlights of the project are aimed at higher music education, and the methods that promote the creativities of future music teachers. The aim was to create spaces and possibilities for the creativities of coming generations. Our questions and methods were developed in collaboration with teachers and students. We turned inwards and outwards in our own activities at MAM, with international partners as the surrounding research context.
The project started autumn 2010 by:
Making a broad overview of the state of the art, both of creativity research within the field of music education and in a more general sense. This mapping resulted in a partly annotated bibliography on our website which is the hub of the project. The website continues to live after the project period, and invites to the library and other resources.
Developing concrete proposals on how creativity can be used as the overriding principle for the music teacher education at MAM. As the mission statement rests on a belief in bottom – up and inclusive methods, this process started with workshops during spring 2011, where teachers and students shared their experience, methods and questions. We also used our public presentations and our website to build a resource for projects that can be developed within music teacher education.
Developing and proposing courses in music didactics and the core of educational science at MAM. Some of these courses are available online at the MAM website, starting autumn semester 2011 (only in Swedish).
Anna Houman: PhD in music education research, lecturer at MAM. Music teacher with a profile including compulsory and high school teaching, with an emphasis on language, composition and song. She has also taught in the Swedish ”culture school” (municipal music schools). Since 2001 she works at MAM, teaching pedagogy, with special attention to the discretionary power of music teachers and pedogogic creativity.
Eva Sæther, associate professor/reader in music education. With her heart in Swedish traditional music, she has developed courses in intercultural competence and border crossing culture meetings at MHM. Her research interests include intercultural perspectives on music education, innovative learning environments in social media and creativity in relation to cultural meetings. See http://web.me.com/evasaether/Min/Forskning.html