Music Didactics PPUMUS15

Course Description


Music has always served as a significant form of artistic expression, in relation to the needs of both individuals and communities. Consequently, music is an important part of our common cultural heritage, and the national framework of reference. In our current media- and information-driven society, music is of considerable significance and is prominent in many spheres: in relation to the development of cultural identity, self-recognition, therapy, mediation of information, entertainment and in sales and marketing etc.

Music as a form of artistic and cultural expression has always represented a skilled craft. This manifests itself through centuries-old traditions of master craftsmen who pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation.

Music as a scientific subject has the task of exploring, describing, arranging, and systematising the relationship between music, people and society. For this purpose, the science of music applies to various categories: music history and methods regarding the analysis of style, as well as psychological, anthropological and philosophical studies of music and musical life.

The term music as a teaching subject is used when the subject is taught in schools, or the form of vocal or instrumental instruction or by private teachers. Today music offers a variety of different occupations, such as: composers, performing musicians, music teachers and pedagogues practice their professions in diverse genres and teaching contexts.

Music didactics in general teacher education

The role of music didactics is to describe and understand the subject as it is taught in all its variations; the relationship of influence between the educational subject music; and music as an artistic and cultural expression, craft and academic discipline. By developing understanding of these relationships, music didactics places the individual music teacher, student and teaching situation in a larger cultural and societal context.

In the Post Graduate Certificate of Education programme, music didactics relates the skills students have acquired in their music studies to their pedagogic and music pedagogic skills. Subject didactics gives an understanding of the relationship between practice and theory in education in general, and the students’ future profession as teachers in music.

In order to realise these aims, the first 15 ECTS in this course are largely dedicated to practice and methods in the classroom, combined with an introduction to general pedagogical and didactic topics concerning the teaching of music.

Aims and target areas

The curriculum has five target areas, each with main topics.

The main topics cover most of the activity areas in the National Curriculum (L-97):

  1. Foundations of music pedagogy
  2. Planning activities in music pedagogy
  3. Learning materials and methods in music pedagogy
  4. Adapted teaching of music
  5. Assessment and supervision in music pedagogy

These target areas often overlap, and are made concrete through the following main topics:

  1. Ensemble-playing on classroom instruments
    Students will work in groups with ensembles playing classroom instruments, including recorders and guitar. They will also work towards developing an understanding of the basic principles in creating compositions for classroom use. Classroom methodology and teaching plans for various age groups will also be emphasised. In addition, students will work within popular genres (for example pop/rock/blues) with instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, keyboard, drums and percussion.
  2. Composition with children and youth
    The work includes, among other things:
    o Setting words to music based on minor scales
    o Rhyme, rhythm, and speech choir
    o Creative work with sounds graphic notation
    o Work with principles for ensemble composition in the classroom
    o Notation
    o Simple vocal and instrumental composition techniques
    Students must submit a minimum of five compositions/arrangements for approval: a speech choir arrangement, a classroom arrangement, one sound/timbre composition, a notated melody line to lyrics, and a dance arrangement.
  3. Dance and movement
    Students will work with dance and movement as a part of their study of musical concepts, as play, and as musical form of expression and experience.
    Students must be able to lead and instruct a repertoire of:
    o Eight song-and-dance games
    o Ring dances, couple dances and polkas
    o National and international folk dances
    They should also be able to compose, lead and perform their own dances to chosen music.
  4. Listening and listening methodology
    Students should become familiar with a repertoire of listening material to use as the basis for methodical listening activities and discussions of children and youth’s music culture and musical preferences.
  5. Theory component with music pedagogy/didactic approaches
    Students will become familiar with and be able to give an account of common music pedagogic/didactic issues including creativity, goal-oriented strategies, musicality and musical development. Students will learn about the historical development of music as a subject in Norwegian schools, and the various grounds used to legitimise teaching the subject in schools.

    Students will become familiar with the most important method theorists such as Kodaly, Orff and others, and will have an opportunity to reflect on the use of their methods in Norway today.

Learning Methods


The teaching and activities in this course are organised so that students are offered a well-rounded experience of various teaching methods which includes lectures, classroom teaching, project and group work. The emphasis on practical classroom work, including varied activities, serves to make concrete the subject and underline its distinct character.

The teaching and learning methods used in the course are themselves part of the course in the sense students will acquire practical skills in using these methods, which they may later apply in their own teaching. In particular, the methods emphasise students’ responsibility for their own learning.

Participation in group activities and teaching practice are mandatory, this implies also all the preparatory and follow-up work. Students will complete a number of mandatory assignments to be submitted for approval. Information concerning mandatory requirements is described in the semester plan, which is handed out at the beginning of the course. All of the mandatory assignments must be approved by the course teacher(s) and receive passing grades before students will be allowed to sit the final examination.

Assessment Methods

Forutsetninger for å kunne gå opp til eksamen:

1. Obligatoriske oppgaver er godkjent av faglærer.

2. Deltakelse i undervisning (80 % - regel)


Sluttprøven består av en skriftlig og en praktisk / muntlig del. Den skriftlige delen, (5 timer) inneholder emner fra pensum i musikkpedagogikk / -didaktikk. Den praktisk / muntlige delen består av en praktisk / metodisk prøve.

Hver kandidat får 20 minutter til rådighet.

Den praktisk / muntlige delen vektes 60 %. Den skriftlige vurderes til 40 %.

Det gis én gradert karakter på vitnemålet, gradert fra A til F hvor A er beste og E er laveste ståkarakter. Begge eksamensdeler må ha bestått karakter for at eksamen skal være bestått. Det vises for øvrig til forskrift om eksamen ved Høgskolen i Telemark.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Frode Evenstad <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011