From 2017 - 2019, I am working as part of the Academy of Finland funded GLOBAL VISIONS THROUGH MOBILIZING NETWORKS research project, coordinated by the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki. This project seeks to co-develop intercultural music teacher education by engaging three different institutions, and their respective music teacher educators and researchers, in processes of collaborative and research-based learning. The three institutions involved are the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv and the Nepal Music Center in Kathmandu.

LATEST NEWS…

INVITATION TO BANGKOK

November 07, 2019

I was honoured to have been invited to talk on women, arts, culture, and (a rather critical perspective on) resilience in Bangkok as part of the University of Birmingham's project: 'Humanities for Resilience: Forming an alternative framework for international developmental aid'. Of course I did this by testing my own resilience, and taking along a 1 year old for the ride.

OPEN ACCESS CHAPTER PUBLISHED

October 31, 2019

The Discomfort of Intercultural Learning in Music Teacher Education, written together with Heidi Westerlund.

Recognizing and ethically engaging with the inherent diversity of music education contexts demands a continuous interrogation of the norms and values underpinning policy and practice in music teacher education. In doing so, teachers and students in higher education are challenged to question why and how students are socialized into particular music education systems, traditions, or perspectives and to consider alternatives. In this chapter, we explore such reflexive processes, employing a theoretical reading analysis through Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, and doxa. The data consists of group reflections and interviews with student-teachers that the authors conducted as part of an intercultural arts education project between Finnish masters students and two Cambodian NGOs. Based on our analysis, we argue that stepping outside of one’s cultural, musical, and pedagogical comfort zone is a necessary component of constructing and (re)negotiating teacher visions in music teacher education. However, this renegotiation may be discomforting for student-teachers, unsettling deep-seated visions of what good music education is and ought to be – the taken-for-granted doxa of music teaching and learning. Therefore, for music-teacher education to become transformative and reflexive, there is a need for such educational experiences that engage with processes that are related to the art of living with difference.

OXFORD HANDBOOK CHAPTER PUBLISHED

August 31, 2019

A chapter I wrote together with Global Visions researchers Danielle Treacy, Vilma Timonen, and Iman Shah has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Assessment in Music Education!

Recognizing the existing and increasing diversity of contemporary societies, the music classroom may be conceptualized as a meeting place for difference. Music education policy and practice is thus required to contend with various and, at times, conflicting musical and cultural values and understandings. In Nepal, this situation is intensified, with a music education curriculum adopted by the Ministry of Education in 2010 guiding music teaching and learning for 75 national districts and over 125 caste/ethnic groups within a rapidly globalizing society. Assessment plays a key role in framing the knowledge and pedagogical approaches deemed useful or desirable to teach Nepali music students. Indeed, assessment also contributes towards the legitimation of music as a subject, and career, more broadly. 

As a process of legitimation, assessment serves as a valuation of certain values over others, and warrants critical reflection if music education is to uphold democratic ideals, such as participation and equal opportunity. Drawing upon John Dewey’s Theory of Valuation (LW13), and data from interviews with Nepali musician-teachers and school administrators, we argue that assessment is an essential component of ethically engaging with difference. If the valuations of assessment as ends-in-view are not critically reflected upon, assessment may restrict a teacher’s capacity to aspire (Appadurai, 2004) to  already-known alternatives. In this chapter, we suggest that imagining ends-not-yet-in-view may allow for ethical engagements with values different to one’s own, and encourage reflection upon the inclusive and exclusive processes of assessment that frame whose ends-in-view count, when, how, and what for.

DECOLONIZING MUSIC EDUCATION RESEARCH

June 26, 2019

Whilst increasing attention is paid to decolonizing music education practice in the classroom, the research processes by which scholars identify, understand, and evaluate anti-colonial or decolonizing work are often entrenched in colonial logics themselves. The politics of knowledge and knowledge production between indigenous epistemes and the Academy thus raise questions as to the methodological responsibility of music education research in indigenous settings, particularly when conducted by non-indigenous researchers. Drawing upon a recent music education study conducted together with indigenous Sámi peoples in Finland, this article argues that despite the good intentions of music education scholars methodological responsibility may well be an unachievable goal. However, if we understand research ethics as more than the procedural accountability to institutional review boards or funding committees, methodological responsibility may better be understood as a condition of possibility found in relation with others. Thus, in order to decolonize music education practice, researchers are challenged to step outside of their epistemic and methodological comfort zones, and to consider how we may also decolonize music education research.

A TOOTHLESS TIGER?

November 18, 2018

In this article, we report an instrumental case study of extracurricular music education as an arena and means for securing the capability for self-determination among Finland’s Indigenous Sámi population. Finland’s egalitarian approach to education is rooted in complex, and at times contradictory, colonial legacies, raising questions as to whether or not mainstream education systems afford the Sámi the capability to enact their human and constitutional rights to sustain and develop their own languages, cultures, and worldviews. Through a critical analysis of international and national policy documents, and interview data from four Sámi music educators in Finland, we consider the capability for Indigenous self-determination as essential criteria for enacting social justice in, and through, music education.

POLITICS OF DIVERSITY EDITORIAL MEETING

November 11, 2018

Somehow we gathered together all five editors (plus an 8 week old addition) from all four corners of the globe to discuss the first full chapter submissions for The Politics of Diversity in Music Education. What a book it's going to be! How wonderful it is to edit such strong submissions!

ISME AWARDS FOR NEPALI RESEARCHERS

July 10, 2018

All four of my research students: Iman Shah, Kushal Karki, John Shrestha and Rizu Tuladhar received awards from the International Society of Music Education to present the findings of their research at the 2018 world conference in Baku! I am one proud supervisor!

MISTEC CONFERENCE IN PRAGUE

July 09, 2018

In this presentation I explore the potentials for cultivating a decolonial imagination (Savransky 2017) in music teacher education through a case study of a Finnish university outreach project. As the sixth iteration of the project, this was the first engagement with Indigenous Sámi communities and cultures, with staff and student-teachers traveling from the capital Helsinki, to teach school-aged children in Sápmi, the traditional Sámi homelands in the far North. Through examining two student music teachers’ and one teacher educator’s changing understandings of coloniality and privilege (Balto & Østmo 2012; Kallio & Länsman, submitted), I argue that approaches to music teacher education predicated on the incremental integration of culturally minoritized groups cannot allow for the imagination required to confront the mechanisms of injustice and inequality (Patel 2013). In rejecting a politics of inclusion that reinforces the dominance and hegemony of western onto-epistemologies, in this presentation I ask: what does the decolonisation of music teacher education demand if it is to be more than an empty signifier of inequality? (Tuck & Yang 2012).

WORKSHOP FOR STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER EUROPE!

May 17, 2018

Hildá Länsman and I were fortunate to be invited back to the International School of Helsinki for the second year in a row to run a workshop on Sámi culture and joik with students. This year, we had the pleasure of meeting over 60 young women and their teachers as part of the Central and Eastern European Schools Association! What fun to hear such a large crowd speaking Sámi and learning about Sámi people, culture, joik, and music!

TEACHING GRADE 7!

May 08, 2018

It is not often I have the pleasure to work with young people these days, so I was very excited to visit a International School of Helsinki class combining the subjects of music, visual arts, humanities, English literature and social studies. Through musical and artistic examples, we discussed Indigenous music, the representation of Sámi in Finland, and concerns of cultural appropriation. In small groups, students came up with fantastic ideas for their own solidarity action plans - considering how they might decolonize themselves, their communities, their school, their music, and their worlds!

TEACHING AND CO-WRITING IN HAMAR, NORWAY

April 26, 2018

Prof. Heidi Westerlund and I traveled to Hamar Norway to Prof. Sidsel Karlsen's Institution, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences to run a workshop on research communication titled: Researching in Relation: From Advocacy to Activism in Music Education. On this same trip, we spent a few days working together on an article on intercultural competencies in music teacher education.

RESEARCH AT LEVINSKY COLLEGE'S JERUSALEM ULTRAORTHODOX WOMEN'S CAMPUS

March 06, 2018

Together with Global Visions PIs Prof. Heidi Westerlund and Prof. Sidsel Karlsen, I was honoured to visit Levinsky College's Jerusalem Ultraorthodox Women's Campus as part of our research. Thanks to Global Visions researcher Amira Ehrlich, we met with a number of teacher educators to discuss interculturality in this special context.

GRADUATION

January 31, 2018

On the 1st February 2018 a certificate award ceremony was held in recognition of four Nepali music educators completing their Teachers’ Pedagogical Studies at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki. Mr. Iman Shah, Mr. Rizu Tuladhar, Mr. John Shrestha and Mr. Kushal Karki were joined by department and academy leaders of the Sibelius Academy, the teachers who have been working alongside them, Global Visions researchers and music education doctoral researchers to celebrate this fantastic achievement. 

FIRST EDITORIAL BOARD MEETING

January 15, 2018

Editors Alexis Kallio, Sidsel Karlsen, Kathryn Marsh and Heidi Westerlund met at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University, Australia (with Eva Saether joining us online) to discuss the (many!) submissions for the proposed volume The Politics of Diversity in Music Education. After a productive few days of work, it looks like we will have a very exciting collection!

INVITED LECTURE AT HELSINKI UNIVERSITY, INDIGENOUS STUDIES DEPARTMENT

December 06, 2017

I was invited to give a lecture on the research I have been working on in the past two years by Dr Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (University of Helsinki) and Dr Karla Jessen Williamson (University of Saskatchewan, Canada) as part of the course: IND-511 Collaborative methods and research ethics. I was my pleasure to share the joik-research approach used by Hildá Länsman and I in our recent article (forthcoming, ijea.org) and discuss some of the ideas and questions I have now.

VISIT TO THE FACULTY OF FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS, LUND UNIVERSITY

August 31, 2017

I have been invited to Lund University to establish a collaboration between the Global Visions Through Mobilizing Networks project, and the ARTIS (Arts, agency and social mobility: Intergenerational transmission of Sami culture in family, educational and community settings) project. As part of this work I will have the opportunity to learn about recent research by Dr. Ylva Hofvander Trulsson on Sámi arts education in Sweden.

SUPERVISION

March 31, 2017

During the CDIME2017 conference, we managed to sneak in a few supervision sessions! The four music education diploma students are working on their own research projects, investigating gender equality, teacher activism, community music and empowerment, and intergenerational teaching and learning! Such a pleasure to work with them as they engage in such important work!

CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN MUSIC EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2017, KATHMANDU

March 28, 2017

As part of my work with Global Visions, I had the privilege and pleasure of being part of the review panel and organizational team for CDIME2017 in Kathmandu. The event was undoubtedly one of the most successful CDIME conferences yet, thanks to the warm hospitality of our Nepali hosts, the outstanding musical performances, the high quality thought-provoking papers that were shared and discussed, and the culturally rich and diverse setting of Kathmandu.

GLOBAL VISIONS MEETING IN KATHMANDU: HALF WAY THROUGH THE PROJECT

March 26, 2017

A report I wrote about the Global Visions research team meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal!

TEACHING IN KATHMANDU

January 01, 2017

As my first real engagement with the Global Visions, I travelled to Kathmandu for two weeks to run an intensive course on Research Methods and Pedagogy, and supervise the research projects of four Nepali music education students. It was a wonderful experience to work with such dedicated, social-justice oriented musicians and teachers, and to learn just a little bit about Nepali music, education and culture. Our work continues online...

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