October 08, 2017

I have been given the opportunity to participate in composing pedagogy (SÄPE) training this autumn as one of the tutors. The education is organized by  the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences with the support of the Finnish National Board of Education. The Sibelius Academy of the Uniarts Helsinki and the University of Helsinki will serve as consultant partners.

The training is aimed at teachers of music schools and, as the renewed curricula is being introduced, the aim is to create new procedures in composing pedagogy for music schools.

As in the new curriculum for basic education in schools (introduced in autumn 2016), also in this new curriculum for Arts education the focus is strongly on teaching creative thinking and creative production: ..the task is to build a sustainable future through art. Teaching is based on a pluralistic and renewing cultural heritage. In the field of art education, the pupils’ self-expression, interpretation and valuing skills are strengthened. The studies support the development of students’ creative thinking and involvement.

Composing and improvisation are set as one of the goals in the curriculum or music : “The purpose of the teaching is to guide students to produce their own musical ideas and solutions” and “encourage students to practice the basic skills of improvising, arranging and composing“.

This reform deserves the cries of hurray, drum rolls and flying hats. My history as a music school teacher is in the subject of folk music, and I am proud to say that making own music – both improvising and composing – has been a strong part of folk music education already for more than ten years (or is it 20 years already?!).

Now, the aim of this SÄPE-project mentioned above is to share expertise through the networking of teachers in music schools, and to work together through research and seeking new innovations. And most importantly, the aim is to spread good practices as wide as possible in Finnish music schools.