Music Education Research

The JMLU offers its students the valuable opportunity to gain a practical, hands-on training through various cooperations with music schools. At the same time, an emphasis is placed on the importance of reviewing and reflecting on pedagogical practice and, in turn, developing new ideas and concepts. This not only broadens each individuals’ range of approaches and methods, but it also means that qualified educators who operate in the general public – be it, for example, teachers in music schools or public schools – are also exposed to these continually developing aspects in education.

Even when one’s training and studies are focused on instrumental pedagogy, current developments in music teaching are interacted with. This shows that cooperation between music schools and public schools is becoming increasingly important, and also that more and more instrumental teachers are becoming active in the secondary education sector due to a lack of music teachers. This particular occupational field has thus become more diverse than it was a few years ago, requiring instrumental teachers to now have an ever broader range of teaching methods. From pure instrumental lessons focused on garnering instrumental musical skills, to socials projects where music is an intermediary tool, students should be able to find a secure environment to hone their techniques and methods and, based on these experiences, find their own way in what lies ahead for their professional future.

Within music education research the focus is on two main aspects:

  • Giving prominence to artistic research in the areas of music education: The reflection of processes in artistic production is still new territory in third level education. Just as pre-scientific work has become standard in secondary education, concepts of artistic research should also be grasped in the years preceding university. So far, only initial steps have been made, so in this regard, a greater sense of professionalism in the necessary mediation work is set as the aspired goal.
  • Intercultural or transcultural pedagogy: Various ideas about the handling of diversity in our society make an impact on the current scientific pedagogical discourse. The JMLU is particularly concerned with the concepts of interculturality and transculturality, whereby the active participation in social processes is the focus. The focus is not only on educational practice but also on associated artistic processes, thus encompassing the aforementioned field of artistic research.

Both fields of study have only been explored to a very small degree.

Status Quo

JAM MUSIC LAB has already launched, and even in some cases completed, various innovative projects, which in the future will also be scientifically monitored and supervised. This evidently reflects JMLU's ambition in being active in innovate artistic undertakings and research-based work; two areas where the concept of competence plays an important role. This concept of competence is also currently prominent in discussions regarding school policies and policy-relevant documents. From the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) through the Dublin Descriptors and their concrete realisation of the music sector with the AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires) right up the National Qualifications Framework, the research at JMLU as a result has been steeped in important education-relevant discourse.

From the outset, this music pedagogical research requires close networking with collaborating partners, both in the field of music education and in other cultural and educational initiatives. Since the same area is responsible for university didactics, a long term expansion for further training courses for teachers of the collaborating partners is in the works.

Music pedagogical research and how it interacts with current cultural and sociopolitical trends and issues, provides us with an essential incentive in the undertaken work, particularly regarding the profile development of our research in general. We consider this area to be a majorly significant interdisciplinary topic, which to us seems to be very well suited to putting both artistic research and research in music education into a fruitful relationship. In the scope of academic research this goal is equally innovative and, in addition, politically relevant. Currently, we are making every effort to create the best possible conditions for achieving this important objective, with the involvement of our new internal experts and external partners, nationally and internationally. Research at JMLU in this context is supported by the resources of music production provided by the faculty of Media Music. These consequently bring musical production and scientific research to the forefront when dealing with the interrelationships between music and communication, current media trends, and society in general.