Från guidad visning till shopping och förströdd tillägnelse: moderniserade villkor för ungdomars musikaliska lärande.

Translated title of the contribution: From guided exhibition to shopping and preoccupied assimilation

Claes Ericsson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Abstract In the Swedish compulsory school system there is a trend towards increased student influence. School ideologists have for at least ten years strongly emphasised this issue. This tendency is in line with a more general direction in Western societies, which in many aspects has moved toward individualisation. Based on these developments, the main reason for undertaking the presents study was to contribute to the discussion about different aspects of learning, which have as their starting point the issue of how adolescents experience musical learning. The study moves in and between the two fields of musical learning in school and in leisure time, and the data consists of seven group conversations carried out with eighth and ninth graders in secondary school. The analysis is undertaken in three steps, each one of which represents a gradually increasing level of abstraction. The theory is grounded on two different areas which have some common aspects, namely theories of modernity and philosophy of music education. The results show that value related issues such as preference and interpretation in the greatest possible extent should be left to the students, and the teacher should instead provide help to students by giving them tools for expression, such as training skills and providing a suitable milieu for musicing. Adolescents give expression to an apprehension that an important task of the school subject music is to expose musical genres and activities, whereupon the students can then choose what suits them. This way of acquiring music does not correspond to the way in which students assimilate music in everyday contexts and highlights a contradiction between how they legitimise musical learning in school and in leisure time. In their leisure time, students acquire preferences for music in an unsystematic and random manner. Their discussions strongly emphasise a search for music “to call their own”. Furthermore, the study shows that learning often occurs in situations where it is not intentional, for example when music listening is a background activity, but still an analysis of musical parameters takes place in an unconscious matter. Some of the adolescents consider ability to collaborate as the most important knowledge that comes out of music education in school. This attitude can be seen as a move from content to form. Two main discourses were identified: the discourse music and the discourse the school subject music. The discourse music is wide and embraces music in leisure time as well as in school. It consists of listening and musicing. The discourse the school subject music is narrow and legitimised only through its position as a school subject. The study also shows that musical learning has a therapeutical dimension and can be considered as a means to strengthen the self. This function seems to be an important end in musical activities. Finally, modern aesthetical values were applied to a post modern context, which implies that the aesthetics of modernity is still alive, and occupying a new body. Music educators in schools ought to consider the above outlined modernised conditions for musical learning, and thereby reflect upon the implications they might bring for music education.
Translated title of the contributionFrom guided exhibition to shopping and preoccupied assimilation
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Malmö Academy of Music
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2004 Apr 12
ISBN (Print)91-628-5179-9
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2004-04-12
Time: 10:15
Place: Malmö Academy of Music Lilla salen

External reviewer(s)

Name: Lilliestam, Lars
Title: Docent
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Music


  • Musikvetenskap
  • Musicology
  • group conversations
  • learning in school and in leisure time
  • modernity
  • adolescents
  • teaching
  • Music
  • learning
  • Pedagogy and didactics
  • Pedagogik
  • didaktik


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