Music Teacher Education for the Future

Modern societies are changing, and issues such as globalization, climate change, migration, technological innovation etc. call for educational changes. In response to such challenges, recent policy documents signal new directions for Norwegian schools and curricula. At heart of the announced changes lie concepts like 21st century skills, citizenship, critical thinking and innovation.

A pertinent question for educational institutions, including the new five-year teacher education in Norway, then, is how to educate under such conditions. We suggest that the music programs of the current Norwegian general teacher education (GTE) could be better equipped with regard to facilitating musical and educational learning from a contemporary as well as from a future perspective. In  2019, the Music Teacher Education for the Future (FUTURED) project finally launched for – the future – a project receiving excellent marks from the Norwegian Research Council.

The FUTURED main research objectives are: (1) To challenge the status quo of music teacher education in Norway, and (2) to develop innovative and collaborative practices that could foster students’ collaborative, critical and democratic capacities.

FUTURED is developed as a FINNUT project, led by professor Catharina Christophersen (Ph.D.), who is also the principal investigator of the research project. Researchers from two of the largest general teacher education (GTE) institutions in Norway (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Oslo Metropolitan University) are critically exploring Norwegian music teacher education. The project draws on theoretical insights from critical (music)pedagogy, educational philosophy, cultural studies and public pedagogy. The research design will mainly be educational action research, starting with a review and critical mapping of existing practices, and then initiating action research cycles of identifying issues, planning action, taking action, and evaluating action.


The FUTURED project aims to discuss the current educational situation in GTE music programs, develop new teaching approaches and propose new directions for music teaching and music teacher education.

The project starts from the following claims: a) Music teacher education needs to relate to societal needs and challenges, and b) Music teacher education needs approaches that can cater for versatile musicianship and learning styles, as well as critical reflection.

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