Meet the researchers: Kari Holdhus

Kari Holdhus is professor of music education at Western Norway University of Applied sciences (HVL). Her background is an education as a music educator, however, in her career, she has been working as a musician in a military band, in the musician’s union, as an editor if the union journal, as a facilitator of community music, and as a producer of visiting concerts in schools.

How did you get involved with the FUTURED project? 

I am affiliated with HVL, which is FUTURED’s “mother” University, so the involvement is natural due to this. However, I wanted to be part of FUTURED because the project resonated with my interest in justice towards public school musicking.

How would you describe what you are doing in the FUTURED project?

I work as a researcher in work package 3, where we explore the connection between teacher education, school and the “outside world”.

What do you find interesting/fascinating and/or exciting about the work in your study?

In our study, we explore how schools connect to the “outer world” in their music teaching. I find student teachers’ roles and possibilities in their placement especially interesting.

What is your favourite aspect of your research in FUTURED?

It is the reflections, views, approaches, and suggestions of students towards their education.

This interview is taking place halfway through the project. Where are you heading for the future?

I hope to connect our findings with findings from other work packages, tapping student competencies both in connection with the “outer world” as well as within teacher education.

About Kari Holdhus

In 2009, receiving a PhD scholarship in music education Holdhus studied musician’s apprehensions of quality in visiting school performances. After defending her PhD in 2014, she took part in the research project Improvisation in teacher education (IMTE), exploring pedagogical improvisation as an approach to teaching. Later, Holdhus was assigned project leader of the innovation project School and concert – from transmission to dialogue which was undertaken in the years 2017-2021. The project explored more long-term partnerships between musicians and teachers as an alternative to visiting concerts, applying Educational Design Research as a method. A result from this project is (in Norwegian), which is a learning resource for teachers and musicians who wish to establish and maintain relationships between schools and artists.

Holdhus’ research interests are internationally oriented in different ways: Lately, she has engaged in creative teaching and learning as a research field in public schools, working together with colleagues in Exeter and at the Open University, UK. She was co-editor of the 2021 Springer book Music education as craft – reframing theories and practices, and currently chairs the Nordic Network for research in music education. This network co-hosts the journal Nordic Research in Music education as well as facilitating yearly conferences in collaboration with ambulating host universities in the Nordic countries. The 2022 conference is planned in Jyväskylä, Finland early April. Her teaching and supervising centers around creative and dialogic teaching and learning. She also likes to address power-related issues and dialogic performance in music and teaching, especially in public schools.