Emphasis in music studies

What basic values and emphases should form the basis of the next National Curriculum Guide for Music Schools


The current National Curriculum Guide for Music Schools is 22 years old, the oldest current curriculum in the school system in Iceland, and has never been modified.
The main aim of this study is to gather information on the various values, emphases and points of view that need to be kept in mind when developing a new curriculum in music in Iceland. The general basic values of study are examined and placed in the context of the values and emphases in music studies. The concepts of quality education, perspectives on equal opportunities for learning and inclusive schools are examined in addition to which Iceland's educational policy until the year 2030 is examined.
There is also a discussion of a new Finnish curriculum in music in addition to a discussion on assessment in music schools from various angles and it put in the context of assessment in educational sciences in general. Motivation and interest are examined and placed in the context of emphases in music studies. In addition new ways of graduate studies in music are examined and placed in the context of discussions about the styles of music that are studied in music schools.
In gathering information for this study the researcher used the methodology of qualitative research where semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with open-ended questions were used to obtain the views of a wide group. 20 interviews were conducted, and answers to questionnaires were received from about 50 music students.
The results of the study show that the values that underlie music studies need to be expanded and the next curriculum needs to contain more diverse goals. It is also stated that there is a need for more diverse assessment in music studies and that coordination in music studies is not always a good option.
Music studies need to focus more on students being able to understand basic music making and use music for their enjoyment. More emphasis needs to be placed on individual-oriented learning that is more open in terms of emphasis and different styles of music. It is stated that there is a need for a change of emphasis in music theory teaching for children and adolescents and it is also pointed out that it is important that the next curriculum will be interactive and open to the possibility of changes and development. It is also stated that the current system does not fit into the school system in Iceland anymore.
Therefore the researcher believes that numerous reasons for the creation of a new curriculum for music education in Iceland have emerged and hopes that this study will be useful in its preparation.
Jóhann Ingi Benediktsson
joigitar [at] gmail.com
Advisor: Elín Anna Ísaksdóttir