Music Teacher Training

Music teacher training in Norway goes on in teacher colleges as well as in conservatories. Music teachers in schools most often teach music as one of several subjects, and this is also how teacher training is run. It has been decided that Norwegian teacher training shall be a 5-year education, and students have been admitted to the new structure for 2 years. Teacher students must choose between subjects, however, every student must study at least 2 subjects during their 5-year education.  Many students choose “big” subjects like maths, Norwegian and English. This system is in its beginning, and its consequences for music in teacher education are not known at the moment, however, teacher educators in music are worried because few students seem to choose music.

In addition to the main teacher education, some colleges offer a 3-year music teacher education, and several institutions offer master studies in music education, art didactics and other combinations. Studies in Community Music and music Therapy are also offered.

In conservatories, students often get instrumental and theoretical training, and during their education, they can attend a one-year course in pedagogy. Alumni from conservatories often teach in culture schools and community activities or in upper secondary school’s music departments. Some of them choose to teach in compulsory schools, often in lower secondary school.

The educational standards of music teachers in Norwegian compulsory schools are relatively low. We have a large amount of small schools, and employing an educated music teacher is not always possible. In lower secondary, only 40% teaching music has any formal education, whereas this share grows to 70% educated music teachers in lower secondary. The “formal education” though can be as low as 15 ECTs in music, so these percentages do not show the educational level, it only displays formal education.

Espeland, M., Allern, T. H., Carlsen, K., & Kalsnes, S. (2011). Praktiske og estetiske fag og lærerutdanning: En utredning fra en arbeidsgruppe nedsatt av Kunnskapsdepartementet høsten 2010, i samarbeid med høgskolene i Nesna, Telemark og Stord/Haugesund.