In Sweden Music teacher training is offered in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Örebro, Piteå, Umeå, Växjö and Ingesund. All Music teacher training institutions belong to the local or regional university except “Kungliga Musikhögskolan” in Stockholm, which is an independent university college. Since 2011, Music teacher training has been part of general teacher training and every future teacher has a educational science area (90 ECTS) in common. The teacher exam is at Master level, Master of Education in Music: Music Education.
The number of students in one generation of teacher education, with music as a main subject area, is about 150 students. The quota of taught hours for all of the subjects differs a lot between different schools and courses, but is approximately 15-20 hours a week. The normal duration of the programme for teaching at compulsory school is 4.5 years and upper secondary school 5 years.
Teaching degrees in Sweden consist of three components: educational science, primary subject and secondary subject (which could also be music), and placement/teaching practice (30 ETC).
The Educational science (“Utbildningsvetenskaplig kärna) is mandatory for all students wishing to attain a teaching degree. On the one hand this area encompasses common central areas of knowledge like socialisation and development, teaching/learning, special needs education, leadership, classroom management, group dynamics, assessment, school history, and issues related to the common national values of the Swedish society and schools.
Primary and Secondary subjects can be made up of 180-210 ECTS. This area may correspond to school subjects, themes or issues of relevance for the age groups and school forms chosen by the student. Most of the music teacher students have music as their subject area. There are many opportunities to develop within many genres; classical, folk/world music, contemporary music and jazz.
The student can either choose to begin his/her studies in the general education area or in a particular discipline depending on the school. Some institutions offer more choices than others.
In order to teach at compulsory school (age 7-17), a teaching degree should consist of 270 ECTS with two subject areas where at least one is worth 90 ECTS. In the Swedish teacher education programmes, music as a main subject area cannot be selected for the compulsory school.
In order to teach at a upper secondary school (age 16-19) a teaching degree should consist of 270-330 ECTS, with two subject areas, primary subject 120 ECTS and second subject at least 90. In the same way as for compulsory school, the teaching degree also includes the educational sciences (90 ECTS).
The Music teacher training studies are, to a high degree, characterised by the free choices by the students. Instruction is provided in the form of courses, mostly combined into programmes. The main focus of the training programmes is instrumental/vocal training, music theory, conducting, music in the classroom, didactics, methodology, educational science etc. The organisation of the courses is not prescribed or described by anyone but the board of the individual school.
The placement/teacher practice is intertwined with the courses of the programme. Within the two subjects the students are required to write two (15 ECTS each) or one (30 ECTS) thesis. The thesis is often written in the middle and/or at the end of their teacher training program.
One underlying principle is that all teacher education students have the right to choose between different research orientations and/or doctoral programmes after having received their diploma. Teacher education thus qualifies as a postgraduate study. It is also understood that all departments that take part in teacher education must carry out research and, if located at universities, also have PhD programmes directly related to teacher education and teacher work. This means a broadening of the research base of teacher education and teacher work.
Learning and Teaching Approaches
The current situation for Swedish Music teacher training is characterised by a will to carry out music courses more in line with other more traditional university studies. ICT and different kinds of teaching technology are implemented to a high degree in the study environment. Research can be for example intertwined in instrument/singing courses where students are given the opportunity to study science theory and research methods and write an essay where they make comments and reflect on their own artistic work.
The thesis aim is that the student will deepen his/her own ability to research and further their knowledge in their main subject. The studies are mostly based on the student’s own experience and work and are thus aimed at developing the practice based experience to a reflective and communicative level. These deepened qualities are achieved with a reflection on one’s own research process and knowledge development, and with an understanding of scientific research methods. The student will independently write and defend one or two artistic/scientific 15 credit each. The thesis consists of the collected data through interviews, portfolios, surveys, artistic performance etc. The result will be presented at an open seminar with discussion. The examination is marked by the examiner based on the work as a whole.
The entrance examination includes tests of musical skills and teaching skills and the students must pass a number of examinations to receive their teacher diplomas. Every single course has its own examination procedure. The teachers for primary and secondary schools are fully qualified after they have passed all elements in the program (270/300 ECTS) and other requirements, laid down by the ministry of education.