The main objective of the research group "Music education and cultural studies" is to explore perspectives that are relevant to the field of music education through a Cultural Studies-inspired theoretical lens.
This involves examining the connections between music and the surrounding society, different cultural expressions related to popular music, and the importance of music in a multicultural society. Furthermore, a cultural didactic perspective is applied to music educational practice. Such an approach opens up for exploring how teaching and learning practices function as arenas for the construction and negotiation of meaning, power and identity, and also entails an understanding of formal and informal teaching and learning practices as equal points on an education-related continuum, rather than as separate realities.
The research group approaches the objectives outlined above through the implementation of major projects in which several of the group's members are involved, as well as through several smaller and more individually based studies.
The project “Musical gentrification and socio-cultural diversities” (NFR-funded 2013-2017) included five of the group's members at the time, as well as three external partners. An important contribution from the study is the anthology Musical Gentrification: Popular Music, Distinction and Social Mobility (2020). The study is continued in the project DYNAMUS - The social dynamics of musical upbringing and schooling in the Norwegian welfare state (NFR-funded 2018-2022). In this study master's students collaborate with senior researchers, PhD students and a postdoctoral fellow to develop knowledge about the importance of music education for social participation and mobility in three formal and informal learning arenas. A third major study is the Erasmus + funded MaMuMi - mapping the musics of migration (2019-2021) which explores musical workshops with an emphasis on the participants' contributions as part of an intercultural exchange.
Another important sub-area in the research group's activities is the exploration of children's and young people's musical realities and the preconditions for these, both within and outside the framework of different school types, often seen in light of the increasing multiculturalism that exists in Norwegian society. Other ongoing and recently completed projects include the following arenas for music-related teaching and learning: Kindergarten / primary school, the Norwegian municipal schools of music and performing art, upper secondary school, higher music education and several informal learning arenas.
A third key area, which can be said to have a significant connection to and relevance to the NFR-funded projects discussed above, is research in the field of popular music.