Heidi Westerlund

Professor, SibA/Doctoral School MuTri


Heidi Westerlund is a professor at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, where she is also responsible for the music education doctoral studies. She has published widely in international journals and books and is the co-editor of Collaborative learning in higher music education (Ashgate) as well as the Editor-in-chief of the Finnish Journal of Music Education. Her research interests include higher arts education, music teacher education, collaborative learning, cultural diversity and democracy in music education. She is currently leading two research projects funded by the Academy of Finland: The arts as public service: Strategic steps towards equality (2015-2020) and Global visions through mobilizing networks: Co-developing intercultural music teacher education in Finland, Israel and Nepal (2015-2019).

Responsible for music education doctoral studies at the Sibelius Academy.

Selected publications


Gaunt, H. & Westerlund, H. (eds.) 2013. Collaborative Learning in Higher Music Education. London: Ashgate.

Juntunen, M.-L., Nikkanen, H. & Westerlund, H. (eds.) 2013. Musiikkikasvattaja. Kohti reflektiivistä käytäntöä. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters

Westerlund, H., Kallio, A. & Partti, H. (forthcoming) The Performativity of Performance: Agency at the Intersection of Music and Religion in School. In Kallio, A., Alperson, P. & Westerlund, H.  (eds.) Perspectives on music, education, and religion. A critical inquiry. Indiana University Press.

Partti, H. & Westerlund, H. (in review) Music education between tradition and visions for gender inclusion: A case study on teacher activism in Nepal. International Journal of Music Education.

Westerlund, H. & Karlsen, S. (in print). Knowledge production beyond local and national blindspots: Remedying professional ocularcentrism of diversity in music teacher education. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education.

Väkevä, L., Westerlund, H. & Ilmola, L. (in print) Social innovations in music education: Creating institutional resilience for increasing social justice. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education.

Nikkanen, H. M. & Westerlund, H. 2017. More than just music - Reconsidering the educational value of music in school rituals. Philosophy of Music Education Review 25, 2, 112-127.

Miettinen, L., Gluschankof, C., Karlsen, S. & Westerlund, H. (in print) Exploring intercultural competencies in music teacher education programmes in Israel and Finland. Research Studies in Music Education.

Westerlund, H. 2017. Visions for intercultural teacher identity in C21st super diverse societies. ‘Building Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Bridges: Where Practice Meets Research and Theory’ (Eds) Pamela Burnard, Valerie Ross, Elizabeth Mackinlay, Kimberly Powell, Tatjana Dragovic and Helen Julia Minors, BIBACC Publishing, 12-19.

Laes, T. & Westerlund, H. 2017. Performing disability in music teacher education: Moving beyond inclusion through expanded professionalism. International Journal of Music Education.

Barrett, M. & Westerlund, H. 2017. Music Education in the Global Context. In G. Barton & M. Baguley (Eds.), The Palmgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education (pp. 75-89). DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-55585-4_575.

Westerlund, H., Partti, H. & Karlsen, S. 2017. Identity formation and agency in the diverse music classroom. In R. MacDonald, D. Miell & D. Hargreaves (eds.) The Oxford Handbook on Musical Identities.

Jansson, S.-M., Westerlund, H. & Siljamäki, E. 2016. Taide sosiaalisena oppimismuotona - Yliopisto-opiskelijoiden kokemuksia jännittämisestä ja positiivisesta vuorovaikutuksesta yliopiston toimintaympäristössä. Aikuiskasvatus.

Sidsel Karlsen, Heidi Westerlund & Laura Miettinen. 2016. Intercultural practice as research in higher music education: An outline of an ethics-based rationale. P. Burnard, E. McKinley & K. Powell (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Intercultural Arts Theory, Research and Practice. (pp. 369-379)

Karlsen, S. & Westerlund, H. 2015. Music teachers’ repertoire choices and the quest for solidarity: Opening arenas for the art of living with difference. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce & P. Woodford (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 373-387.

Partti, H., Westerlund, H. & Lebler, D. 2015 (OnlineFirst). Participatory Assessment and the Construction of Professional Identity in Folk and Popular Music Programmes in Finnish and Australian Music Universities. International Journal of Music Education.

Kallio, A. & Westerlund, H. 2015 (OnlineFirst). The Ethics of Survival: Teaching the traditional arts to disadvantaged children in post-conflict Cambodia. International Journal of Music Education.

Westerlund, H., Partti, H. & Karlsen, S. 2015 (OnlineFirst). Teaching as improvisational experience: Student music teachers' reflections on learning during an intercultural project. Research Studies in Music Education.

Kallio, A., Westerlund, H. & Partti, H. 2014. The Quest for Authenticity in the Music Classroom: Sinking or Swimming? Nordic research in music education, Yearbook 15, 205-223.

Westerlund, H. 2014. Learning on the Job: Designing Teaching-led Research and Research-led Teaching in a Music Education Doctoral Program. In Scott Harrison, S. (ed.) Research and Research Education in Music Performance and Pedagogy. Dordrecht: Springer (Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education), 91-103.

Partti, H. & Westerlund, H. 2013. Envisioning collaborative composing in music education: Learning and negotiation of meaning in operabyyou.com. British Journal of Music Education, 30, 2, 207–222.

Westerlund, H. & Karlsen, S. 2013. Designing the rhythm for academic community life: Learning partnerships and collaboration in music education doctoral studies. In H. Gaunt & H. Westerlund (eds.) Collaborative Learning in Higher Music Education. Ashgate, 87-99.

Karlsen, S, Westerlund, H., Partti, H.& Solbu, E. 2013. Community Music in the Nordic countries: Politics, research, programs, and educational significance. In Kari Veblen, Stephen J. Messenger, Marissa Silverman & David J. Elliott (eds.). Community music today. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education with NAfME: National Association for Music Education, 41-60.

Westerlund, H. 2012. What Can a Reflective Teacher Learn From Philosophies of Music Education? From Personal Philosophy to Critical Cultural Readership. In Chris Philpott & Gary Spruce (eds.) Debates in Music Education. London & New York: Routledge, 9-19.

Allsup, R. & Westerlund, H. 2012. Through simple discovery. In Palmer, T. &  A. deQuadros (eds.). Summoning the Future of Music Education. Chicago: GIA Publications, 191-208.

Partti, H. & Westerlund, 2012. H. Democratic Musical Learning: How the Participatory Revolution in New Media Challenges the Culture of Music Education. In Andrew Brown (ed.) Sound Musicianship: Understanding the Crafts of Music. (Meaningful Music Making for Life). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 300-312.

Allsup, R. E., Westerlund, H. & Shieh, E. 2012. Music learning and teaching during adolescence: ages 12-18. Chapter 4:3 "Youth culture and secondary education". In Gary McPherson and Graham Welch (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 460-475.

Allsup, R. & Westerlund, H. 2012. Methods and situational ethics in music education. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 11, 1, 124-148.

Juntunen, M.-L. & Westerlund, H. 2011. The Legacy of Music Education Methods in Teacher Education:  The Metanarrative of Dalcroze Eurhythmics as a Case. Research Studies in Music Education, 1-12.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2011. Who needs theory anyway? Theory and practice in music education in a philosophical outlook. British Journal of Music Education 28, 1, 37-49.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2011. Kasvatuksen taide ja kasvatus taiteeseen: Taiteen yleinen ja erityinen pedagoginen merkitys John Deweyn filosofian näkökulmasta. In Eeva Anttila (ed.) Taiteen jälki. Taidepedagogiikan polkuja ja risteyksiä. Teatterikorkeakoulun julkaisusarja 40. Helsinki: Edita, 35-55.

Karlsen, S. & Westerlund, H. 2010. Immigrant students’ development of musical agency – exploring democracy in music education. British Journal of Music Education 27, 3, 225–239.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2009. Dewey ja kasvatuksen taide. Synteesi 28, 3, 28–36.

Nikkanen, H. & Westerlund, H. 2009. Musiikkiesitys yhteisöllisen koulukulttuurin rakentajana. Deweyn demokraattiset kasvatusperiaatteet perusopetuksen musiikkikasvatuksessa. Musiikki 39,1, 27–41.

Westerlund, H. 2009. Pluribus novum et veterum: Näkökulmia monikulttuuriseen musiikkikasvatukseen. In J. Louhivuori, P. Paananen & L. Väkevä (eds.) Johdatus musiikkikasvatukseen. FISME, 148-156.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2009. Praksialismikeskustelu suomalaisessa musiikkikasvatuksessa [The discourse on praxialism in Finnish music education]. In J. Louhivuori, P. Paananen & L. Väkevä (eds.) Johdatus musiikkikasvatukseen [Introduction to Music Education]. FISME, 16-23.

Westerlund, H. 2008. Justifying music education. A view from the here-and-now value experience. Philosophy of Music Education Review 16, 1, 79–95.

Heimonen, M. & Westerlund, H. 2008. Musiikkikasvatus ja filosofia: Yhteisöllisiä näkökulmia [Music education and philosophy: Communal perspectives]. In E. Huovinen & J. Kuitunen (eds.) Musiikki ja filosofia [Music and Philosophy]. Tampere: Vastapaino, 177-195

Väkevä, L. & Westerlund, H. 2007. The “Method” of Democracy in Music Education. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 6, 4, 96–107.

Westerlund, H. 2006. Garage Rock Band – A Future Model for Developing Musical Expertise? International Journal of Music Education, Showcase, 24, 2, 119–125. Reprinted in Music Forum 13, 3, 2007, The Music Council of Australia, 38–40, 42.

Westerlund, H. & Juntunen, M.-L. 2005. Music and Knowledge in Bodily Experience. In D. Elliott (ed.) Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues. Oxford University Press, 112-122.

Westerlund, H. 2005. Musiikin arvo ja arvokokemus musiikkikasvatuksessa. [Value of Music and Value Experience in Music Education]. In A. Padilla & J. Torvinen (eds.) Musiikki, filosofia, estetiikka. Kirjoituksia taiteen ja populaarin merkityksistä. [Philosophy and Aesthetics of Music—Anthology]. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 249-266.

Westerlund, H. 2004. Dewey’s notion of experience as a tool for music education. Nordic research on music pedagogy  – Yearbook vol. 7, 37-50.

Westerlund, H. 2003. Reconsidering Aesthetic Experience in Praxial Music Education. Philosophy of Music Education Review 11, 1, 45-62. Republished in 2012 in Keith Swanwick (ed.) Music Education: Major Themes in Education, Vol. 1, Theoretical Issues. London & New York: Routledge, 227-243.

Westerlund, H. 2003. Musiikki päämääränä ja välineenä. Deweyn kasvun ja kokemuksen käsitteet musiikkikasvatuksessa. [Music as an end and a means. Dewey’s concepts of growth and experience in music education.] Musiikki, Finnish Musicological Society, 5-21.

Juntunen, M.-L. & Westerlund, H. 2001. Digging Dalcroze, or, Dissolving the Mind-Body Dualism: Philosophical and Practical Remarks on the Musical Body in Action. Music Education Research 3, 2, 203-214.

Määttänen, P. & Westerlund, H. 2001. Travel Agency of Musical Meanings? Discussion on Music and Context in Keith Swanwick’s Interculturalism. British Journal of Music Education 18, 3, 259-272.

Määttänen, P. & Westerlund, H. 1999. Tradition, Practice, and Musical Meaning. A Pragmatist Approach to Music Education. In F. V. Nielsen, S. Brändström, H. J?rgensen & B. Olsson (eds.). Nordic research on music pedagogy, Yearbook 3, 33-38.

Westerlund, H. 1999. Universal against Contextual Thinking in Multicultural Music Education. Western Colonialism or Pluralism? International Journal of Music Education 33, 99, 94-103. Translated in German by H. J. Kaiser.Westerlund, H. 2000. Kolonialismus oder Pluralismus? Universales versus kontextuelles Denken in der multikulturellen Musikerziehing.  Musik & Bildung 6, Dezember/Januar 2000/2001, Schott Musik International, 14-19.

Book chapters (non-peer-reviewed)

Väkevä, L., Westerlund, H. & Juntunen, M.-L. 2015. Teacher as ignorant music master: Some Rancièrian musings on instrumental pedagogy. In J.-O. Gullö & P.-H. Holgersson (eds.) Knowledge formation in and through music – Festschrift in honor of Cecilia K. Hultberg. Stockholm: Royal college of music, 233-242.

Westerlund, H. & Juntunen, M.-L. 2011. From implicit cultural beliefs to the use of explicit reflective stories: Developing critical narratology in music teacher education. In Musik och Kunskapsbildning. En Festskrift till Bengt Olsson. University of Gothenborg. Källered: Intellecta Infolog AB. 185–192.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2010. Onko demokraattinen musiikkikasvatus mahdollista 2010-luvun Helsingissä? [Is democratic music education possible in Helsinki in 2010?] In T. Koskinen, P. Mustonen & R. Sariola (eds.) Taidekasvatuksen Helsinki [The Helsinki of arts education]. Lasten ja nuorten taide- ja kulttuurikasvatus. Helsingin kaupungin tietokeskus. Espoo: Multiprint, 150-157.

Rikandi, I., Karlsen, S., & Westerlund, H. 2010. Bridging practices in Nordic music education doctoral programmes: Theorising and evaluating the Finnish application of the Piteå model. I C. Ferm Thorgersen & S. Karlsen (Eds.), Music, education and innovation: Festchrift for Sture Brändström. Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 165-187. Available electronically at http://pure.ltu.se/ws/fbspretrieve/4915218.

Heimonen, M., Laitinen, M. & Westerlund, H. 2009. Sibelius-Akatemiasta valmistuneiden musiikkikasvattajien sijoittuminen työelämään. Musiikki kuuluu kaikille. Koulujen musiikinopettajien 100-vuotisjuhlakirja. KMO, 233–238.

Westerlund, H. & Muukkonen, M. 2009. Yleissivistys musiikissa – Mihin koulu kasvatti ja kasvattaa. Musiikki kuuluu kaikille. Koulujen musiikinopettajien 100-vuotisjuhlakirja, 239–243.

Westerlund, H. & Väkevä, L. 2007. (published in Greek). Elliott’s Praxialism in Music Education: A Finnish Perspective. Musical Pedagogics, Annual Scientific Edition of the Greek Society for Music Education 4, Special Issue: Praxial Philosophy of Music Education, 57–71.

Articles in text books

Juntunen, M.-L. & Westerlund, H. 2013. Laadukas arviointi osana oppimista ja opetusta. In M.-L. Juntunen, H. Nikkanen & H. Westerlund (eds.) Musiikkikasvattaja. Kohti reflektiivisiä käytäntöjä [Music Educator. Towards  Reflective Practices].  PS-Kustannus, 71-92.

Partti, H., Westerlund, H. & Björk C. 2013. Oppimiskäsitykset reflektoivan musiikkikasvattajan toiminnan ohjaajina. In  M.-L. Juntunen, H. Nikkanen & H. Westerlund (eds.) Musiikkikasvattaja. Kohti reflektiivisiä käytäntöjä [Music Educator. Towards Reflective Practices]. PS-Kustannus, 54-70.

Partti, H. & Westerlund, H. 2013. Säveltäjyyden merkitykset osallistumisen kulttuurissa ja tulevaisuuden musiikkikasvatuksessa. In J. Ojala & La. Väkevä (eds.) Säveltäjäksi kasvattaminen. Pedagogisia näkökulmia musiikin luovaan tekijyyteen. Opetushallitus. Oppaat ja käsikirjat 2013:3. Tampere: Suomen yliopistopaino, 23–32.

Doctoral dissertation

Westerlund, H. 2002. Bridging Experience, Action, and Culture in Music Education. Studia Musica 16. Sibelius Academy.


CDIME 2017 - Promoting Music Education in Nepal

First Call for Proposals

Cultural Diversity in Music Education International Conference (CDIME XIII)

March 29 - April 1st, Annapurna Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal


The Cultural Diversity in Music Education (CDIME) conference has provided a platform for the exchange of practices, experiences, research and philosophies on cultural diversity in music education since 1992. In 2017, the CDIME XIII international conference will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, jointly convened by the Nepal Music Center and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. As the first music education conference to be held in Nepal, CDIME XIII will be a historic event. With various musics holding such important, and different roles in Nepali society, the context of the conference will set the stage for scholars to extend interdisciplinary discussions of music education and cultural diversity to new contexts, to critically attend to challenges and complexities at both local and global levels, and to envision new possibilities for music education in the future.


The conference will address various issues relevant to cultural diversity in music education. Contributions are sought from scholars, researchers and postgraduate students representing the fields of music education and related disciplines; musicians, music teachers, policymakers and practitioners; and those working for local, national or transnational music-related agencies with the aim of fostering cultural diversity.


Proposals for papers, symposia, performances, demonstrations and workshops are invited in line with one of the following strands:

  1. What approaches can be developed in higher music education contexts to address the challenges that accompany change and cultural diversity?

  2. In what ways do multi/intercultural practices of music education intersect with understandings of spirituality, class or gender? How are these interactions navigated by teachers and students in specific educational contexts?

  3. What are the benefits and challenges of music education approaches that involve teachers and/or students crossing cultural and musical boundaries?

  4. What role does new or social media play in the preservation, transmission or continuing development of traditional cultures?

  5. How are specific decolonization processes or strategies employed in preventing internal and/or external colonialism in music education?

  6. What is the relationship between governmental, institutional or local fundraising programmes and the valuing and sustainability of cultural diversity in music education?

  7. In what ways do global policies (such as those by UNESCO) frame or limit the possibilities for sustaining diverse musical traditions on a local, practical level?

  8. Other issues or practical examples relating to cultural diversity in music education.


Criteria for acceptance of paper presentations will be based on peer review of submitted abstracts. Abstracts of approximately 400 words should be written in English, clearly identifying the strand that your proposal aligns with. Proposals for performances, demonstrations and workshops will be assessed on the basis of quality, engagement and relevance to the strands. Conference presenters will be invited to submit their revised manuscripts for an anthology to be published after the conference.


Conference review committee:

Associate Prof. Eva Saether (Malmö Academy, Sweden)

Associate Prof. Kathryn Marsh (University of Sydney, Australia)

Dr. Alexis Kallio (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland)

Principal Iman Bikram Shah (Nepal Music Center, Nepal)


Conference site organizing committee:

Santosh Sharma (Nepal Music Center)

Iman Bikram Shah (Nepal Music center)

Stuti Sharma (Nepal Music Center)

Bijeta Pradhan (Nepal Music Center)

Rizu Tuladhar (Nepal Music Center)

John Shrestha ( Nepal Music Center)

Kushal Karki (Nepal Music Center)

Heidi Westerlund (University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy)


Please submit your abstracts through the homepage in the CDIME XIII website by July 15, 2016 Conference website: 


For further details please contact: Stuti Sharma in sttuti.shr@gmail.com

Conference address: Annapurna Hotel,
Durbar Marg 44600, P.O Box 140
Kathmandu, Nepal
Email: info@annapurna.com.np
Web: www.annapurna-hotel.com.np