Intercultural Skills in Music Teacher Education

This collaborative research project concentrates on intercultural competences (skills, abilities and attitudes) of music teacher educators in Finland and Israel, and how teacher education programmes are responding to the needs of teacher educators and future music teachers regarding these competences. As practitioner research that aims for co-creation and sharing of knowledge, this study will consider how a more collaborative, interculturally competent, and mobile music teacher education could be developed based on its findings.

Outcomes of the project will include a paper presentation at the ISME (International Society for Music Education) conference in Porto Alegre, Brasil in July 2014 and a peer-reviewed international publication.

The research team includes: Laura Miettinen (Responsible Researcher, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student, Sibelius Academy), Claudia Gluschankof (Senior lecturer, Levinsky College of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel), Sidsel Karlsen (Professor of Music Education, Hedmark University College, Hamar, Norway; Docent, Sibelius Academy), Heidi Westerlund (Professor of Music Education, Sibelius Academy).


Conference presentation in the 31st International Society for Music Education World Conference in Porto Allegre, Brazil, July 2014.

Initiating mobilizing networks: 

A case study on intercultural competences in two music teacher programs in Israel and Finland

Miettinen, L., Gluschankof, C., Karlsen, S., & Westerlund, H.



Societies worldwide are becoming more aware of the educational challenges that come with increased cultural diversity derived from ethnic, linguistic, religious, socio-economic and educational differences, and in many countries teacher education programs are expected to prepare teachers for this reality and develop their intercultural competences. This instrumental case study is based on a project that aims to initiate mobilizing networks between two music teacher programs to explore music teacher educators’ perception of their own intercultural competences as well as the competences that their respective programs provide for the students. The concept of intercultural competences refers to a set of skills, abilities and attitudes that are required from a music teacher when teaching in culturally diverse contexts and students with diverse backgrounds. The data consists of a series of focus group interviews conducted by a multi-national research team at the Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv, Israel and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. The context-specific data will be analysed with respect to current discourses in multicultural music education, which in the past has been lacking of studies on teacher education specifically. Through the collaborative project as a whole a significant aim is to develop the two involved music teacher programs by creating room for shared reflection and co-construction of knowledge.