Professional Identities of Music Teachers within Norwegian Municipal Schools of Music and Performing Arts
A discourse oriented study of professional identities within the municipal school of music and performing arts as a local resource centre
I have received my bachelor´s degrees in Music education and Flute performance at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and my Master`s degree in Musicology at the University of Oslo. I have previously worked as a flute teacher in municipal schools of music and performing arts, a general music teacher in schools, and as a wind band conductor. I have work experience from South Africa too, and have had study periods in USA and Germany.
In my PhD project, I am examining how professional identities of music teachers are constructed in a context where the municipal school of music and performing arts (MSMPA) is assigned the role of a local resource centre. I also investigate which discourses are at stake in the MSMPA field, and how the professional discourse of music teachers is being challenged by this. MSMPAs have various and diverse tasks to manage. All municipalities are obliged by law to run, or cooperate in running, a MSMPA, and there has to be a collaboration between the MSMPA, the school system, and the community music and arts field. This collaboration is a part of being a local resource centre for arts and culture, and is a political ambition. In addition, the MSMPA is supposed to maintain the traditional instrumental teaching, which means handling both the aim of social inclusion and the aim of talent development, as those schools could be future professional musicians’ first meeting with musical training. I ask how this ambition of managing those diverse tasks affect the professional practices of music teachers, and how it again might influence their professional identities. My motivation for doing this project has developed from my own work experience, which made me reflect upon my own professional identity and professional identities of music teachers in general, the role and mission of the MSMPA, and what kind of institution, and for whom, it is supposed to be.