Integrated Music Education

Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training

by Markus Cslovjecsek (Volume editor) Madeleine Zulauf (Volume editor)
©2018 Conference proceedings 418 Pages
Series: Mousikae Paideia, Volume 1


Schools are generally oriented towards discipline-based programmes and therefore students often accumulate fragmented knowledge, disconnected from real life concerns. The eighteen contributors to this work suggest that music offers a highway to developing a more appropriate integrated education. They present a range of views on Integrated Music Education rooted in various cultural traditions, based on several interdisciplinary models and integrated arts curricula, inspired by psychological concepts and referenced to recent teaching experiments as well as original research.
In this innovative book, the reader is invited to go beyond the dichotomy between ‘education in music’ and ‘education through music’, exploring the opportunities put forward by Integrated Music Education thanks to a constant movement from the theoretical roots through a precise description of teaching activities to the benefits for students in terms of integration of knowledge, personal development, and social and cultural belonging. Lastly, there are some new and interesting ideas for training teachers.
Ausgehend von einer Reihe kultureller Traditionen, interdisziplinären oder integrierten künstlerischen Ansätzen, psychologischen Konzepten sowie originären Erfahrungen und Forschungen, stellen die Autoren dieses Buches den Reichtum einer ‘integrierten Musikpädagogik’ für die schulische Bildung vor und reflektieren, wie Lehrpersonen für diese Herausforderung qualifiziert werden können. Jedes Kapitel enthält eine Zusammenfassung in deutscher Sprache.
Se basant sur certaines traditions culturelles, sur des approches interdisciplinaires ou d’intégration des arts, sur des concepts issus de la psychologie ou encore sur des expériences et recherches originales, les contributeurs de cet ouvrage exposent les richesses d’une ‘éducation intégrée de la musique’ en milieu scolaire et réfléchissent à la manière de former les enseignants pour relever ce défi. Chaque chapitre dispose d’un résumé en français.

"Overall, Integrated music education makes an important contribution to this emerging field – both in terms of theory and practice to help educators and researchers reflect on and promote the possibilities of integrated learning and through music within varied 21st century school systems – and the book’s publication is one that all contributors can feel proud of having achieved."
(Dr. Karen Ludke, in DIDACTICAE, 8 (2020), pp. 213-216)

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Why This Book? Invitation to a Journey (Markus Cslovjecsek / Madeleine Zulauf)
  • Starting Point
  • 1. The School’s Disciplinary Learning Scaffold: A Challenge for Integrated Education (Rudolf Künzli)
  • 2. The Intertwining of Music, Education, and Integration (Madeleine Zulauf / Markus Cslovjecsek)
  • Step 1 Approaching Integrated Music Education by Exploring Distant Horizons
  • Introduction to Step 1
  • 3. Integrating Arts Performance and Education in Communities of Practice: A Brazilian Experience (Joan Russell)
  • 4. Thinking and Learning in South Indian Music (Ludwig Pesch)
  • 5. Making Connections: Avant-garde Visual Artists and Varèse (Colleen Richardson)
  • Step 2 Encountering Integrated Music Education: Where School Meets Life
  • Introduction to Step 2
  • 6. Cooperative Learning in Music: Music Education and the Psychology of Integration (Frits Evelein)
  • 7. Music / Arts / Language Interdisciplinary Intervention: Cultural, Linguistic, and Artistic Development in Francophone Minority Communities (Anne Lowe / Monique Richard)
  • 8. Promoting Spirituality Through Music in the Classroom (Diana Harris)
  • Step 3 Uncovering School Models in Integrated Music Education
  • Introduction to Step 3
  • 9. Interdisciplinarity Based on a Deep Understanding of Disciplinarity: Benefits for Students’ Self-Development (Dagmar Widorski)
  • 10. Considering Frameworks for Integrating Music and the Arts (Kari Veblen)
  • 11. Cross-Curricular Approaches in Music Teaching (Jonathan Barnes)
  • Step 4 Becoming Familiar With Integrated Music Education Activities in the Classroom
  • Introduction to Step 4
  • 12. Activities Which Use and Unveil Cultural Artifacts (Smaragda Chrysostomou / Colleen Richardson / Joan Russell)
  • 13. Activities Which Explore Links Between Music and One Other Subject (Markus Cslovjecsek / Ludwig Pesch / Joan Russell)
  • 14. Activities Which Develop From the Learners’ Presence (Anke Böttcher / Frits Evelein / Diana Harris)
  • Step 5 Being Invited Into The Minds of People Engaged in Integrated Music Education
  • Introduction to Step 5
  • 15. Conceptions of Integrated Music Education: Models in Dialogue (Madeleine Zulauf / Peter Gentinetta)
  • 16. When Teachers Meet Specialists: Retrospect on the Symposium ‘Practice and Research in Integrated Music Education’ as a Form of Professional Development (Hermann Gelzer / Helmut Messner)
  • Lessons Taken From the Journey: Where Next? (Madeleine Zulauf / Markus Cslovjecsek)
  • Biographical notes of contributors

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Why This Book? Invitation to a Journey


This book is the result of firm convictions based on experience, but also of intense and continuing reflection and development.

The first conviction is that music, this incomparable cultural good, not only can, but must play a prominent role in the education of children and young people. Therefore, its place and its role must be preserved or even developed in the public school system. This conviction is, of course, widespread in the world of education as well as with the general public. There have been numerous articles and books, television reports and films devoted to the benefits that students can gain from music practice or from a learning process that gives a major role to music.

The second conviction – also widely acknowledged, though now battered by the drive for efficiency in education and the measurement of effectiveness through standardised testing of students – is that public schools do not only have a function of transmitting knowledge, but also an educational objective in the broad sense of the term. Thus, students should not only be provided with a plethora of knowledge, but should be prepared to use it in a coherent, constructive and participatory manner in their lives.

The third conviction can be summarised as the following: It is by exploring the possibilities of a proper ‘integration’ of music that will make it possible to identify promising avenues for an optimal use of music in the education of children and youngsters. It could be a way to overcome the misleading opposition between ‘education in music’ and ‘education through music’. Indeed, in our opinion, this (so often used) opposition results in a less than satisfactory situation within the school organisation and does not constitute a strong basis for a fruitful collaboration among teaching colleagues. It is hardly heuristic either from a reflexive or theoretical point of view.

These three convictions are gathered and summarised under the label ‘Integrated Music Education’ (IME). This label was introduced ← 9 | 10 → in 2006 when the international network Practice and Research in Integrated Music Education (PRIME), launched by Markus Cslovjecsek, met for the first time in Kuala Lumpur. Afterwards the members of this network assembled regularly to share and disseminate their experiences and thoughts.1 One of these meetings took the form of a symposium, also called Practice and Research in Integrated Music Education, which was organised in cooperation with the School of Education at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). It was held in Solothurn (Switzerland) in 2008 during a programme of professional development, organised by the association Schule und Weiterbildung Schweiz2. This symposium had such resonance and aroused such engagement among participants that it provoked the desire to embark on the realisation of this book.

The symposium itself had the distinction of being an academic conference, with presentations from a dozen scholars, as well as a training event for teachers interested in IME. Teachers had the opportunity both to assist in these presentations as well as to participate in, and benefit from, workshops. The symposium became a melting pot of reflection and theoretical development. We decided to exploit the ideas, observations and research data that were collected as the starting point upon which we could develop this book. Our objective was to go as far as possible in the exploration of Integrated Music Education (IME) including asking questions such as: What does this mean for the various specialists? What pedagogical realities covers or can cover this term and with what consequences for the learners? But also, how can we train teachers to use an IME in their classrooms?

Accordingly, this book brings together the presentations made by scholars at the Solothurn symposium and texts from other authors whom we have solicited to complete the range of perspectives on IME. All of these contributors are gratefully acknowledged: the first ones especially for having entrusted us with the papers they presented at the symposium and for having patiently waited for their publication; the ← 10 | 11 → latter ones, particularly for having agreed to join an approach that was already in progress and having provided us with texts that we were able to integrate into the overall project. This book also includes several pieces of our writing that serve to guide the reader on the ‘journey’ that we are proposing.

Unsurprisingly, the first section of the book is titled Starting Point. It is dedicated to the Western school system and the place that music occupies within that system. The section focuses both on the past, by looking at the various actions and methods that have been used, and on the future, by identifying new challenges facing this system. In the first chapter, Rudolf Künzli analyses the school institution. He shows us how this institution has established its operation in order to meet the learning objectives entrusted to it by society. He explains that this operation is based on segmentation and discretisation, particularly through disciplinary compartmentalisation. By doing so, learning methods that are imposed on children no longer have much to do with their ‘natural’ way to develop their understanding of the world. Künzli gets us to reflect on the difficult dialectic which the school (and primarily teachers) are inevitably facing between the necessary discretisation and equally necessary integration of knowledge. In the second chapter, Madeleine Zulauf and Markus Cslovjecsek review several attempts and experiences that have taken place in schools during the recent decades, in which the disciplinary learning scaffold was modified in order to enhance the place and role of music education. Different models are analysed through focusing on the function that each of them has assigned to music. Was music considered as a means to benefit other subjects and/or was it to develop the musical skills as such of the students? Was music simply used in conjunction with other subjects and/or was the aim to develop interdisciplinary competencies? When it was about an integration of music, was the integration seen as a process (to promote what competencies?) and/or was the integration set as a goal (to be obtained through what procedures?). Finally, how to situate the concept Integrated Music Education (IME) from current attempts to revisit the role of music education in public schools?

Following upon the first two chapters, which served to identify the principal challenges currently facing the school and teachers, the reader arrives at the chapters which allow them to comprehend how IME ← 11 | 12 → can help meet these challenges. To do so, the reader is taken through five steps, each of which begins with a short, editorial text that situates the location of the step within the journey as a whole and signposts its contents.

The progress from one step to another corresponds to a change in the adopted perspective: going from considerations based on the observation and analysis of cultural and societal backgrounds towards considerations that are increasingly based on schools and educational realities. Gradually, as the reader moves from one step to the next one, they are prompted to go more deeply into the reality of the school. In doing so, they are also encouraged to reflect upon what action the people who are directly in charge of education might take; we mean of course the teachers. Arriving at the fifth step, the reader is invited to discover what is at the core of such an educational action, i.e. the conceptions teachers may have about IME, but also how these conceptions can evolve once these teachers come in contact with the conceptions presented by teacher trainers who are experts in the field.

Now let us look at the different steps in more detail.

The three chapters in Step 1, Approaching Integrated Music Education by Exploring Distant Horizons, written respectively by Joan Russell, Ludwig Pesch and Colleen Richardson, allow us to see that the integration of music with other arts as well as with other achievements of mankind is altogether a necessity and a cultural reality. The authors demonstrate how integration of music is a living phenomenon within the communities and collectives which they have analysed, namely Brazil, South India and a community of avant-garde artists. Their chapters not only emphasise the cultural dimension and social resonance of music but also, by highlighting the inseparable connections between the creation of cultural objects and their transmission, indicate paths of reflection and interesting approaches to develop IME in schools.

Step 2 is titled Encountering Integrated Music Education: Where School Meets Life. Frits Evelein, Anne Lowe and Monique Richard, and Diana Harris, through describing and analysing original teaching approaches, show that it is possible to revitalise education by allowing students to use or access resources that are naturally available in ‘real life’. The resources which are used can be cultural (through the ← 12 | 13 → discovery and appreciation of a language community, by the encounter with artists), social (through the implementation of cooperative learning, by working together for a collective achievement), or psychological (through the fulfilment of the basic psychological needs, through the recourse to personal experiences of the students). This leads us to understand how much music is involved in cultural, social and psychological aspects of everyday life. Ultimately, the authors of Step 2 expose approaches to IME whose common point is precisely to utilise music to gain access to these fundamental dimensions. Therefore, they remind us that children and young people are not only students but, first of all, human beings.

In Step 3, Uncovering School Models in Integrated Music Education we focus on ‘the institution known as school’ with all its pedagogical tradition. The authors of the three chapters that constitute this step (Dagmar Widorski, Kari Veblen, and Jonathan Barnes) base their reflections and propositions on the fact that the school curriculum is constituted of specific subjects that have their own history and properties, and they remind us that this disciplinary organisation is the foundation for the transfer of knowledge in school. They believe, however, that students will acquire a more meaningful knowledge and will develop a richer and more harmonious personality if the teaching promotes connections between different subjects (including, of course, music). They, therefore, propose different possible models for the reorganisation of the school curriculum, which they illustrate with examples drawn from practice. Beyond the teaching methods that are made available, these authors deliver a fundamental message: that even in a strict and systemised school setting, it is possible to identify some room for manoeuvre in order to implement approaches of IME. The authors also give us some important reflections concerning teachers. On the one hand, they describe prerequisites and competencies that are required from the teachers for the application of the several models. On the other hand, they enable us to become aware that IME can be an opportunity for teachers to enrich their pedagogical approaches as well as a source of professional satisfaction.

Titled Becoming Familiar with Integrated Music Education Activities in the Classroom, Step 4 provides opportunities for the reader to be aware of what IME could be in daily school classes. It is composed of three chapters, each with a description and analysis of three or four ← 13 | 14 → educational activities (ten activities in total). The authors of these activities (Anke Böttcher, Smaragda Chrysostomou, Markus Cslovjecsek, Frits Evelein, Diana Harris, Ludwig Pesch, Colleen Richardson, and Joan Russell) have personally developed and tested them with students as well as with teachers in training. Each activity is presented in a standard way, which includes a description of the necessary materials, the sequence of actions to be performed, the expected goals to be achieved and, finally, its rationale in relation to IME. What the activities of a chapter have in common is that they provide learners with similar access to the process of knowledge integration. At the end of each chapter there is a brief editorial commentary, reflecting on the activities as well as proposing suggestions about the specific competencies that are required by teachers. All of this allows the reader to comprehend more easily the information presented in this step, to compare the activities between them, and to reflect on how they could be applied or further developed.

As mentioned above, and as the title suggests, Step 5, Being Invited into the Minds of People Engaged in Integrated Music Education, focuses on the conceptions of teachers and teacher educators concerning IME. The authors of the two chapters (Madeleine Zulauf and Peter Gentinetta for chapter 15, Hermann Gelzer and Helmut Messner for chapter 16), use observations and data collected during or soon after the symposium in Solothurn and compare them with parallel data found in academic literature. Their approach is complementary. The first set of authors analyse the conceptions regarding IME as they were expressed by teachers and specialists present at the symposium. Based on this, they propose a typology (in the form of a continuum) that organises the different possible conceptions regarding IME. As for the latter, they study the opinions that the teachers formed a posteriori on the training they had received during this week dedicated to IME. These two chapters demonstrate that, beyond the conviction shared by all that IME is to be promoted in schools, the conceptions of what IME is may differ significantly. They also show how important the exchanges are between teachers themselves as well as between teachers and specialists if we want to ensure effective further training and promote IME. These analyses open the door to reflections on the different ways in which we can train teachers through and for IME in order to enrich their classes via this approach. ← 14 | 15 →

The book concludes with a final piece entitled Lessons Taken From the Journey: Where Next? Its main function is to synthesise the significant features which emerged during the different steps and the 16 chapters that make up the book. We present a model which clarifies what we believe an integrated education should consist of. This definition can be seen to be very different from interdisciplinary teaching and learning, with which it is often confused. This model contributes to comprehend the essence of an Integrated Music Education. It also allows us to better understand why Integrated Music Education engenders such a great variety of pedagogic approaches. This piece is, however, not a definite conclusion, but is intended to promote the development of new reflections on the subject, to encourage the realisation of other experiences and further research, always with the aim of improving teaching practices.

We hope that the diversity of approaches that are presented, and through the considerations of the role and importance of music and integration in education, this book will provoke the interest of the reader.

1 PRIME became a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) in 2011. Information is available from <http://www.sigprime.net>.

2 The name of this association could be translated as: School and Teacher Professional Development Switzerland.

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Starting Point

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Chapter 1
The School’s Disciplinary Learning Scaffold: A Challenge for Integrated Education



ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (July)
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 418 pp., 29 fig. b/w, 2 tables

Biographical notes

Markus Cslovjecsek (Volume editor) Madeleine Zulauf (Volume editor)


Title: Integrated Music Education