Meeting in Music
New Approaches in Special Music Education
The purpose of the Meeting in Music Nordplus Junior project is to strengthen the cooperation between special music education institutions in Baltic and Nordic countries. The project is aimed at developing quality and innovation in special music education by sharing good practices, elaborating innovative teaching methods, and establishing systematic exchange of experiences.
The project unites four music education organizations from Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden. The main activities are teachers’ exchange movement across borders, work with pilot groups of students with special needs, project conference with a concert for wider audience, and dissemination events for stakeholders in special music education.
The main reason for the Nordic - Baltic cooperation within this project is the small community of practicing special music education teachers in the program area. For a meaningful exchange of experiences it is necessary to involve partners from different countries. The cross-border cooperation will also ensure that the issues are looked at from several different perspectives. Partners from Estonia, Finland and Sweden work only with people with special needs; Latvian partner will offer experience of special music teaching within mainstream music education. The ambition of the partners is to spread the methods to other organizations in their countries and beyond, ensuring that the results generated by the project are used and adapted by other music education establishments.
The project is funded by Nordplus Junior, which is a program that supports cooperation, teacher exchange, and student exchange between Nordic and Baltic schools and institutions. The cooperation can be between two or more schools and the goal is to enhance active learning of the participants.
- Latvia: Pavuls Jurjans Music School (coordinating institution)
- Finland: HelsinkiMissio ry / Special Music Centre Resonaari
- Estonia: Tolaram Foundation
- Sweden: Music for All Sweden
Main events 2015 - 2017
October 2015 – May 2017:
- Work with Pilot groups based on regular school curriculum with individual educational plan
March 2016, Stockholm:
- Study visit for teachers from all partner institutions
August 2016, Helsinki:
- Teacher exchange from all partner institutions
February – March 2017, Tallinn:
- Teacher exchange from all partner institutions plus 3 days Pilot groups and teachers meeting from all partner countries
April – May 2017, Riga:
- Teacher exchange from all partner institutions plus 1 day Pilot groups and teachers meeting from all partner countries
- Project conference and concert by all Pilot groups
The role of Resonaari
Special Music Centre Resonaari consists of a music school and a research and development unit. The Resonaari Music School primarily targets students with special educational needs – intellectual or physical disabilities, learning or comprehension problems, or other challenges that prevent them from conventional music studies.
Resonaari Music School meets the requirements of Finland's National Curriculum for Basic Education in the Arts and thus enjoys an official status of a music school. Resonaari has been carrying out a number of research and development projects in special music education since 1998. At present, 260 students are attending Resonaari Music School and 4 full time teachers and 12 part time teachers are involved in educational process.
Resonaari will contribute with its pedagogical and research staff and resources of a wide range of musical instruments and methods. Resonaari will participate in the development of new training methods and teaching models, and in sharing of good practices. Resonaari will ensure dissemination of the results of the project to social network for professionals in the field of special music education including universities, colleges, organizations, and individual professionals both in Finland and abroad.
Direct target group of the project comprises partner institutions, music teachers working in these institutions, and students of special needs attending music classes at these institutions. Indirect target groups of the project are parents, families of students with special needs, music teachers and teachers working with students with special needs, educational establishments and day care centers that are working with people with special needs, music schools planning or interested in special music education programs, education and social care departments of municipalities and ministries dealing with ensuring accessibility of equal opportunities for all inhabitants, and society in general in the partner countries and wider.
The results of the project will include improved availability of teaching tools as well as strengthened capacity of music educators and raised capacity of institutions implementing special educational programs. The project is seen by partners as one of the steps towards better integration of people with special needs into the society. The project will help to build a wider network of all stakeholders in inclusive education and cooperation will be continued after the project as well.
The project activities will enable 4 countries and totally 200 participants (teachers, students, staff members, policy makers, and other stakeholders) to understand that young people with various kinds of disabilities and developmental differences are able to learn and master skills that will help them align with the labor market and increase their employability and civic participation. It is expected that the dissemination activities (reports, publications, seminars, social media, educational material, etc.) have an influence on all stakeholders in order to improve special music education in Nordic-Baltic education region.