Skip to main content Accessibility help

A combination of one-to-one teaching and small group teaching in higher music education in Norway – a good model for teaching?

  • Bjørg Julsrud Bjøntegaard (a1)


Instrumental teachers in higher music education in Norway and elsewhere traditionally organise their teaching as individual lessons with one teacher and one student. This paper takes a closer look at how a horn teacher at the Norwegian Academy of Music has organised her weekly teaching in individual, small group and master class lessons with all her students. The project being described in the paper has since been extended to other instruments, but this paper concentrates on the horn model. The main focus is on small group lessons where the students themselves play and comment on fellow students’ performances. The evidence suggests that a combination of teaching in individual, small group and master class lessons is the best way of educating students as responsible, reflective and professional musicians.



Hide All
BRAND, M. (2004) Collectivistic versus individualistic cultures: a comparison of American, Australian and Chinese music education students’ self-esteem. Music Education Research, 6, 5766.
BRÄNDSTRÖM, S. (1994) Self-formulated goals and self-evaluation in music education. Bulletin. Special Issue. The 15th International Society for Music Education. ISME Research Seminar, Florida, USA.
BREW, A. (1999) Towards autonomous assessment: using self-assessment and peer assessment. In Brown, S. & Glasner, A. (Eds), Assessment Matters in Higher Education: Choosing and Using Diverse Approaches (pp. 159171). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
BRUNER, J. S. (1996) The Culture of Education. London: Harvard University Press.
BURT, R. & MILLS, J. (2006) Taking the plunge: the hopes and fears of students as they begin music college. British Journal of Music Education, 23, 5173.
BURWELL, K. (2005) A degree of independence: teachers’ approaches to instrumental tuition in a university college. British Journal of Music Education, 22, 199215.
CREECH, A. (2012) Interpersonal behavior in one-to-one instrumental lessons: an observational analysis. British Journal of Music Education, 29, 387407.
CREECH, A., GAUNT, H., HALLAM, S. & ROBERTSON, L. (2009) Conservatoire students’ perceptions of Master Classes. British Journal of Music Education, 26, 315331.
DANIEL, R. (2004) Innovations in piano teaching: a small-group model for the tertiary level. Music Education Research, 6, 2343.
DANIEL, R. (2006) Exploring music instrument teaching and learning environments: video analysis as a means of elucidating process and learning outcomes. Music Education Research, 8, 191215.
FISCHER, C. C. (2006) Application of selected cooperative learning techniques to group piano instruction. Ph.D. thesis. University of Oklahoma.
FROELICH, H. (2002) Thoughts on schools of music and colleges of education as places of ‘rites and rituals’: consequences for research on practicing. In Hanken, I. M., Nielsen, S. G. & Nerland, M. (Eds), Research in and for Higher Music Education. Festschrift for Harald Jørgensen (pp. 149165). Oslo: NMH-publikasjoner.
GAUNT, H. (2006) Student and teacher perceptions of one-to-one instrumental and vocal tuition in a conservatoire. Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Education, London University.
GAUNT, H. (2008) One-to-one tuition in a conservatoire: the perceptions of instrumental and vocal teachers. Psychology of Music, 36, 215245.
GAUNT, H. (2009) One-to-one tuition in a conservatoire: the perceptions of instrumental and vocal students. Psychology of Music, 38, 178208.
GAUNT, H. (2011) Understanding the one-to-one relationship in instrumental/vocal tuition in Higher Education: comparing student and teacher perceptions. British Journal of Music Education, 28, 159179.
GAUNT, H., CREECH, A., LONG, M. & HALLAM, S. (2012) Supporting conservatoire students towards professional integration: one-to-one tuition and the potential of mentoring. Music Education Research, 14, 2543.
GHOLSON, S. A. (1998) Proximal positioning: a strategy of practice in violin pedagogy. Journal of Research in Music Education, 46, 535545.
HADDON, E. (2011) Multiple teachers: multiple gains? British Journal of Music Education, 28, 6985.
HALLAM, S. (1998) Instrumental Teaching. A Practical Guide to Better Teaching and Learning. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers.
HANKEN, I. (2008) Teaching and learning music performance: the Master Class. Finnish Journal of Music Education, 11, 2636.
HANKEN, I. (2011) The benefits of the master class. Nordic Research in Music Education Yearbook, Vol 12 2010 (pp. 149160). Oslo: NMH publikasjoner.
JOHANSSON, K. (2013) Undergraduate students’ ownership of musical learning: obstacles and options in one-to-one teaching. British Journal of Music Education, 30, 277295.
JOHNSON, D. W. & JOHNSON, R. T. (1999) Learning Together and Alone: Cooperative, Competitive, and Individualistic Learning. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
JUUTI, S. & LITTLETON, K. (2010) Musical identities in transition: solo-piano students’ accounts of entering the academy. Psychology of Music, 38, 482496.
JØRGENSEN, H. (2000) Student learning in higher instrumental education: who is responsible? British Journal of Music Education, 17, 6777.
KARLSSON, J. & JUSLIN, P. N. (2008) Musical expression: an observational study of instrumental teaching. Psychology of Music, 38, 309334.
KENNEL, R. (2002) Systematic research in studio instruction in music. In Colwell, R. & Richardson, C. (Eds), The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (pp. 243256). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
KINGSBURY, H. (1988) Music, Talent and Performance. A Conservatory Cultural System. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
KOOPMAN, C., SMIT, N., DE VUGT, A., DENEER, P. & DEN OUDEN, J. (2007) Focus on practice-relationships between lessons on the primary instrument and individual practice in conservatoire education. Music Education Research, 9, 373397.
LAUKKA, P. (2004) Instrumental music teachers’ views on expressivity: a report from music conservatoires. Music Education Research, 6, 4556.
LAVE, J. & WENGER, E. (1991) Situated Learning. Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
LUPTON, M. & BRUCE, C. (2010) Craft, process and art: teaching and learning music composition in higher education. British Journal of Music Education, 27, 271287.
NERLAND, M. (2007) One-to-one teaching as cultural practice: two case studies from an academy of music. Music Education Research, 9, 399416.
NERLAND, M. & HANKEN, I. M. (2002) Academies of music as arenas for education: some reflections on the institutional construction of teacher-student relationships. In Hanken, I. M., Nielsen, S. G. & Nerland, M. (Eds) Research in and for Higher Music Education. Festschrift for Harald Jorgensen (pp. 167186). Oslo: Norwegian Academy of Music.
PAPAGEORGI, I., CREECH, A., HADDON, E., MORTON, F., DE BEZENAC, C., HIMONIDES, E., POTTER, J., DUFFY, C., WHYTON, T. & WELCH, G. (2010) Perceptions and predictions of expertise in advanced musical learners. Psychology of Music, 38, 3166.
PERSSON, R. S. (1994) Control before shape – on mastering the clarinet: a case study on commonsense teaching. British Journal of Music Education, 11, 223238.
SCHÖN, D. A. (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
SEIPP, N. (1976) A Comparison of Class and Private Music Instruction. Ph.D. thesis. West Virginia University.
TRIANTAFYLLAKI, A. (2005) A call for more instrumental music teaching research. Music Education Research, 7, 383387.
TRIANTAFYLLAKI, A. (2010) ‘Workplace landscapes’ and the construction of performance teachers’ identity: the case of advanced music training institutions in Greece. British Journal of Music Education, 27, 185201.
USZLER, M., GORDON, S. & SMITH, S. M. (2000) The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher, 2nd edn.New York, NY: Schiermer Books.
WEST, T. & ROSTVALL, A. (2003) A study of interaction and learning in instrumental teaching. International Journal of Music Education, 40, 1627.
WÖLLNER, C. & GINSBORG, J. (2011) Team teaching in the conservatoire: the views of music performance staff and students. British Journal of Music Education, 28, 301323.
YOUNG, V., BURWELL, K. & PICKUP, D. (2003) Areas of study and teaching strategies in instrumental teaching: a case study research project. Music Education Research, 5, 139155.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Music Education
  • ISSN: 0265-0517
  • EISSN: 1469-2104
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-music-education
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed