Formative Music

Research Leader


Mats Uddholm Ph.D. & Senior Lecturer at

University College in Northern Denmark

Conceptualization in Formative Music (and Music Teaching)

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Conceptualization in Formative Music (and Music Teaching) is an ongoing Applied Research in Music Education. This study is aimed to support studies of musical knowledge in education and social works that involve researchers, music educators and practitioners. The theoretical pivot point for this study can be summarized in the following theoretical problem: How can Professional Threshold Concepts in music education be defined or understood from a sociocultural perspective?


This research field is mainly based on earlier studies about which role theories of music education can have regarding the practice of music in education. A central concept at this point is Music Pedagogical Action Competence. This concept is meant to conceptualize the connection between an educator’s Power of Definition and his or her Musical Action Competence, (Uddholm 2012).




In a discussion about the importance of research in music education practice, Fredrik V. Nielsen problematized the relation between music education research, (R), and music education in practice (P), (Nielsen 1998). One of his conclusions was, in short, that research and music education can be understood as two separate practices which are functionally connected through musical practices


Even if the actual design of the future research is inspired by F. V. Nielsen´s works, are there some essential differences compared to his assumptions. Instead of the musical practice, the focal point in this research is the music educational discourse in a broad sense. Likewise is the focus directed to the construction of a research design that consists of a combination of applied research and experimental development. Because the intention also is to study the link between the Threshold Concepts scientifical qualities and its practical use, the study will be designed as a type of an action research. The term educator should here be understood in a broader sense, i.e. a preschool teacher, social worker, teacher, etcetera.


Nielsen, F.V. (1998). Om relationer mellem praktisk og videnskabelig musikpædagogik: I: Jørgensen, H., Nielsen, F.V. & Olsson, B. (red.) NNMPF:s årbok 1998, ss. 19-35. Oslo: Norges Musikkhøgskole


Uddholm, M. (2012). Om professionella aktörers musikpedagogiska definitionsmakt: en kulturhistorisk studie av samband mellan musikpedagogisk teori och definitionsmakt. Diss. Stockholm : Stockholms universitet, 2012. Stockholm. Comprehensive Summary