Leaving the music classroom

Project leader:
Bendik Fredriksen

Project period:
2014 –

Research centre:


Music pedagogy, Educational policy

Fellowship project
Ph.D. in Music Education

Why do music teachers in Norwegian compulsory education quit teaching music?

A considerable amount of music teachers in Norwegian compulsory education have little or no formal qualifications in music, and existing research indicates that many music teachers do not wish to work in compulsory education. To provide all students in the Norwegian school with adequate music lessons it is necessary to retain the qualified music teachers.

The purpose of the project is to investigate why teachers with formal competence in music quit teaching music for the benefit of other tasks within the school. Previous research points out several factors, as knowledge/preparation, confidence, insufficient resources and facilities, noise, support and the identity conflict between being a teacher or a musician.

The Norwegian school system has gone through some rather substantial changes the last decades, with an emphasis on core subjects as mathematics and Norwegian, and basic skills, as reading and writing. An important question is how these changes influence the work life of the music teachers?

Qualitative study

The project is a qualitative study of a small group of teachers with formal qualifications in music, who chose to leave the music subject wholly or in part. The interviews will be analyzed through narrative analysis and discourse analysis, informed by performance theory

Project leader

Bendik Fredriksen

Bendik Fredriksen

University Lecturer

Music Education

Last updated: 18. September 2015