Integrated Practice and Learning: 

The Collaborative Teaching Project

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JegThis page describes the current project initiated at the Norwegian Academy of Music together with its satellite projects. The page will be updated as the project proceeds.

The Collaborative Teaching Project (CTP) took shape in 2014 in the form of a small-scale project at The Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH). Its initial aims were simply to put instrument teachers and an Alexander Technique (AT) teacher in the same teaching space, together with groups of students, and to allow a  symbiosis of learning and teaching to take place.

 

The themes and goals central to the collaborative teaching work used in all iterations and supplementary projects, were a) developing teachers’ and students’ enhanced skills of observation and reflection, and b) augmenting the ability to put words to one’s observations, and in so doing, to develop a consistent and meaningful vocabulary that served as a common platform for all the disciplines involved. Further, c) to integrate the principles of the AT into instrument learning

 

This initial project went through a number of stages or iterations.

The first preliminary phase was launched in late 2014. An internal paper describing this first phase was published at NMH in 2015 (Jørgensen: Practice and the AT). The second phase was the academic year 2015-2016 and the third the academic year 2016-2017. The last phase of the project ran from autumn 2017-2018 and involved 10 academy professors and around 38 students. The project was supported by Cempe (The Center for Musical Performance Education) affiliated with NMH in Oslo, Norway.

 

In the first phase, some 6 teaching professors were approached, together with 14 students. This was whittled down to closer work with 4 teachers and 10 students. Both students and teachers received, or were exposed to, group and individual teaching on a regular basis over two semesters.

The approach to collaborative teaching was honed in the second iteration. In this phase,  3 teachers were included, and a group of new students came into the project.

In the last iteration the net was cast wider, leading to the inclusion of some 9 teachers and 38 students.

The completion of these three iterations saw the publication of a concluding document (Pranevicius, Transformative Learning, 2018).

During this last stage the project's main goals were imported by MTHS (The Norwegian College for Musical Theatre) into a pilot project. This incorporated three students, two singing teachers and a dance teacher, together with the AT-teacher. The theme was learning a song-and-dance routine, combining these disciplines. This work was summarised in a paper, pending publication: (Kvammen, Hagen, Parker: Exploring new methodical options. Collaborative teaching between song, dance and Alexander Technique.) 

 

Later the same year (2017) the approach was incorporated as two pilot projects at the Grieg Academy in Bergen (GA), one with horn players and one with percussionists. The first dealt explicitly with collaborative teaching, as had been developed at NMH, and was written up as an internal Cempe report (Chanon: Horn Students explore Alexander Technique); the second was part of a wider project that also included coaches from other disciplines , and is still awaiting publication.

The form that the collaborative teaching work had taken by now was starting to gel and began to be referred to as the "Oslo Model».

 

In June 2017 the project and its offshoots were shared with The American Society for Teachers of the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). It was subsequently introduced at an American music conservatory in 2018 via guest presentations and workshops over two independent visits, and later adapted into a project with three faculty members and three students each, which took place over the 2019-2020 academic year. The year-long integrative project was documented through an Institutional Review Board-approved qualitative research study exploring the feasibility and influence on learner outcomes of the Oslo model at an American post-secondary music institution. As such, to preserve the confidentiality of research subjects, the name and location of the music conservatory cannot be disclosed.

The research project is in the pre-publication phase. 

Simultaneously, a second and more detailed study was proposed and planned at MTHS to begin in December 2018. This project incorporated three singing teachers, a dance teacher and the AT teacher, together with eleven students. Following the completion of this project in March 2019, a third and more ambitious iteration of the project was completed for the period from December 2019 to March 2020. This included acting staff. A combined summary of these connected projects from 2019 and 2020 is planned.

A final project at MTHS will hopefully take place in 2022.

 

The project that evolved at NMH through various stages resulted in an increased awareness of collaborative teaching among some main teachers and section leaders at NMH. This has meant that a general implementation of the model and its approaches has become integrated into day-to-day teaching at the academy. A similar process has begun at MTHS. 

 

Although the project is formally closed, the implementation of its approaches that evolved over the 4 year project period, and the results achieved, will continue to be reviewed, documented and applied in future work.

Click here for a link to the project website.

Here are links to publications related to the project and satellite projects:

Satellite Projects:

These include:

 

- completed pilot and follow-up projects at the Norwegian College of Musical Theatre

These projects are currently being written up and will be published soon.

- 2 pilot projects at the Grieg Academy in Bergen

These projects were completed in May 2018. Internal reports are planned and will be made available on this site.

International Liasons:

A number of Academic Institutions, training courses and Music Departments have already shown significant interest in replicating and perpetuating the Integrated Practice and Learning project initiated at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Work is currently in progress to establish links with teaching institutions in Latvia, Scotland, Canada, Slovakia and the U.S. to broaden the scope of the project.

Links will be included here as the project evolves.

Project history and timeline:

...to be updated....