Monthly Archives: October 2014

Social programme – fjord cruise and grill party! (common)

Stord I

Fjord cruise by Stord I

Tuesday 9th: Fjord cruise by veteran steam boat Stord I

On Tuesday 9th at 19:00 we embark on the veteran steam boat Stord I at Leirvik harbour. Stord I is a great representative of the local passenger steamers built for operating between StavangerSunnhordlandHardanger and Bergen. In recent years the ship has been restored to its original 1931 condiction and it has become a popular choice for travellers who wish to explore the scenery of the fjords from the sea. The vessel will take us for a 3 hour tour in the Sunnhordaland basin.

Dinner will be served on board. On the menu will be Bacalao and a selection of cold served salmon, trout and herring with miscellaneous toppings. All prepared by local providers of fresh fish from the sea.

Wednesday 10th: Grill Party at campus

On Wednesday 10th we spend all day at the campus and enjoy the afternoon sessions of music and dance performances. We go directly into party mode and spend a nice time together at the campus premises throughout the evening. Mixed grill dishes will be served. This informal style party invites participants to talk and mingle across research schools in an improvisational manner. We hope there will be people who are willing to play their instruments, dance and jam together to further explore the art and science of improvisation with an emphasis on the artistic expression.


Keynotes (GRS)

Keynote speaker: Dr. Laudan Nooshin
Time: Wednesday 10th June, 10:45 – 12:15
Title: Re-Imagining Musical Difference: Creative Process, Alterity and ‘Improvisation’ in Iranian Music from Classical to Jazz

Since the late 1980s, an important strand of my research has sought to understand the underlying creative processes of Iranian classical music (musiqi-ye asil), a tradition in which the performer plays a central creative role and which is therefore often described as ‘improvised’, both in the literature and – since the mid-20th century and drawing on concepts initially adopted from European music – by musicians. Methodologically, one of the greatest challenges has been tracing the relationship between musicians’ verbal discourses – usually taken by ethnomusicologists as evidence of cognitive processes – and what happens in practice. Of course, the relationship is a complex one and the dual ethnomusicological methods of (a) ethnography and (b) transcription and analysis don’t always tell the same story. In the case of my work, I found a disjuncture between musicians’ discourses of creative freedom, albeit underpinned by the central memorised repertoire known as radif, and the analytical evidence which showed the music to be highly structured around a series of what could be termed ‘compositional procedures’, but which are not explicitly discussed by musicians. The results of analytical enquiry thus led me to problematise the dominant discourses which reify improvisation (bedāheh-navāzi) and emphasise the oral, ephemeral and improvised nature of Iranian classical music against something more planned and structured as represented by the concept of (usually implying notation) composition (āhang-sāzi); and ultimately to an interest in the implications of such binary thinking, both for the study of Iranian music and more broadly for (western) musicology.

More recently, I have been working with younger musicians – university-educated and cosmopolitan – who are developing new discursive frameworks for their creative practice, including an explicit articulation of compositional intent and an intellectual-analytical approach to performance which are quite new to Iranian music. From the researcher’s point of view, this closer alignment of practice and discourse makes it easier to discuss finer details of creative process with musicians. Of particular interest are the ways in which some of these musicians are moving beyond the accepted oppositional discourses of creativity and are re-imagining notions of musical difference, including a more porous understanding of creative practice and a more integral relationship between the ‘improvisational’ and the ‘compositional’.

This keynote address will explore various themes and issues arising from my work on creative processes in Iranian classical music, particularly in relation to questions of alterity. As well as discussing specific examples from Iranian music, I will engage broader questions concerning musicological paradigms, particularly where these have been mobilised as a marker of ‘otherness’, as in the case of (western) musicological discourses of creativity or in Iran where some scholars have drawn on notions of difference to distinguish a local ‘indigenous’ musicology from an externally-imposed (Euro-American) ‘imperialist’ musicology. I examine the implications of such paradigms for the analysis and understanding of musical creativity.

Laudan Nooshin

Dr. Laudan Nooshin

Laudan Nooshin is Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology in the Music Department at City University London, UK. Her research interests include creative processes in Iranian music; music and youth culture in Iran; music and gender; neo/post-colonialism and Orientalism; and music in Iranian cinema. Recent publications include the edited volumes Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (2009, Ashgate Press) and The Ethnomusicology of Western Art Music (2013, Routledge), as well as book chapters and journal articles in Iranian Studies, Ethnomusicology Forum and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Laudan is currently on the Editorial Boards of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (Brill) and Ethnomusicology Forum (Routledge). From 2006-9 she was a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and between 2007-2011 was co-Editor of Ethnomusicology Forum. Her forthcoming monograph is entitled Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (Ashgate Press).

Keynote speaker: Dr. Sigbjørn Apeland

Time: Wednesday 10th June, 14:30 – 16:00
Title: Improvising with the harmonium: Stories and Sounds

In this presentation, I will take a distanced position towards my own playing, trying to analyze what is happening when a contemporary improviser puts a forgotten, but historically and symbolically loaded instrument into play.

I will use the harmonium as a point of departure for problematizing the genres, contexts, stories and memories that are parts of the social event that any musical statement represents.

Improvising on the harmonium is not only about making sound. It is about relating to more or less broken instruments, logistics and solving a lot of practical challenges. For me the “musical” and the “extra-musical”(or text/context) becomes an inseparable unity.

Sigbjørn Apeland

Sigbjørn Apeland

Sigbjørn Apeland (1966). Education from Rogaland Conservatory of Music (organ) and The University of Bergen (Ph.D in etnomusicology). He holds a position as associate professor at Arne Bjørndal´s collection of Norwegian folk music at the University of Bergen. He collaborates with musicians within a wide range of genres, especially church music, Norwegian folk music, electronics and improvised music. He has also composed/performed music for mixed-media projects, most recently: The Organ Tower (installation/performance for about 25 harmoniums and electronic organs), Kanskje aller helst der (play by Ragnar Hovland), Jeanne d´Arc (silent movie). Participates on about 40 recordings. Two of those have got the Norwegian “Grammy” – Spellemannsprisen. (With Alog, electronica 2005, and Sigrid Moldestad, folk music 2007). Apeland is one of the few musicians who frequently plays the harmonium on professional occations. As an academic, Apeland has been teaching, supervising and writing within the fields of musicology, cultural studies, church music, theology and folklore studies. He has also extensive experience as a folk music collector and researcher, basically focused on material from Western Norway.


Keynote speaker: Grieg Academy Research Group for Jazz & Improvisation (GAIMPRO)

Time: Wednesday 10th June, 16:30 – 18:00
Title: Teaching Improvisation for Real – philosophical and didactical issues related to the process of teaching students how to be high-skilled jazz improvisers

Improvisation skills are emphasized as important in many different areas, and it is common to generalize and transfer knowledge about improvisation between different professions. In some research literature, jazz practice is used both as an example and a metaphor for the nature of improvisation.

In this presentation the members of GAIMPRO (The Grieg Academy Research Group for Jazz and Improvisation) will use their insider-position in jazz, improvisation and education to present and reflect on their own practice, both as jazz musicians and jazz educators.

The purpose of this presentation is to go in the opposite direction of generalizing knowledge and understanding of improvisation, and instead go more deeply into what improvisation means in jazz education. The following discussion will show whether this resonates with the understanding of improvisation in other areas/practices. The presentation will also include some music performance by the members of GAIMPRO.

Some questions that will be discussed are:

  • What is improvisation?
  • What do we want our students to learning during their BA-degree?
  • What kind of improvisation-related competencies are emphasized in our jazz study?
  • How do our students develop their improvisation competence?
  • How do we balance and integrate the relationship between theory and practice?
  • What is our role and mission as jazz educators in our students learning processes?

Sætre, Austad, Thormodsæter, Dahl – GAIMPRO







Assistant Professor Eivind Austad teaches piano, improvisation, jazz theory and jazz history. His research interest is in jazz performance practices in modern jazz from the 1950s and up till our time, aural-based improvisation methods with an emphasis on harmony and rhythm and arranging/composition.

Associate Professor Thomas T. Dahl teaches guitar, improvisation, combo classes and jazz theory. His research interests are in performance practices on modern jazz guitar, improvisation techniques, ensemble development and music production.

Associate Professor Steinar Sætre is the leader of the GAIMPRO research group and teaches in jazz theory and jazz history. His research interests are in the pedagogy, culture and practices of jazz education, performance practices in early jazz, arranging/composition and jazz history.

Associate Professor Magne Thormodsæter teaches bass, combo classes and jazz theory. His research interests are in performance practices – especially in piano-trio and quintet format, methods for ensemble playing and research on beat placement and general improvisation methods.

Keynote speaker: Professor Colin Lee

Time: Thursday 11th June, 10:45 – 12:15
Title: Improvisation and Post‐Minimalism: Implications for the Development of Clinical  Musicianship

Art and clinical improvisation share many creative components that are similar. In clinical improvisation the creation and establishment of musical structure is integral to the ongoing aims of the therapeutic process. In artistic improvisation musical forms are freely created reflecting the spontaneity of players and potential listeners. The creative awakenings of both have much in common and if considered from an equal artistic perspective should be thought of as allies.  If music therapy is to develop its artistic potential then post-minimalist stylistic influences could be seen to be crucial in the development of clinical improvisation. By comparing the post-minimalist movement with current theoretical trends in music therapy a new of critical thinking could emerge, one that considers equally the musical and clinical qualities inherent in improvisation. This presentation will highlight the balance between the musical qualities of clinical improvisation and the therapeutic potential of improvisation as art. Through the celebration of musical diversity contained in performance and therapy the artistic qualities of clinical improvisation can become equal to the non-musical formations of therapeutic aims.  Based on the authors developing theory of Aesthetic Music Therapy audio extracts from improvised music therapy sessions will be presented. Through recent research comparing the compositional and improvisational processes of Paul Nordoff further questions will be raised with regard to the interface between artistic and clinical musicianship. This presentation will include two post-minimalist performances of works for tape and piano. Merging audio extracts from improvised music therapy sessions alongside live compositional responses, a new way of artistic/clinical music will be explored.

Prof. Colin Andrew Lee

Prof. Colin Andrew Lee

Colin Andrew Lee, Professor of Music Therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University Canada, received a PhD from City University, London in 1992. Following piano studies at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie, Germany, he earned a Postgraduate Diploma in music therapy from the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center, London, England (1984). He has extensive clinical and supervisory experience and has specialized in the areas of HIV/AIDS and palliative care. Colin’s research culminated in his music-centered theory of Aesthetic Music Therapy (AeMT). Colin also gives improvised concerts based on his experiences as a music therapist. In 1996 he helped form the Towersey Foundation, a charity that promotes and creates positions for music therapy in palliative care. Books include: Music at the Edge: The Music Therapy Experiences of a Musician with AIDS (1996), The Architecture of Aesthetic Music Therapy (2003), (Lee, Houde) Improvising in Styles: A Workbook for Music Therapists (2011) and Paul Nordoff: Composer and Music Therapist (2014).




Pre-conference course in video analysis

We are fortunate to be able to offer a pre-conference course in video analysis on June 8th and 9th, held by Professor Carey Jewitt from London University, Institute of education.

The pre-conference video workshop is focused on working with video in classroom research. It is organised into four sessions across the two days to focus on four stages involved in the use of video for classroom research.

How to collect video materials: we will explore the different ways that video can be used in research, the key qualities of video materials, and the considerations involved in setting up a video-based research study.
How to manage and sample video materials: we will examine the ethical issues involved in video-based research and how to deal with these, how video materials become data, and methods and issues raised by sampling video data.
How to transcribe video data: we will discuss the purpose of transcription, introduce and compare a range of transcription conventions and explore how processes of transcription shape analysis.
How to analyse rich multimodal video data: we will briefly discuss different approaches to video analysis, and work together to walk through the stages of multimodal video analysis.

Across the sessions we will explore the possibilities and challenges of video in relation to the participants own research, including the type of research questions that it can (and cannot) be used to address. Each session will combine the presentation of information, workshop activities, small and large group discussion, and will include time for question and answers.

Professor Carey Jewitt

Professor Carey Jewitt

Carey Jewitt is a Professor in Education and Technology and an Academic Fellow funded by the UK Research Council. Carey’s research interests are in representation and technology mediated learning, with a focus on visual and multimodal theory and research methods. She is involved in the development of research focusing on the potentials of new media to reshape knowledge, literacy, learning and teaching. Her academic publications span across a wide range of books, reports and articles. See her profile page for further details.

The course runs on campus from 12:30 – 17:00 on June 8th and from 09:00 – 12:00 on June 9th.

Please note that there are limited access to the course, and admission is based on the principle of “first come, first served.” You will be able to select the option to attend the course by following the registration routines of GRS or NAFOL.



Keynotes (common)

Keynote speaker: Professor Anna-Lena Østern
Time: Tuesday 9th June 12:30 – 14:00
Title:Narrative philosophy in improvisational theatre.  A lecture performance with the playback theatre group Theatre Momentum Quartet

In everyday life as well as in education narratives are central. Experiences are narrated through the stories we tell. Through narratives a person becomes articulated and present. When people share stories the dimensions of the story like temporality, sociality and place, might be  broadened and deepened. When a story is told anew, it transforms. It becomes restoried. In this key note lecture performance the audience meets their own stories restoried in an improvisational, embodied, multimodal performance by Theatre Momentum quartet.  The structure and dramaturgy of the performance improvisation is mirrored in the narrative philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. The key note underlines the importance of embodied, multimodal improvisation in storytelling in educational context.

Anna-Lena Østern

Anna-Lena Østern

Anna-Lena Østern is a professor in arts education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. She is scientific leader of the national graduate school NAFOL. Østern’s research interests concern multimodal educational design, aesthetic approaches to learning, and supervision in teacher education and research.


Keynote speaker: Professor Keith Sawyer
Time: Wednesday 10th June, 09:00 – 10:30
Title: Teaching as disciplined improvisation 

Abstract: Teacher researchers have found that experienced teachers have a greater repertoire of scripts than novice teachers—standard sequences of activities, or responses to students, that work in specific situations. But researchers have also found that experienced teachers are better at improvising in response to each class’s unique flow; in fact, they tended to spend less advance time planning than novice teachers.  Experienced teachers do two apparently contradictory things: they use more structures, and yet they improvise more.  This research suggests that the challenge facing every teacher and every school is to find the balance of structure and improvisation that will optimize student learning. The best teaching is disciplined improvisation because it always occurs within broad structures and frameworks.  Conceiving of teaching as disciplined improvisation highlights the collaborative and emergent nature of effective classroom practice, helps us to understand how curriculum materials relate to classroom practice, and shows why teaching is a creative art.

Keith Sawyer

Keith Sawyer

Dr. R. Keith Sawyer is internationally known as an expert in the learning sciences and in the psychology of creativity. The last years he has been strongly associated with the phenomenon of improvisation in education.  Sawyer has published several scholarly articles and is editor of several books, like “Structure and improvisation in Creative Teaching”.


Keynote speaker: Professor Gert Biesta
Time: Thursday 11th June, 09:00 -10:30
Title: Virtuosity in teaching: On improvisation and embodied judgement

Abstract: There seems to be a prima facie case for the role of improvisation in teaching. After all, the only way in which education can do without improvisation is when not only teachers act according to pre-designed scripts but when student do this as well. While the first idea is what some policy makers and educational researchers would see as ideal – based on the mistaken assumption that it would ensure a certain standard of quality – the second idea, that students would act according to pre-defines script as well, appears to be more absurd (which does not mean that education may not be moving in this direction). In my own work I have been particularly interested in the question what would guide teachers’ improvisation and in my view a key reference point for teacher improvisation concerns the purpose of the practice. Teachers thus need to work with an informed understanding of what education is for. What makes education interesting, and perhaps adds to the need for improvisation, is that in education the question of purpose is a multi-dimensional question, which requires that all thinking and doing in education is multi-dimensional itself as well. Engagement with this complexity requires the ability for situated and embodied judgement – which, in some of my writings, I have referred to as ‘virtuosity’. In my presentation I will present some of these ideas in more detail, both raising questions about the particular kind of virtuosity that is needed in education, and about the way in which students teachers might work on their own educational virtuosity. A final point I wish to make in my contribution has to do with the question what the ‘object’ of teachers’ virtuosity is, where I will argue that ultimately teaching has to refer to what not exist in the present but may exist in the future. This work with the unforeseen adds an additional dimension to the improvisational work of teaching.

Gert Biesta

Gert Biesta

Gert Biesta ( is Professor of Education and Director of Research at Brunel University London, UK, and Visiting Professor for Art Education at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, the Netherlands. From 2015 onwards he is a member of the Education Council of the Netherlands, the educational advisory body for the Dutch government and parliament. His work focuses on the theory of education and the theory and philosophy of educational and social research. His latest book, The Beautiful Risk of Education (2014) won the AERA Division B 2014 Outstanding Book Award. He is currently working on a new book, titled ‘The Rediscovery of Teaching.’






Preliminary programme available

A preliminary programme overview of the Rommetveit summer shool is now available under the menu label “Programme” –> “Programme at a glance”. The document will give you an idea of how the week will be organised and shows already the contours of what we think will be an inspiring mix of leading keynote speakers within a wide field of disciplines, a good number of slots for candidate activity and a great social programme with good opportunities for mingling and informal encounters across the research schools.


You may direct your quesions to the relevant person from the list below:

Stord/Haugesund University College:

Øystein Kvinge
PhD candidate / conference coordinator/Web editor

HSH logo



Grieg Research School

Liv Gunnhild Qvale
Adm. coordinator

Grieg Research School




NAFOL – the Norwegian national graduate school in teacher education

Prof. Anna-Lena Østern
Academic leader of  NAFOL