Magne Espeland


Magne I. Espeland is professor in Music and Education at Stord/Haugesund University College (HSH) in western Norway, and adjunct professor at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen. Specialities are curriculum studies, research methodology for music and arts education and project leadership. Current administrative duties includes chairing MusicNet West, a network of higher music education in Western Norway, Grieg Research School at University of Bergen, and the research programme Culture and Creativity Education at Stord/Haugesund University College. His current research activities include leading the research activities in a 3 year NRC project (2012-2015)Improvisation in Teacher Education” and advisory services for the Swedish Research Council.


Magne is a well known clinician, arts education spokesman, researcher and author in Scandinavia. He has chaired a number of Norwegian curriculum reform committees in music education since the mid 90-ties. Recently he chaired the work on the new Norwegian curriculum for music in pre-service teacher education (2010). He is active in building research co-operation within and across music as a research field and is one of the initiators behind the establishment of the regional and international Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies.

His research in music education and creativity has focused on creative and compositional processes in the classroom within the fields of music listening and composition. He has published internationally in these fields since 1987 (BJME) and finished his PhD on the study of compositional processes as discourse and interaction at Denmark Pedagogical University in 2005. He was Section Editor of the Assessment and Evaluation Section in the International Handbook on Research in Arts Education (Bresler 2007), and is a chapter author in “Cultural Psychology of Music Education” (Oxford 2010) and in the new Oxford Handbook of Music Education (2012). His most recent publication is “Research and research education in music –disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach?” with T. B. Schei and B. Stige (2013). Magne is an active reviewer for several international journals, including British Journal of Music Education, and editorial board member on the International Journal of Education & the Arts.

Internationally he has made invited and submitted presentations from 1989 onwards in Sweden, Korea, Russia, Holland, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Malaysia, China, and USA. He has presented at AERA (American Educational Research Association) in San Diego and Montreal and he has given invited talks and workshops at the University of Oakland and Oberlin College in USA. He was a keynote speaker at RIME in Exeter, Great Britain in 2009 and he also presented at New York AERA 2008 and at Qualitative Inquiry (QI) in Urbana, Illinois, in 2011.

Magne has presented at six International Society of Music (ISME) world conferences between 1992 and 2010 (Seoul, Amsterdam, Bergen, Kuala Lumpur, Bologna and Beijing). He was a Commissioner for 6 years in the ISME Commission for Music in Schools and Teacher Education, Chair of this commission  from 1996-98,  and an past member of the Board of International Society of Music Education (ISME) from 2002 till 2006. He was the Chair for ISME Bergen 2002, the 25th World Conference in Music Education which took place in Augst 2002, in Bergen , Norway.

Formal Education CV

(1969) Bachelor Teacher Training with Music, Bergen University College

(1969) Musicology degree, University of Trondheim

(1972) English degree, University of Trondheim

(1975) Music Main Study in musicology, University of Trondheim

(1986) Associate Professor awarded by special commission

(2005) PHD in music education at The Danish University of Education in Copenhagen. Title: “Compositional Process as Discourse and Interaction. A study of Small Group Music Composition Processes in a School Context”,

(2008) Full professor of Music and Education by special international commission

Selected publications


Espeland, M. The African Drum: The Compositional Process as Discourse and Interaction in a School Context, Book Chapter in Hickey (edit): Why and How to Teach Composition,  MENC: The National Association for Music Education, USA.


Espeland, M. (2004) Lyttemetodikk. Ressursbok, Fagbokforlaget, Bergen


Murphy, R. /Espeland, M./ (2006) Upbeat- Pupils books 1 to 6, Carol Education, Dublin, Ireland)

Murphy, R./ Espeland, M./ (2006) Upbeat – Teacher Resource Books  1 to 6, Carol Heinemann, Dublin, Ireland)


Espeland, M.: Compositional process as discourse and interaction : a study of small group music composition processes in a school context, HSH Rapport nr. 1, HSH Stord

Espeland, M: A Scandinavian Perspective on Music Curriculum Research, in Bresler, L. (edit) International Handbook for Research in Arts Education, Springer, The Netherlands

Espeland, M.: A Nordic Perspective on Creativity in Music, in Bresler, L. (edit) International Handbook for Research in Arts Education, Springer, The Netherlands


Espeland, M.; Nora’s story and the mirror of music teacher excellence, in Barrett, M., Stauffer, S. (edits): Narrative Inquiry in Music Education: Troubling Certainty, Springer


Bjørnstad, F.O. & Espeland.M: The History of Norwegian Music Education in Schools.– Educational Progress or Stasis at the Outskirts of Europe? In Stevens (edit):Origins and Foundations of Music Education:Cross-Cultural Historical Studies in Compulsory Schooling, Continuum


Espeland, M.: A century of music listening in schools: Toward practices resonating with cultural psychology? In Barrett (edit): A Cultural Psychology of Music Education, Oxford University Press

Wiggins, J. & Espeland, M. (2012): Creating in Music Learning Contexts, in McPherson (edit), The New Oxford Handbook of Music Teaching and Learning, Oxford University Press


Schei.T.B, Espeland M., Stige B.(2013): Research and research education in music – disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach? Nordic Research in Music Education. Yearbook Vol. 14 2012, 27–45

Espeland, M: (2013, forthcoming): Creative Music Processes, in McPearson, Gary: The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development, second edition, Oxford University Press.