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“Between changing society and sustaining heritage: Elevating locality in music education in and through the Näppäri practice in Finland”

Doctoral project of Neea Lamminmäki

The study addresses the internationally recognized need for music education to attend to sustainability in a rapidly changing society. Sustainability is understood to include social and communal aspects and intangible cultural heritages. The study explores the Näppäri practice, an inclusive intergenerational approach to folk music education in Finland. The study will critically examine how sustainability could be understood as part of music educators’ social and professional responsibility through in-depth analyses of the practice. Further, it will discuss the role of Finnish music schools in contributing to social and cultural sustainability.

In line with the sustainable development objective of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, the Näppäri practice can significantly contribute to the music education system in Finland and globally by offering conceptual understanding and practical tools for enhancing social and cultural sustainability. Highlighting the experiences of diverse participants, the study recognizes that the combination of inclusive intergenerational practice and intangible cultural heritage has under-researched potential for music education. Moreover, the study gives perspective on music schools’ crucial role in sustaining local folk music traditions.

Globally, the study provides an understanding of the dynamics of sustaining these traditions in relation to rapidly changing societies. Therefore, following UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, integrating inclusive intergenerational ensemble practices drawing from local folk music traditions could be seen as a solid part of national art education.

The Finnish Cultural Foundation funds the research.

Neea Lamminmäki is a doctoral student in the Research Study Programme at the MuTri doctoral school.

Keywords: intangible cultural heritage, cultural sustainability, music education, the Näppäri practice, social sustainability

Future doctors in music

We have approximately 150 doctoral students enrolled at the Sibelius Academy. This blog offers a view to their research projects.

The doctoral students are a part of a research community which is a unique combination of artistic activities, education, and research.

Their projects cover a wide spectrum of topics in the realm of music, combining musical practices and different research approaches.

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