This Centre will develop new knowledge and experience to support music performance students in developing artistic excellence and professional competencies to be able to work in a diverse and rapidly changing, globalised music community. The Centre will involve teachers and students in seven discrete research projects, each of which will utilise different methodologies.
Strengths and weaknesses
This is an exceptionally well-written proposal that clearly and concisely presents the ideas of the centre and the work it will carry out. The work is well-structured and highly relevant to the current landscape of Higher Music Education. The Norwegian Academy is already preeminent for its research and development relating to pedagogy. This serves as an excellent foundation for the proposed Centre which has the potential to deliver real value internally and in international contexts.
The Norwegian Academy clearly recruits excellent students who then go on to achieve well in terms of completions, ECTS points and employment. There is some evidence in the proposal of existing pedagogical practices being reflective and innovative, although these aspects could have been considered in more detail. The proposal does, however, articulate advanced quality assurance systems involving all teaching staff, a substantial performance programme for the students and a developed exchange programme for staff and students. A particular strength is that student feedback is explicitly built into the education processes in a rigorous way.
The proposed governance and management structures for the Centre appear to be sound. All seven projects are promising and have been considered in sufficient detail to make them deliverable. Dissemination activity proposed, both explicit and (perhaps in many ways more usefully) implicit, is quite strong. It is quite traditional in its focus on “telling” about the results emerging from the projects, and it could be beneficial to think further about modes of dissemination with different audiences, particularly considering the diverse needs of academic and non-academic stakeholders, and of Higher Education and professional music communities.
Site visit: Yes
The Centre of Excellence in Music Performance Education was proposed by the Norwegian Academy of Music (NAM). The declared aim of the centre is to educate excellent music performers in a rapidly changing globalised music community. This will be achieved through enhancing music performance teaching, enhancing the quality of the students’ instrumental practice and preparing the students for proactive participation in the music community. These three objectives will be met through seven discrete research projects, involving students and teachers and utilising different methodologies.
Strengths and weaknesses
This was an excellently written proposal which was ranked first at the shortlisting stage. The site visit confirmed and strengthened this status. Existing excellence was clearly evidenced. The centre is meeting important needs in the music community identified by students, teachers and stakeholders during the site visit. The Norwegian Academy is already preeminent for its research and development relating to pedagogy. The artistic research done in NAM is impressive. CEMPE hence has a strong R&D base already in place. The students were strong ambassadors of NAM and clearly thought that the goal of the centre would greatly improve their already excellent education. The centre has ambitious plans and commitment at all levels in the organization and from stakeholders. The commitment of the institution’s managers and leaders is impressive.
The institution is going through a generation shift, and this centre is a part of the future for NAM and will encourage a culture change in an excellent way. Given the nature of the centre, and its proposed activities, it will affect the whole institution. The proposed governance and management structures for the Centre appear to be sound. The skills of the members of the leadership group complement each other well.
It became clear during the site visit that NAM as a music institution affects the music community throughout the whole of Norway. However, as the students pointed out, there is scope for greater collaboration with the other institutions in Norway providing music education. The stakeholders of the centre are very interested in the centre’s development and would like to have an important role in the execution and dissemination of the centre. Having already developed bilateral agreement with crucial stakeholders, receiving center status will help to expand these bilateral relationships into important networks. Innovation and creativity in the relationship of stakeholders will make this centre even more excellent. Existing international relations are very strong and these make the centre very likely to have an impact internationally as well as within Norway.
The means of dissemination is solid, although a little traditional. The site visit gave further insight into the strategies for dissemination, compared to the ones in the written bid. Centre management was clear on both internal and external dissemination. Dissemination strategies, implicit in the bid, should be systematized to capitalise on the centre’s strong position nationally, internationally and in its relations to stakeholders. The NOKUT team would like to see even more focus on getting others to utilize the knowledge base created by the centre and contributing to it, in addition to the plans already made.
NAM has presented an excellent foundation for the proposed Centre which has the potential to deliver real value internally, nationally and in international contexts. Existing excellence was clearly evidenced, the Centre has ambitious plans and full commitment at all levels within the institution to give the Panel great confidence that this will be a highly successful Centre. A diverse range of impressive stakeholders are strongly supportive of the proposal. This proposal is of the highest quality and can be a real advantage for Norway in the international music community. The centre is truly excellent, and there is no doubt that CEMPE deserves to be awarded an SFU.