One-sided master-apprentice-model should be updated to this millennium

Thinking of Finland in autumn 2013: the Nokia Mobile Phones left, but Sibelius stayed. 

Now it is the moment of public value debate: how much the society want support classical music and its education? The publicity profits of classical music are long-term, but its business logic does not comply with the quarterly economic principles, therefore it is easy to hammer the structures of once called a country of music wonder into rubble. After the value debate there is moment to make decisions on music education and training priorities.


The music scene, not only in Finland, needs a structured co-operation. Helsingin Sanomat editorial writer Paavo Rautio wrote (Helsingin Sanomat 14.9.2013) about spoiling Nokia Mobile Phones, how fine profit and products produced excellent resources operated close working environment was broken down into too small sections. This threat is in the air in music education too. In Nokia, the best forces no longer received support from each other and the small units began to compete with each other, and this led to a duplication of work and no one while suffering of close-blindness saw a whole and the needs of the changed environment. Likewise, the value of a new invention, a touch screen in 2003, was not understood among the Board-Of-Directors.


The change on music learning environment is inevitable. Music education needs an innovative, open, and advanced product development, genuine cooperation between educational institutions and edupreneurs. In the modern music learning "touch screen" refers to the time and place independent global emotion and intelligence appealing networks, learning environments, in which hierarchical structures of traditional learning model are partly disintegrated.


Lately there has been a lively debate on music education in the Finnish media. Riku Niemi's (Helsingin Sanomat 17.9.2013) adored master-apprentice-model should be updated for the new millennium. The model will certainly continue to be the foundation of Susanna Mälkki's (Helsingin Sanomat 8.9.2013) called discipline for study, but it should develop to apply to other collaborative learning methods. As Riku Niemi says himself: "The young musicians of today share the inherent ability to manage a variety of musical traditions." This skill is not necessarily a result of advanced music school education, but the self- study and peer learning, perhaps by listening to Spotify's music offerings and by watching YouTube videos. In the new millennium, learning is no longer tied to one teacher, the place and time.


The Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute's Music Entrepreneurship and Career Center Director Gerald Klickstein declared in his writings that the back to pre-industrial era dated master-apprentice-model is dead. Today horseshoe-forging advices can be found in the Internet in dozens of languages. The master should no longer have years long exclusive right to a student. Instead the student can in addition to his main teacher at the same time have other mentors too. This can be seen as a great opportunity to open new job opportunities for music professionals.

The challenge in music learning is to adapt to the ways and reality of a young people using communication, social media, and the possibilities of new interactive communication technology. Global information networks allow participants to receive feedback such as peer groups. It is a huge chance. 

There are interesting phenomenon's happening in traditional sciences, e.g. MOOC. The humanistic sciences are still remained pretty silent of incorporating new ways in learning. Music education needs new attitude, creative ways of using and distributing already existing content and genuine cooperation between educational institutions and learning platform developing enterprises. 

Pekka Hako
Licentiate of Philosophy and Master of Education
Timo Korhonen
Guitarist, Principal Lecturer at the Turku University of Applied Sciences

Copyright Timo Korhonen 2013

Comments (0)

No comments found!

Write new comment

Copyright Timo Korhonen 2014. Home page slide photos Heikki Tuuli.