Music at Bergen University College

The Music Department, in the Faculty of Education at Bergen University College (Høgskolen i Bergen), is home to the oldest degree-granting music program in Norway, with its “music line” Bachelor degree founded by Ivar Benum. It also offers Norway’s oldest Master program in music teacher education, which is both the largest of its kind in western Norway and the largest arts Master program in Bergen University College’s Faculty of Education. The Music Department is widely known for its innovative scholarship, and according to the “CRIStin” national research audit system, it is Norway’s most productive music teacher education program in terms of research. Various music and music education programs are currently offered at the undergraduate level (including general music studies and courses for music teachers in preschool, elementary and secondary education), in addition to the Master degree in music education.

At Bergen University College, music programs are part of the “Grieg Academy” umbrella, which covers music education-related programs at Bergen University College (Grieg Academy-Faculty of Education) and performance-oriented programs at the Griegakademiet-Institutt for Musikk, now affiliated with nearby University of Bergen. Through the Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies, PhD students both study and teach at Bergen University College, and the Faculty of Education is also currently developing its own PhD program in arts education under the leadership of Professors Thorolf Krüger and Aslaug Nyrnes. For 55 years, the music programs have been located on a hillside in Landås, but in 2014 will move along with the Faculty of Education into newly constructed facilities, centrally-located in Kronstad, just minutes from downtown Bergen. There, the music department will have access to new offices and musical instruments, recording studios, rehearsal facilities, and a concert hall – all a short walk from the bybanen “light rail” train.

Historically, Bergen University College music faculty have played a central role in the popularization of “rhythmic music pedagogy” in Norway, and pioneered Nordic/Baltic music teacher exchange as the coordinating institution of the Nordic Network for Music Education. Internationally-recognized contributions have also been made in such fields as women’s choirs and classical guitar, creative collaborations with drama, and the application of discourse analysis in music education research. Currently, the Bergen University College music faculty have expertise across an array of fields: music education research, popular music pedagogy (“rhythmic music”), phenomenology of voice, music education policy analysis (e.g. “Cultural Rucksack”), ethnomusicology, arts-based research, vocal jazz, guitar performance, contemporary composition, keyboard accompanying, choral conducting, jazz improvisation, preschool/early childhood education, and music education in East Asia. The music programs are closely affiliated with two research centers at Bergen University College: Center for Educational Research, and Center for Arts, Culture and Communication. Bergen University College has recently hosted symposia associated with the Grieg Research School and the Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics (NNIMIPA), and will soon host a conference on Norway’s renowned “Cultural Rucksack” arts program. The research milieu also benefits from faculty leadership in such organizations as the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Historical Ethnomusicology group and the Nordic Association for Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS), and the Music Department coordinates not only the Nordic Network for Music Education, but also the Teacher Education Network (TEN), which features some international music-related activities through its project Mythology, Culture and Identity in the Baltic-Nordic Countries.

More than 1000 qualified music teachers have graduated from Bergen University College, including several prominent musicians and music scholars. Notable alumni include brass band conductor and arranger Tom Brevik, Opera Bergen producer and director Anne Randine Øverby, choral conductor Per Oddvar Hildre, jazz pianist Dag Arnesen, Grieg Music CEO Gisle Johnsen, and several of Norway’s most well-known songwriters and rock musicians, including Odd Norstoga and members of Trang Fødsel and the Kaizers Orchestra. In the field of music research, notable graduates include Associate Professors Tom Eide Osa, Steinar Saetre, Ketil Thorgersen, Catharina Christophersen, and Tiri Bergesen Schei. Bergen University College’s Grieg Academy-Faculty of Education currently has exchange agreements with educational institutions in Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, the UK, Germany, USA, Australia, Greece and Austria, and has plans to develop partnerships with music education programs in East Asia.

List of Music Department Staff

Music Department Leader:
Trine Daviknes

David G. Hebert

Associate Professors (Førsteamanuensis):
Tiri Bergesen Schei
Catharina Christophersen
Jostein Stalheim
Egil Haugland
Njål Vindenes
Stein Bakke
Svanhild Saure Hummelsund

Senior Lecturers (Førstelektor):
Torunn Bakken Hauge
Anne Kristine Wallace Turøy

University College Lecturers (Høgskolelektor):
Aslaug Furholt
Kari Gina Hodneland
Bjørg Solsvik Åvitsland
Trine Daviknes
Rigmor E. Davidsen Titt
Bjørn Tore Hummelsund

Stipended PhD Candidates in Music (Stipendiat):
Silje Valde Onsrud
Tine Grieg Viig
Lecturer in Dance:
Karen Sofie Foss

Professor of Education & Former Vice Dean:
Thorolf Krüger

Former Vice Dean & Arts Center Leader:
Eiliv Olsen

Professor Emeritus:
Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo


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Contact information

  • Address: Landåssvingen 15, N- 5030 Landås, Norway
  • Telephone+47 55 58 75 00
  • Telefax: +47 55 58 58 09

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Updated: 26.03.2013