Special Music Centre Resonaari (Helsinki, Finland) has a music school for people with special needs. Music school offers instrument and band lessons and has over 250 pupils. All of them have one or two music lessons per week. Resonaari is following the Finnish National Curriculum for music schools and has an official music school status in Finland. Special Music Centre Resonaari has a music school for disabled people, but also does research and development work, produces material, organizes courses and complementary education and keeps up a network for professionals, associations, polytechnics and universities in Finland and abroad.

Workshop: Inclusive approaches to music teaching

In this workshop, different activities (movement, singing, playing and listening) were introduced that enhance inclusive approaches to music teaching and learning. Video examples of teaching situations among people with special educational needs were shared and tested together in practice. Resonaari introduced the Figurenotes system developed in the Resonaari Music Centre. Figurenotes is a notation system based on colors and shapes that enables reading music without earlier knowledge in music theory. Finally, Resonaari’s alternative practices were discussed which may challenge the dominating and conventional practices and principles and thus promote inclusion in music education.

Workshop: Professional musicianship

The Music Centre Resonaari, situated in Helsinki, Finland, has been a pioneer in experimenting inclusive music education practices, based on its pedagogy, policy, and targeted student population, whilst not abandoning the goal-oriented and pedagogical ambitions. For many of its students, Resonaari has been the only music school to grant them access and open up possibilities for goal-oriented music education, and even in some cases striving to attain professional musicianship. In this workshop, the Resonaarigroup was introduced, an outgrowth of Resonaari that promote their students’ possibilities to gain the status of professional musician, which also offers outlooks to new expanded professionalism and democratic musicianship.

About the presenters

Markku Kaikkonen works as a director at Special Music Centre Resonaari. He received his MMus at Sibelius Academy (Helsinki). Mr. Kaikkonen is a guest lecturer in continuing education programs in Finland and abroad and is a co-author/editor of dozens music education books and articles. He si is a commissioner and past-chair in Commission on Special Music Education & Music Therapy of International Society for Music Education.

Tuulikki Laes is a post doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Music Education, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. In her doctoral dissertation (2017) she examined the ‘(im)possibility of inclusion’ in music education through challenging the assumptions of appropriate music education in terms of ‘special’ and ‘regular’ education, (dis)ability, and age. Previously Laes has worked as a music teacher for differently abled students at the Resonaari Music Centre. She has published her work in books and peer-reviewed journals.