NIME8 Conference 2022: Narrative Inquiry in Music Education

We are delighted to invite researchers, scholars, artists, and practitioners from any field engaged with music to participate at the conference Narrative Inquiry in Music Education 14th - 16th June 2022 at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL).

The conference is organized in collaboration with the Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies.

See full program on WHOVA here. You can also see the program for plenary sessions, NIME8 parallels and GRS Summer School further down on the page under "program".


Registration fee

The conference fee is NOK 3500. There is also a meal package for NOK 1500.  Included in the meal package: Lunch and dinner on tuesday and wednesday, and lunch thursday.



Main conference hotels are Grand hotel Terminus and Hotel Zander K (Twin Hotels)

Please approach either of them by email:

In your email, please state that you are a participant at Grieg research school and NIME conference.

There are different hotels in the city centre (we suggest to check and/or There is also a couple hotels between campus and the city centre. Citybox Danmarksplass and Moxy Hotel

Please visit the website here for information about travelling to Bergen. You can also find more information about Bergen on the website. 

Here you can find information about how to get to Campus Kronstad.


Keynote speakers

bilde av  Researcher and  entrepreneur Tuulikki Laes

Researcher and entrepreneur Tuulikki Laes

University of the Arts Helsinki (CERADA) and RockHubs

bilde av Professor Timothy Ingold

Professor Timothy Ingold

University of Aberdeen, Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science

bilde av Dr Ailbhe Kenny

Dr Ailbhe Kenny

Mary Immaculate College, Arts Education & Physical Education

bilde av Professor Elin Eriksen Ødegaard

Professor Elin Eriksen Ødegaard

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 'KINDknow - centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures

bilde av Professor Even Ruud

Professor Even Ruud

University of Oslo, Department of Musicology

Abstract Tuulikki Laes

The transformative possibilities of musical life-course: Rethinking, re-storying, and reclaiming narratives of aging in music education research

As individuals and social groups with marginalized identities have been a primary consideration for contemporary music education research, this keynote addresses how ‘old people’ are one of the most neglected, stereotyped, and critically underdiscussed groups. This erasure is manifested in how the narrative forms available to older individuals are usually severely limited, and are too often focused on the representation of their age over other dynamics of intersectional identities. If music participation does feature in the experiences of older adults, it is frequently narrated in wholly positive and paternalistic terms, without giving voice to their possible uncertainty or discomfort. This uncritical narration of aging in music education perpetuates a number of complex exclusions and impedes the transformative possibilities of musical life-courses. By means of examples drawn from multiple studies, the concept of systems stories is proposed as a tool for connecting narrative inquiry with complex systemic conditions, offering possibilities to challenge these oppressive old-age master narratives when linked with the political, ethical, and societal issues of aging and changing life-courses.

Key Questions

  1. How do we story later life-course in music education research?

  2. What expectations are implied in the dominating narratives of aging and music education?

  3. And how do those master narratives operate intersectionally to shape what or who is voiced or silenced both on systemic and individual levels?

Recommended Reading

  • Laes, T., & Schmidt, P. (2021). Promoting a musical lifecourse towards sustainable ageing: A call for policy congruence. International Journal of Community Music, 14(1), 103-119.


Tuulikki Laes is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Educational Research and Academic Development in the Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. Her current project (2019-2022) focuses on the transformative politics of music education in an aging society. Previously Laes worked in a strategic research project ArtsEqual that examined the arts as public service from a systems perspective. Her research interests include socially engaged forms of music education related to societal challenges such as inequity, ableism, and agism, with a particular focus on higher education and policy perspectives. Laes has worked as a lecturer at the Sibelius Academy with inclusive/special education and adult education as her main expertise areas. She has presented and published her work internationally and served as an invited keynote speaker in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and Germany.

Abstract Timothy Ingold

Sound Walks

Does a falling tree make a sound if no-one is around to hear? It depends on what you mean by sound. If it is a physical impulse, transmitted through the aerial medium, then the answer is ‘yes’; if it is something we register in our minds, then the answer is ‘no’. But must we choose between these alternatives? In this talk, I ask you to picture yourself walking in the forest, during a storm. The sounds of trees falling, wind gusting, and thunder rumbling, are not objects of perception but rather the reverberations of a consciousness that has opened to the sky, to merge with the cosmos. In this sense, sounds are neither mental nor physical but atmospheric. This leads us to think differently about ears, not as anatomical organs primed to respond to acoustic signals, but as the attentiveness of a body placed on aural alert. This aural attention, this hearing, gives voice to the tree, the wind and the thunder. Hearing, thus, doesn’t provide a portal for the human mind to take possession of a world. Rather, it is in taking possession of its human inhabitants that the world makes itself heard. Is this also what happens in storytelling and music-making?

Key Questions

  1. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?

  2. What does it mean to lend our ears to others?

  3. When we speak and sing, are we expressing voices of our own or giving voice to the world?

Recommended Reading

  • Tim Ingold 2015. The Life of Lines. Abingdon: Routledge (especially Part II, 'Weathering').
  • Fabrizio Manco 2010. ‘Ear Bodies, Ear Lines’. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 94: 99–107.
  • Julie Cruikshank 2005. Do Glaciers Listen? Vancouver: UBC Press.


Tim Ingold, FBA, FRSE, is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has carried out fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland, and has written on environment, technology and social organisation in the circumpolar North, on animals in human society, and on human ecology and evolutionary theory. His more recent work explores environmental perception and skilled practice. Ingold’s current interests lie on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. His recent books include The Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines (2007), Being Alive (2011), Making (2013), The Life of Lines (2015), Anthropology and/as Education (2018), Anthropology: Why it Matters (2018), Correspondences (2020) and Imagining For Real (2022).

Abstract Ailbhe Kenny

(Dis)Placing Songs and Stories: Music, Asylum Seeking and Migration

Music can offer alternative narratives and different ways of being that intersect with the multiple transnational and intersectional identities migrants hold. This presentation illuminates the musical identities and learning journeys of children and adults who have lived or are living through asylum seeking systems. The focus here is on how music and migration becomes entangled through narrative practices and performative expression. There are particular insights into researching how people seeking asylum create musical spaces to open up to new forms of identity that resist narrow categorisations, nationalisms, monocultures and fixed geographies. Thus, both the methodological approaches and the discussion represent a deliberate move away from refugee and asylum seeking tropes that rely on narratives of victimhood or passive dependency. Instead, we hear distinct voices - literally, musically and metaphorically- highlighting how migrants are shaping and are being shaped by musical space. Within the discussion, I draw on various research methods of interviewing, observation, informal conversations, broadcasts, videos, music recordings, musical memories, visual artwork, musical compositions and reflective logs. I also explore narratives and cultural expressions as they take new forms in a digital space which demands a reconsideration about what research looks and sounds like. Furthermore, the presentation extends the inquiry to interrogate the role of the researcher as embodied and emplaced. This discussion opens a space to reflect critically on researcher positionality where negotiating, enacting and performing numerous positions cannot be separated from the research itself.

Key Questions

  1. How can we utilise music and sound to greater effect within both data gathering and dissemination strategies?

  2. What are the ethical implications of capturing personal stories and music amongst those seeking asylum?

Recommended Reading

  • Kenny, A. (2021). ‘Body Politics: Positioning the Pregnant Researcher amongst Asylum Seekers’. In Kallio, A.A., Westerlund, H., Karlsen, S., Marsh, K., Saether, E. (Eds.). The Politics of Diversity in Music Education, pp. 29-38. Springer Open,
  • Kenny, A. & Young, K. (2021) ‘The house of the Irish’: African migrant musicians and the creation of diasporic space at night, Ethnomusicology Forum,
  • Kenny, A. (2018) 'Voice of Ireland? Children and music within asylum seeker accommodation', Research Studies in Music Education, 40(2), pp. 211-225,

Abstract Elin Eriksen Ødegaard

The letter to the Duke of Meiningen, written by the German philosopher and educator Friedrich Froebel in 1827, is a powerful autobiography of boyhood and the early experience of life and the educational system. This autobiography describes a long-time commitment to children's play and holistic learning to convince the intended reader of the value of education for very young children. His legacy was play-oriented, and he developed a didactic based on an explorative approach to world knowledge for holistic development and learning. The letter was never completed and probably never sent.

In this keynote, I will pick up this narrative thread and tell you about girlhood in a contemporary Norwegian context and a lifelong commitment to value the voice and world-making of the youngest children in the local educational system. I invite you to join me in wayfaring my narrative inquiry of understanding early childhood education. My expedition will take us to narratives on how cultural formation, play and collaborative exploration were tailored to my research. For example, you will meet an old pioneer of early childhood education in Norway and hear a story of how early childhood professional knowledge valued children and childhood during the second world war. This knowledge was weaved into practices often challenging traditional family fostering. Furthermore, we can disclose failed didactic approaches with holistic approaches and understandings of children's lives and conditions, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic when information was almost exclusively shaped in a manner best suited to ages four and up. Although children might follow the commands of adults about infection control, a didactical order aiming at getting rid of the virus could be received as something alienating and even frightening by children. We could co-explore communication about washing hands by creating a colorful, abstract animated visual language, with stimulating rimes, rhythms, and melodies, and ongoing dialogue with an artist, children 2-4 years and families. I will present you with storied snapshots for the embodied eye and the ear to give attention to the youngest children's meaning and world-making to remind us to value and validate the next generation through our research and education.

Key Questions

  1. How can you recognize critical events in your own life that impact your academic interest and your choices?

  2. How can the youngest children's music and musicality best be studied?

  3. What is your signature in research and education?

Recommended Reading

  • Ødegaard, E. E. (2021). Reimagining "Collaborative Exploration"—A Signature Pedagogy for Sustainability in Early Childhood Education and Care. Sustainability, 13(9).

Abstract Even Ruud

Musical experiences and narratives of identity

The lecture will depart from by book «Music og identitet» (Ruud, 2013) and especially the last chapter «Music – as a metaphor for identity» (p. 253-268). I will discuss challenges in the interpretations of past musical experiences as raw material in the construction of a personal narrative or a musical identity. Issues of memory (rersearch), interpretation and the role of language will be discussed.

Key Questions

  1. Why may music serve as an important source of biographical information?

  2. How does musical identities relate to our personal identities in general?

  3. How does language and metaphor add to our experiences of a «self-in-context?».

Recommended Reading

  • Even Ruud 2013. Musikk og identitet, Universitetsforlaget, p. 253-269
  • Per-Einar Binder (2018). Hvem er jeg? Om å finne og skape identitet. Fagbokforlaget.


Even Ruud is professor emeritus at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Academy of Music. Ruud is trained as a piano teacher, musicologist, music therapist, and certified psychologist. His work emphasizes a multidisciplinary perspective that draws on music psychology, the ethnography of music, music therapy, and music education. He has engaged in theoretical research in music education and music therapy, ethnographic research on rock bands, and qualitative studies on music and identity, as well as on health and life quality in the field of music. Ruud is the author of Music Therapy and its Relationship to Current Treatment Theories, Music Therapy: Improvisation, Communication, and Culture, Music Therapy: A Perspective from the Humanities, and, most recently, Toward a Sociology of Music Therapy: Musicking as a Cultural Immunogen. In Norwegian, he has published a textbook in musicology (Musikkvitenskap) and a study of music and identity (Musikk og identitet).

Call for Proposals

Tales, Myths and Stories:
Exploring Narrative Methodologies in Music Research

[…]When they were well on their way, Askeladden found a dead magpie.
"Look at what I found!" he shouted.
"What did you find?" asked the brothers.
"I found a dead magpie," he said.
"Yuck, throw it away! What do you want that for?" said the two, who always thought they were the wisest.
"Oh, I have things to do, and this will do," said Askeladden.

This is an excerpt from a fairytale every Norwegian is familiar with. The oral tradition of storytelling is strong in the Nordic countries, and stories often take shape as songs inherited and passed down through the generations. Our NIME8 conference aims to bring together researchers from different cultures and backgrounds, carrying their own stories and musics to consider how the web of contemporary artistic and cultural life is enmeshed in storying practices, and to join conversations on narrative thinking and inquiry across a range of contexts, sites and disciplines.

Storytelling is both an extraordinary and everyday practice which includes ancient fairytales and sagas, alongside everyday forms of micro and macro narrative, through which individuals and groups interact, negotiate values, make sense of the past, structure the present and imagine the future.  Quite simply: “people without narratives do not exist” (Polkinghorne). Consequently, NIME8 will focus on narrative forms of research and inquiry whilst contemplating the ways narrative may exist in more-than linguistic forms through its entanglement with music, film, photography, dance and other performative expressions. 

We invite participants to consider narratives about music and musical experiences, alongside how music itself can be understood as a narrative gesture, or the ways artistic work may sublimely address the “unspeakable”.

What kind of narratives emerge when we focus on the places, spaces and environments where music and musical experiences emerge? What stories do musical materials and objects themselves tell us? How does narrative evolve and circulate across digital media platforms? When narratives circulate quickly and become detached from local situatedness, what are the possibilities and risks of appropriation and re-storying across sites, cultures and borders? When post-humanistic and socio-materialist researchers connect their inquiry to issues of sustainable development and social justice, how can such perspectives guide reflection and debate among narrative researchers in and around music?  

Through exploration of themes, NIME8 aims to engage participants in questioning the ways researchers generate, collect, interpret and convey narratives in a complex and conflicting global climate.

Sumission Guidelines - Deadline: December 1st 2021

Considering narrative inquiry as both phenomenon and method, and a holistic approach to engaging with storying and restorying, we invite scholars to contemplate ways to represent narrative scholarship beyond the printed page, such as music, film, photography, and performative pieces. 

  • Please fill in the information required in our abstract submission form, including your abstract of maximum 800 words.
    • Research presentation: Paper presentation of 25 minutes, followed by chaired discussion. 
    • Performance presentation: 25 minutes of self-organized performance
    • Panel Session: Three related papers by different authors addressing a single topic or theme scheduled in one 90-minute session and hosted by a chair.
    • Narrative Gallery: A forum for dialogue about ongoing inquiry or works-in-progress. Communication between gallery presenters and other conference participants will be facilitated and produced as a special program event.
    • Workshop: Practical, participatory and sensory approaches to a theme regarding narrative inquiry, hosted by the presenter(s).
  • Label the submission file as Last Name(s) NIME8 Mode of Presentation Proposal
    (e.g., Schei NIME8 Panel Session Proposal or Holdhus NIME8 Narrative Gallery Proposal). 
  • Submission opens September 1st and closes December 1st 2021, at the NIME8 website. Submissions will be reviewed by the NIME8 Conference Submission Review Committee comprised of international scholars in narrative inquiry, music, the arts, and education.
  • Criteria for acceptance include scholarly use of narrative inquiry as both phenomenon and method, clear theoretical framework, and rigorous narrative analysis related to the theme of the conference.

Note:  NIME8 will comprise of a constituting meeting for NIME as a democratic organisation. It will be possible to attend this meeting online. Link will be provided at the NIME8 website.

  • Conference presenters will be notified by February 1st
    Conference registration and further information on the conference may be obtained from the conference website.
  • Papers related to NIME8 may be considered for publication in Liora Bresler’s (Series Editor) Springer book series entitled, Landscapes: The Arts, Aesthetics, and Education. Chapter proposals of 4000–6000 words (including abstract and references) should be submitted electronically by September 1st, 2021. More information to come.

As conference Co-Chairs, we are looking forward to your interest in NIME8 and receiving your proposal submissions. Please feel free to share this information with colleagues.


Professor Tiri Bergesen Schei and Professor Kari Holdhus
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)


Travel information/accommodations

Please visit the website here for information about travelling to Bergen. You can also find more information about Bergen on the website. 

Here you can find information about how to get to Campus Kronstad.

There are different hotels in the city centre (we suggest to check and/or There is also a couple hotels between campus and the city centre. Citybox Danmarksplass and Moxy Hotel

Attendee fee

The fee of attending the conference is NOK 3500, there is also a meal package fee of NOK 1500, included: Lunch and dinner on tuesday and wednesday, and lunch thursday.


Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports
Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports