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Musical learning in a cross-cultural setting: a case study of Gambian and Swedish adolescents in interaction

  • Annette Mars
  • Eva Saether
  • Göran Folkestad
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 296-311
Publication/Series: Music Education Research
Volume: 17
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Routledge

Abstract english

This article presents a study investigating how adolescents from Sweden and the Gambia learned music while interacting with each other in a concert project conducted in the Gambia. The main aim is to explore in what ways adolescents acquire music and to analyse it in a context of cultural identity. A sociocultural and ethnomusicological approach was employed, drawing on field studies and interviews with the adolescents. The results demonstrate that the students' musical and cultural backgrounds strongly influence the ways in which they learn and how they teach others. Their cultural backgrounds also affect their choice of tools for learning and teaching. The adolescents appear to be more inclined to change their ways of teaching others than to change the methods of their own musical learning. The results suggest that teachers ought not to always use the same methods in teaching their students as they experienced when learning themselves, and that teachers need an ability to identify the learning styles of their students and to create a learning environment that corresponds to this variety.


  • Music
  • music
  • cross-cultural
  • Gambia
  • learning


  • ISSN: 1469-9893
Eva Sæther
E-mail: eva [dot] saether [at] mhm [dot] lu [dot] se


Educational Sciences

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