The Department offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees with different specialisations within classical music performance, as well as supplementary studies.
We are well aware of the challenges of the future job market in classical music. Musicians of tomorrow have to be excellent performers, reach different target audiences, develop and lead their own projects, facilitate great music experiences, conduct ensembles and teach.
Therefore, we offer study programmes in performance, mediation, method and music theory and aim at educating performers and music educators who feel at home with many genres.
One of our closest cooperation partners is the Kilden Performing Arts Centre, Norway’s second-largest art and culture institution which also houses the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. Other cooperation partners are the Agder Symphony Orchestra, Kristiansand municipality music school, local wind bands and orchestras and international partners, such as the Music Academy of Lodz, Poland; the Franz Liszt University of Music, Budapest, Hungary; the University of Music, Würzburg, Germany; the Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA; the University of Arts, Tirana, Albania and all Scandinavian Music Colleges.
Through these cooperation partners, the students get a close experience with institutional and performing professions.
Being part of the faculty's PhD-programme, we foster a close relation between research and education with a strong focus on academic and artistic research activities.
Head of Department: Birte Myhrstad
It is an essential goal in our teaching of chamber music at the Department of Classical Music and Music Education to develop and promote the desire, the resources and the abilities to make music together. Furthermore, we want to enable the students to pass this on to their future pupils, students, colleagues, kids or friends.
The chamber music class at the University of Agder (UiA) is an obligatory class for all instrumentalists and singers. Therefore the repertoire and the chamber music groups vary to a huge extent from session to session.
We teach, rehearse and perform the established standard repertoire as well as the repertoire that is very much out of the ordinary.
Students are encouraged to make their own transcriptions of repertoire and to find changing musical partners as well as building long term ensembles.
Numerous highly qualified teachers of our department and invited guest artists (instrumentalists, singers and conductors), will give the students a wide range of perspectives, background information and personal interpretation, to enable them to find their own creative and artistic path as they learn.
Through our cooperation with the Kilden Theater and Concert Hall in Kristiansand, the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, the media department and our partner-institutions abroad, we can offer a variety of venues for supporting our students in collecting experience on stage and in creating their own artistic projects. The Chamber Music Spring Festival (Vårfestspillene) e.g. is a well-established Chamber Music Festival that offers lots of concerts all over the city in informal and formal settings. It is completely organised by the students.
At UiA we nourish an atmosphere of internationality with students and teachers from 34 different nations. We also invite students of other faculties to join us in making music together because we believe that music, and especially chamber music, enables us to listen to each other with open ears and an inviting and embracing attitude.
Our composition teachers offer you a pragmatic approach to composition. You will learn techniques and tools addressing professional situations and challenges, as well as educational and practical purposes. You will learn, for instance, to make arrangements for ensembles, orchestras and wind bands.
Our teachers work closely with the students and the composition education is an integrated part of several of our music degrees and courses.
At the Department of Classical Music and Music Education, you can study a range of plucked string instruments, both historical and modern. We have a range of historical and modern plucked instruments and music, which allows you to experience music history, hands on.
We focus on assisting you to develop your own artistic profile by providing a friendly community in which you can specialise in the music that inspires you. Through our active teaching staff, you will get access to cutting-edge knowledge and perspectives to prepare you for a relevant professional career.
Our teachers are active both as performers and as researchers, and they have won several prizes and scholarships for their work. They are specialists in Early Music, but you can nonetheless study your preferred genre.
At the University of Agder's piano department, we offer an environment in which each student receives proper attention and in which they can grow as musicians.
Our piano teaching staff focuses on supporting the student's development towards a high-level performance career. In an active, friendly and inspiring learning setting, students will be able to participate in frequent concerts, master classes and lectures. They will also be able to acquire advanced skills as accompanists and chamber musicians.
At the Department of Classical Music and Music Education, we have a strong focus on pedagogical activities. All our study programmes emphasise the student's own music performance activities, but mediation and didactics are a centre of attention as well.
We offer education aimed at different arenas within the school- and educational system, as well as in the voluntary work market. It is mostly organised as practical-performance based projects in collaboration with external partners.
Our students also gain relevant knowledge for the educational professions, organised as one-to-one-tuition, group-work, ensemble-activities and lectures for the classroom. Thereby, they will build a solid foundation for pedagogic, educational work related to the arts in general, as well as to music.
In addition to our responsibility for our own degrees in music performance, we are also responsible for the music education in the degrees aimed at kindergarten- and school-education. Several of our teachers and students also participate in collaboration projects between the various fields of studies at the University of Agder.
Our focus is to provide a close relationship between aural training, music history, music theory and music performance.
Because students learn differently, we offer a varied study environment to accommodate the students' individually. This is also reflected through the assignments they will receive.
In aural training, we concentrate on acquiring professionally relevant skills, including sight reading, playing by ear and notating music by ear.
In music history, we offer our students an overview of the music of the Western Classical tradition, which we integrate with various types of practical projects.
You will learn applied music theory through our composition-classes. Read further information given in 'Composition.'
Our study-programmes include musicological training, ranging from Bachelor to PhD-level. Our active researchers offer you a cutting-edge knowledge and important tools. When teaching, we provide varied learning environments and, for those especially interested, we offer the opportunity to be part of one of our research groups.
Regardless if you wish to become a critically thinking and reflected musician, or you wish to go all the way to pursue a PhD, we will tailor the support given to you to fit your needs. Our education is based on research and we offer specialisations in both academic and artistic research practices.
In addition to the musicological training, access to all necessary resources and an academic environment in which you can grow as a researcher, you will get individual supervision to support your writing and research process.
Teachers and supervisors:
The collaboration between teachers and students is central to the string-environment at the University of Agder. The subject area is currently growing and we offer a high-quality study environment that is inclusive and in which we focus on the artistic results and potential of each individual student. The tuition is organised as one-to-one-tutoring and through group-sessions, orchestra- and project-based work.
In developing our students to become competitive musicians we emphasise training directed at work-related auditions, orchestra-related material, solo-repertoire and pedagogic competence for educational work.
Chamber music is important to our approach, which is organised both as department-led projects and as activities arranged by the string department itself. Our students regularly participate in Orkester Nordenand Ungdomssymfonikerne. The University of Agder has its own chamber orchestra.
The string department has a close relationship with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in which most of our string teachers regularly work. Selected students will be offered to participate as musicians in the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra on a regular basis throughout their seasonal-programme. Additionally, we produce annual collaboration projects between the University of Agder and the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra to perform larger symphonic works.
At the voice department, students will benefit from a uniquely designed education at a high artistic level that develops each student’s talent in an individual direction, taking into account each student's standing of vocal development, experience, talent and artistic expression.
What is unique to the voice education at our department is that our teaching staff together teaches each student in an intuitive collaboration. The students can thus enjoy the collected competence and experience of our vocal teaching staff through an educational situation where we work to combine the artistic expression with the body's and mind's natural and skilled resources.
‘Naturality’ serves as the foundation for our pedagogic activities. That is, we focus on the natural elements of singing and how you can learn to trust nature to find and develop your own, personalised technique. This is important for you to pursue a long, healthy career.
Twice each semester, we host a Master Class led by the collected voice teaching staff, focusing on bridging the anatomical ideal with artistic liberty, as well as treating interpretation as a collaboration between mind, body and music. The latter serves to provide space for your own personality and personal development within your own practice. You will, therefore, be able to develop a solid foundation for a music career as a singer in which you can freely move between educational and music performance situations.
The Department of Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Agder has an ongoing collaboration with Kilden Theatre and Concert Hall, which enables our students to participate in concert and opera productions. You will be given the opportunity to develop your profile and audition for the Kilden Vocal Ensemble (KVE), performing both a capella and with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.
With a solid base in music performance, focusing on your own instrumental development using the best of facilities offered by the University of Agder, you can get a strong foundation for working in the musical and cultural life.
The Department of Classical Music and Music Education takes the real labour market for the wind-performers seriously. We both seek to increase your success rate at auditions for further studies and for professional positions in orchestras, and for working as a freelance soloist and chamber musician. We offer you a valuable foundation for teaching activities and for leading and directing wind bands and ensembles. The professional music life — in music performance, teaching, freelance and tenured positions and the voluntary market — increasingly demands musicians to have their own niche. They must also be able to manage performance projects and to contribute to various forms of artistic concepts. It is often expected that musicians can show initiative, and effortlessly take the role as a producer and manager. These are all parts of our Department's wind-teachers' focus and ambition, and they will be covered when you study wind instruments with us.
The collaboration between Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra (KSO) is particularly important for the wind-section at the University of Agder. A number of our teachers work in the KSO. Additionally, music performance Master students also get the opportunity to be part of the orchestra, and we regularly produce orchestral projects benefiting our students.
Our larger instrument-groups are closely associated with leading, international environments, and we offer Master Classes with profiled, international wind performers and teachers. We also put much emphasis on our chamber music activities in both our Bachelor- and Master degrees.
The flute environment at the University of Agder has for several years been the biggest of its kind in Norway. The Norwegian Flute Ensemble has its home base here and it includes both teachers and students. The ensemble regularly performs in the region; they have toured internationally, and have performed concerts during important festivals in Poland, France and the USA. Several composers have composed music dedicated specifically for the ensemble, including Trygve Madsen, Hans Magne Græsvold, Konrad Øhrn and Terje Mathisen. The Norwegian Flute Ensemble has recorded four CDs with original and transcribed work for the flute ensemble.
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