The Use of a Blended Learning Environment by Primary School Student Teachers to Study Music Theory

Suvi Lenita Hietanen, Heikki Ruismäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Music education, as part of general education in Finland, includes only a few compulsory courses. Primary school teachers are mainly responsible for music education during the first six school years. One big challenge arises from primary school student teachers’ competences in music and confidence in teaching it. Many student teachers have studied only the compulsory music courses at the schools before their teacher training. However, in Finnish curricula for basic education, music is defined as a many-sided subject. Lecturers (the authors) in the Finnish teacher education system have noticed that, if the student teachers’ knowledge is based only on the compulsory music courses, they find especially music theory difficult to understand. However, understanding the triad, for example, is essential for teachers to be able to instruct pupils in many-sided tasks. The purpose of the present study is to find out how student teachers study the music theory required of music teachers: in the current case, they are studying the triad. The learning environment organized by the main lecturer (one of the authors) is based on the principles of blended learning. Blended learning in the current study means exploiting contact lessons, students’ autonomous or face-to-face learning periods, peer learning, and the e-learning possibilities. The main findings are that most of the students exploited the offered possibilities of the blended learning environment. However, although a blended learning approach offers more flexibility in responding to students’ needs compared to traditional teaching-learning situations, it appears that students do not find each blended element useful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2393-2404
JournalEuropean Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • blended learning
  • student teachers
  • music theory

Field of science

  • General education
  • Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts

Citation for this output