Lars Andersson: Pop Music Education in Sweden - Broadening the Perspective

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Pop music has a strong tradition in Sweden. Succesful pop groups like ABBA and Cardigans have opened up for a strong pop education industry in Sweden. During the 21st century these pioneers has been followed by a number of successful song writer and music producers such as Max Martin and Johan Schuster “Shellback”. The have had great success working with world top artists selling millions of albums. The Swedish music industry revenue is approximately 1 billon Euros with an annual growth of 10-15 %.

Many of the most successful Swedish pop artists have all stated that the music education in Swedish Music schools is a big part of their success. The map of the Swedish pop education chain ranges from music schools to upper secondary level to pre-college and university level. Pop music education is available to children of all ages in Sweden and we educate specially trained teachers that have deep knowledge and skills in pop music from all over the world. The Swedish Music & Culture-schools with students from the age of 9-18 exists in almost all of the municipalities in Sweden (283 out of 290) and they invest  250 000 Euros annually and involve 500 000 Swedish children every week. In Sweden the music education sector has expanded beyond pop education now also including singer-songwriting , music production and digital music making. In higher music education at Universities there are now different genres present such as classical, folk& world, jazz and pop music. The entrance of new genres has also driven the need of new pedagogy and new methods to meet the challenges in musical learning in for example pop music education. We can now see that these  new methods serves as an inspiration and drives enhancement of all genres. Still every genre has it´s own special artistic output but there are generic competences that now are being shared among colleagues at all levels of the musical “food chain”.

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