Rethinking Music Practise-Sessions beyond Poiesis and Praxis

Towards Practising Democracy


  • Robin Rolfhamre University of Agder
  • Inga Marie Nesmann-Aas University of Agder



music performance, pedagogy, phronesis, learning, practising


How can the (seemingly isolated) process of practising a musical instrument in the context of practice sessions be seen as enabling students to develop skills “that are needed to keep democracies alive’ (Nussbaum, 2010, p. 2). How can we encourage this further? The approach is to explore the various potentials of the practise session to be something more than mere training. An exploration that can be instrumentally fostered in a study environment (formal or informal) through a practical pedagogical approach, not to reach a specific end — i.e. defined learning outcomes — but to result in the student transcending the professional competence acquisition situation to gain wisdom for a broader perspective. What is more, in the present article we will focus on the more autonomous aspects of the every-day, informal practice session of developing musicians and bring in perspectives from philosophy, particularly focusing on the relation between state policies and the individual performer. First, we explore the practise session-case as an aesthetic event. Secondly, we address the individual within the situation in relation to the exterior world while proposing an approach to serve as a framework for further exploration. We apply interaction through social media as a case for this section of the article. Thirdly, we seek to further develop the practice-session as a potential activity for personal growth. Next, we make a note of the related context of ensemble practice. Finally, we propose a logbook exercise to strategically enable this growth-process in practice.