Kunstnarar i barnehagen – estetiske erfaringar av høg kvalitet?

Furholt, A.


The article discusses communication practices related to musical (creative) education in kindergartens in connection with the Norwegian project The Cultural Child Carrier (Den kulturelle bæremeisen). The project will give high-quality artistic impressions and aesthetic experiences to children who are under primary and lower secondary school age, where one of the premises is that the activities will be led by professional artists. The research question is: What special qualities can artists add to the artistic work conducted in kindergartens?


The results show that artists can influence children emotionally through artistic communication, both by being role models and by inspiring and supporting the development of a varied repertoire of forms of artistic expression. However, in the project in question, the role of the artist was reduced to organising and leading the children regarding the sound production. The researcher believes that the compositional project added something extraordinary to the artistic work conducted in the kindergarten, which kindergartens normally do not have the knowledge or capacity to carry out; competence in creative or performing arts is more than just a course and is something that cannot be done at the drop of a hat. In addition, she emphasises that ‘visiting’ artists often have limited knowledge about the children and the context of kindergarten, and therefore do not have the opportunity to map the resources and exploit the potential that may already exist there. When artists simply make a visit, they also have limited time and space to fully highlight and share their own artistic register.  The researcher believes that the ‘artistic meetings’ lose some of their power in that the artists are not present in kindergarten over longer periods of time. However, she also emphasises that one can ask questions about whether kindergarten teacher education qualifies kindergarten teachers to fulfil the artistic educator mandate in a complementary way.


The article is based on a study of a specific composition project in The Cultural Child Carrier that was carried out when the concept started as an artistic pilot project in Bergen Municipality (2006-2009). The municipality itself initiated the investigation in the kindergarten that participated in the test project. The sample consists of seventeen five-year-olds, two kindergarten educators, an assistant, a project coordinator and four professional musicians. Video observations, with both handheld and stationary cameras, as well as conversations with the project coordinator and one of the musicians, were used as the basis for the analysis. Among other things, the musician was asked how he/she understood being a composer in the project, and the extent to which the musicians reflected on and spoke to the children about their experiences during and after the project.  


Furholt, A. (2018). «Kunstnarar i barnehagen – estetiske erfaringar av høg kvalitet?». Nordisk barnehageforskning, 17(6):1-16.

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