• Anu Sepp University of Helsinki (FI)
  • Lenita Hietanen University of Lapland (FI)
  • Jukka Enbuska University of Lapland (FI)
  • Vesa Tuisku University of Lapland (FI)
  • Inkeri Ruokonen University of Helsinki (FI)
  • Heikki Ruismäki University of Helsinki (FI)



self-efficacy, music education, primary school teacher education in Finland, piano accompaniment


In Finland, music subject is part of National Core Curriculum and in the primary school stage (grades 1-6) usually taught by primary school teachers. To assure instruction of music education on a highly professional level, pre-service teachers are taught piano course as part of music didactics.

This article reports findings of the pilot study carried out as part of ArcTop research project between University of Lapland and University of Helsinki to develop and improve primary school teacher education in both institutions. Students' expectations and reflections are  examined through the lens of self-efficacy theory by Bandura (1977, 1986, 1997).

The data were collected using an open-ended questionnaire to find out students experiences in piano playing and music reading as well as their self-reflections about the learning process. The answers (n = 97) were processed statistically and analysed using qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that  most of the participants (n = 64) were inexperienced in piano playing. At the same time they were highly motivated and eager to learn and practice. The students also mentioned the lack of  elementary music literacy knowledge and the insufficient number of contact lessons which give grounds for making further arrangements in the curriculum.



Download data is not yet available.


ACESE. (2009). Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe 2009. European Commission. Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency (EACEA P9 Eurydice). Brussels. Retrieved from

Anttila, M. (2010). Problems with school music in Finland. British Journal of Music Education, 27(3), 241-253.

Artino, A. R. Jr. (2012). Academic self-efficacy: from educational theory to institutional practice. Perspectives on Medical Education, vol 1, issue 2, 76–85.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Rewiew, 84(2), 191–215.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

Bandura, A. (2006). Adolescent development from an agentic perspective. In Pajares, F., & T Urdan, T. (Eds.) Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents, vol. 5, 1–43. Greenwich: Information Age Publishing

Biasutti, M. (2015). Confidence development in non-music specialist trainee primary teachers after an intensive programme. British Journal of Music Education, 32(2), 143-161.

Cavanagh, S. (1997). Content analysis: concepts, methods and applications. Nurse Researcher, 4(3), 5-16.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education. London: Routledge.

de Vries, P. (2013). Generalist Teachers' Self-Efficacy in Primary School Music Teaching. Music Education Research, 15(4), 375-391.

de Vries, P. (2017). Self-efficacy and music teaching: Five narratives. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(4). Retirieved from

Elliott, J. D. (1995). Music Matters. A Philosophy of Music Education. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elliott, J.D., & Silvermann, M. (2015). Music Matters. A New Philosophy of Music Education. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Enbuska, J., Rimppi, A., Hietanen, L., Tuisku, V., Ruokonen, I., & Ruismäki, H. (2018). E-learning Environments, Opportunities and Challenges in Teaching and Learning to Play the Piano in Student Teacher Education. The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences , vol 21 , no. 3, 226, 2562-2569.

Garvis, S. (2013). Beginning generalis teacher self-efficacy for music compared with maths and English. British Journal of Music Education, 30(1), 85- 101.

Hallam, S., Burnard, P., Robertson, A., Saleh, C., Davies, V., Rogers, L., & Kokatsaki, D. (2009). Trainee Primary-School Teachers’ Perceptions of their Effectiveness in Teaching Music. Music Education Research, 11 (2), 221-240.

Hendricks, K.S. (2016). The Sources of Self-Efficacy: Educational Research and Implications for Music. Update, 35 (1), 32 - 38. National Association for Music Education

Hennessy, S. (2000). Overcoming the red-feeling: The development of confidence to teach music in primary school amongst student teachers. British Journal of Music Education, 17(2), 183–196.

Hennessy, S. (2017). Approaches to increasing the competence and confidence of student teachers to teach music in primary schools. Education 3-13, 45(6), 689-700.

Hsieh, H., & Shannon, S. (2005). Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

Hietanen, L., & Ruismäki, H. (2017). The Use of a Blended Learning Environment by Primary School Student Teachers to Study Music Theory. The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, vol 19, no. 2, 212, 2393-2404.

Hietanen, L., Koiranen, M., & Ruismäki H. (2017). Enhancing Primary School Student Teachers’ Psychological Ownership in Teaching Music. In: Olckers C., van Zyl L., & van der Vaart L. (Eds.) Theoretical Orientations and Practical Applications of Psychological Ownership (pp. 229 - 248). Cham: Springer.

Holden, H., & Button, S. (2006). The Teaching of Music in the Primary School by the Non-Music Specialist. British Journal of Music Education, 23 (1), 23-38.

Juntunen, M.-L. (2017) National assessment meets teacher autonomy: national assessment of learning outcomes in music in Finnish basic education. Music Education Research, 19:1,1-16. Retrieved from:

Juvonen, A., & Anttila, M. (2003). Kohti kolmannen vuosituhannen musiikkikasvatusta, osa 2 . Näkökulmia musiikkikasvattajien koulutukseen Suomessa ja Virossa. [Towards the music education of the third millennium—views on music teachers’ training in Finland and Estonia]. Joensuu: Joensuu University Press.

Kaplan, A. (1973). The Conduct of Inquiry. Aylesbury: Intertext Books.

Laitinen, S., Hilmola, A., & Juntunen, M.-L. (2011). Perusopetuksen musiikin, kuvataiteen ja käsityön oppimistulosten arviointi 9. vuosiluokalla [Assessment of the Learning Outcome in Music, Visual Arts, and Craft Education in the 9th Grade of Basic Education]. Follow-up Report of Education 2011:1, 36–95. Helsinki: Finnish National Board of Education.

Mayer, R.E. (2008). Motivation based on self-efficacy. In Mayer, R.E. (Ed.) Learning and Instruction ( pp. 504 - 510). Boston: Pearson.

Morris, J., Lummis,G., McKinnon, D., & Heyworth, J. (2017) Measuring preservice teacher self-efficacy in music and visual arts: Validation of an amended science teacher efficacy belief instrument. Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, 1-11.

Multon, K. D., Brown, S. D., & Lent, R. W. (1991). Relation of self-efficacy beliefs to academic outcomes: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38, 30-38.

Mäkinen, M., & Juvonen, A. (2017). Can I Survive This? Future class teachers expectations, hopes and fears towards music teaching. Problems in Music Pedagogy, 16 (1), 49-61.

NCCBE (2014). National Core Curriculum for Basic Education. Opetushallitus. [National Board of Education]. Helsinki: Next Print Oy

Niemi, H., Toom, A., & Kallioniemi, A. (2012). Miracle of Education: The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Pajares, F., & Urdan, T. (2005). Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents. Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age Publishing.

Pajares, F., & Schunk, D. (2001). Self-beliefs and school success: Self-efficacy, self-concept, and school achievement. In Riding, R., & Rayner, S. (Eds.), Perception (pp. 239-266). London: Ablex Publishing.

Partanen, P., Juvonen, A., & Ruismäki, H. 2009. Finnish music education- structure and line. In H. Ruismäki, H., & Ruokonen, I. (Eds.) Arts-Contact Points Between Cultures. 1st International Journal of Intercultural Arts Education Conference: Post-Conference Book (pp.15-26). University of Helsinki. Research Report 312.

Puurula, A. (1992). Ei koulua vaan elämää varten. [Not for school, but for life]. Ajatuksia taide- ja taitokasvatuksen asemasta koulussa. [Ideas about arts’ education at school]. Tutkimuksia 103. Opettajankoulutuslaitos, Helsingin yliopisto.

Reinikainen, P. (2012). The Amazing PISA Results in Finnish Schools. In: Niemi, H., Toom, A., & Kallioniemi, A. (Eds.), The Miracle of Education: The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools (pp. 3 – 18). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Ruokonen, I., & Muldma, M. (2007). What music means to me: Estonian and Finnish eighth-grade pupils’ opinions on music. In: Pipere, A. (Ed.) Education and sustainable development: first steps toward changes (pp. 175–190). Daugavpils: Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium, Institute of Sustainable Education, Daugavpils University.

Ruokonen, I., Enbuska, J., Hietanen, L., Tuisku, V., Rimppi, A., & Ruismäki, H. (2017). Finnish student teachers’ self-assessments of music study in a blended learning environment. The Finnish Journal of Music Education, Vol 20, No. 2, 30-39.

Russell-Bowie, D. (2009). ‘What me? Teach music to my primary class?’ Challenges to teachingmusic in primary schools in five countries. Music Education Research, 11(1), 23–36.

Saarelainen, J., & Juvonen, A. (2017). Competence Requirements in Finnish Curriculum for Primary school Music education. Problems in Music Pedagogy, 16(1), 7-19.

Sahlberg, P. (2011). Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland? New York: Teachers College Press.

Schunk D. H., & Pajares F. (2009). Self-efficacy theory. In: Wentzel, K., & Wigfield, A (Eds.) Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 35–53). New York, NY: Routledge.

Sepp, A., Ruokonen, I., & Ruismäki, H. (2010). Comparing Some Aspects of Estonian and Finnish Music Educational Systems and Curriculum. In: Ruokonen, I. & Ruismäki, H. (Eds.) Rights of the Child to the Arts, Culture and Creativity; 2nd International Journal of Intercultural Arts, Education Conference (pp. 3–22). Helsinki: Helsinki University.

Swanwick, K. (1992). Music Education and the National Curriculum. London: The Tufnell Press.

Tereska, T. (2003). Peruskoulun luokanopettajiksi opiskelevien musiikillinen minäkäsitys ja siihen yhteydessä olevia tekijöitä. [Class teacher trainees’ musical identity and connected issues]. Tutkimuksia 243. Opettajankoulutuslaitos, Helsingin yliopisto.

Tossavainen, T., & Juvonen, A. (2015). Finnish Primary and Secondary School Students' Interest in Music and Mathematics Relating to Enjoyment of the Subject and Perception of the Importance and Usefulness of the Subject. Research Studies in Music Education, 37(1), 107-121.

Tuisku, V., & Ruokonen, I. (2017). Toward a Blended Learning Model of Teaching Guitar as Part of Primary Teacher Training Curriculum. The European Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences, EJSBS Volume XX, no. 3 , 222 , 2520-2537 .

Valtioneuvoston asetus 422/2012, Suomen Säädöskokoelma. (2012). [Government Decree, Finland's Regulatory Collection]. Helsinki: Oikeusministeriö, Edita Prima Oy / Edita Publishing Oy.

Vesioja, T. (2006). Luokanopettaja musiikkikasvattajana. [Class Teacher as Music Educator]. Kasvatustieteellisiä julkaisuja n:o 113. Savonlinnan opettajankoulutuslaitos, Joensuun yliopisto.

Wiggins, R. A., & Wiggins, J. (2008). Primary music education in the absence of specialists. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 9(12), 2–25. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Sepp, A., Hietanen, L., Enbuska, J., Tuisku, V., Ruokonen, I., & Ruismäki, H. (2018). STUDENTS’ EXPECTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS ABOUT PIANO COURSES IN FINNISH PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER EDUCATION. SOCIETY. INTEGRATION. EDUCATION. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, 1, 501-512.