Innovations in Higher Education

It is exciting to be developing a new international PhD course for the 2024 Bergen Summer Research School on the topic of Innovations in Higher Education.

Our group of PhD students will meet in Bergen to examine specific ways that colleges and universities across the world are evolving to better meet the needs of a changing society, with particular attention to the new opportunities created through innovations in teaching, research, outreach, and governance.

More information will be posted here and on the BSRS website in the coming months.


Japanese Studies in Bergen

There will soon be a symposium that helps to more firmly establish Japanese Studies as an academic field in Bergen, Norway:

日本研究修士プログラム設立記念シンポジウム Symposium to Celebrate the Launch of the University of Bergen's MA in Japanese Studies

I look forward to participating and presenting a paper called “Myths and Realities of Music Learning in Japanese Schools.”

Below is a link with detailed schedule for this event, 14-15 September 2023:


[Above is a photo I took this summer of the Japanese garden at the Seattle Arboretum]


Summer 2023

It was a pleasure to participate in various professional activities during part of this summer, and also to have an enjoyable vacation with family in the Seattle area.

I was happy to find that many PhD students developed excellent final papers as the third cohort of our course PhD911 Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy, which has already led to publication of the book Comparative and Decolonial Studies in Philosophy of Education (developed from the first and second cohorts) and will likely produce more publications in the coming years. Click HERE to access a review of our book in the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory.   

I enjoyed giving some guest lectures for various universities in China, including the Education University of Hong Kong (on AI and Artistic Creativity in Higher Education), Beijing Language and Culture University (on World Music Performance), and for law students at China University of Political Science and Law (on International Arts Policy). We also had quite productive meetings in Hong Kong for further planning and expansion of the Global Competence Partnership.

Later, I had a nice meeting with mentor and doctoral supervisor Patricia Shehan Campbell in Seattle, who has recently retired but remains quite active in teaching, research, and projects.

Publications have also been proceeding well. Our monograph on intercultural music collaboration is nearly published, Shared Listenings: Methods for Transcultural Musicianship and Research (Cambridge University Press). The complete manuscript of Volume IV of our series Deep Soundings: The Lexington Series in Historical Ethnomusicology (an ethnomusicological study of European composer Scharwenka) has been reviewed and is now in revision.

The Board meeting of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) in Helsinki was quite successful, with great collaboration as we prepared for the ISME 2024 World Conference in Finland. As Chair of ISME's History Standing Committee, my focus at this meeting was in three areas: ways of strengthening historical research in this field globally, supporting development of a more robust international history of the organization, and improving all publications associated with ISME. I gave two papers and chaired a session at the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research (APSMER) in Seoul, Korea, where there were many impressive presentations.

Finally, I met a colleague in Singapore, Chee Hoo Lum, for further development of a publication project before returning to Europe. Unfortunately, I caught Covid at some point on my way back to Norway, and had to rest recently, causing missed deadlines for some promising new projects. Quite frustrating, but hopefully I can fully recover soon and it will work out next time!

A few photos from summer activities are posted here:


New Contributions in Historical Ethnomusicology

We are soon receiving a complete draft of Volume IV for our book series Deep Soundings: The Lexington Series in Historical Ethnomusicology. It will be one of the few books to offer an ethnomusicological perspective on a European composer, in this case Xaver Scharwenka, and is written by Dr. Mikolaj Rykowski, vice rector with the Paderewsky Academy of Music in Poznan, Poland. This book promises to advance the field of historical ethnomusicology with new insights into sociocultural and historical aspects of European art music, enriched through application of glocalization theory. Two additional volumes are already under contract with this series, and we expect several more over the coming years. 

It was also quite exciting last week to see the emergence of a brilliant new scholar in the fields of folk music and historical ethnomusicology, Dr. Laura Ellestad, who gave an impressive performance throughout her trial lecture and doctoral defense at the Norwegian Academy of Music, in Oslo. Dr. Ellestad’s dissertation sheds new light on historical Norwegian-American music traditions in the upper-Midwest region of the United States. She is also highly accomplished as a fiddler in Norwegian folk music genres, and has become the very first scholar in the academy’s folk music programs to successfully complete a PhD degree. Ellestad's dissertation is now available as a free download


MOU and Global Competence Partnership Established

This week we formally established cooperation at the doctoral and postgraduate levels between universities in Norway and Hong Kong. 

This was through both signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and the holding of our inaugural joint doctoral symposium. I am grateful for the support of our rektor Gunnar Yttri, vice dean Vegard Fusche Moe and the vice president and dean of the Hong Kong institution, Prof. Sing Kai Lo. 

Koji Matsunobu, a highly accomplished scholar who I have known for many years, is the main partner for this project on the Hong Kong side. 

Click HERE for the project website.

Click HERE for the symposium program.


New Demo Recording: Sympathetic Resonance Trio

UPDATE (Summer 2023): Click HERE to access entire demo album with original song arrangements. 

The Sympathetic Resonance Trio is now making its second demo recording. The latest repertoire includes songs from an unusually diverse array of genres: a local Norwegian boating song, a romantic Russian art song (by Glinka), a timeless Bob Dylan tune, a ritualistic piece by a Sami songwriter, a jazz standard waltz-ballad, and a Ukrainian folk song. 

In addition to singing and playing trumpet with this group, recently I have been developing technique on the cajon, a versatile percussion instrument from South America that helps to add some additional depth to the trio’s sound.

Our first demo recording was made about 9 months ago, so we now have plenty of material for a full 2-hour set and a full album. 

Below is a sneak preview of one of these songs, a duet performance of Glinka’s art song (with powerful lyrics by Pushkin), “Ja pomnju chudnoe mgnovenie”: 

Painting: Karl Briullov’s “A Dream of a Girl Before Sunrise”

Doctorate on Norwegian-American Music

I look forward to serving as the first Opponent (external examiner) at the end of May for a PhD defense at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.



Laura Ellestad has produced a very interesting dissertation in the field of historical ethnomusicology on Norwegian-American fiddling traditions. It is a quite interesting study, and I hope there will be an enthusiastic audience at both her trial lecture and doctoral defense. 

This will be my first time to take part in a doctoral defense at the Norwegian Academy of Music. I have previously participated in doctoral disputations at two of the other major Nordic music academies: Malmo Academy of Music (Lund University) and Sibelius Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki), but each institution has slightly different procedures.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Midt.jpg