Between bird and frog

Instructional videos as teaching media for music instructors

By associate professor Torben Westergaard


Historically, music instruction, as it is found at music and cultural schools and conservatories, has often been organized as apprenticeships, wherein teachers transmit their experience through music. In extension of this, this project’s thesis is that general education includes a range of subjects that are useful for music instructors to understand more systematically.

This project is intended to convey specific aspects of general educational knowledge through instructional videos, which are considered an effective means of conveying specialized knowledge. This knowledge will supplement music teachers’ practice-based skills, and inspire their teaching practices. In other words, its purpose is to develop the connection between a birds-eye view (overview and meta-understanding) and a “frog’s-eye” view (the actual educational setting) of teaching.


  • Inclusion of literature that about adult learning, research into motivation in music instruction, and research concerning the appropriate design of instructional videos.
  • Production of an array of ‘dummies’ that feature general educational subjects from a music-instruction angle, and feedback gathered from professional peers
  • Surveys of teachers at three music and cultural schools, and interviews with the directors of these schools, regarding their expectations of future instructors


Production of three English-subtitled instructional videos about the didactic relationship model, the didactic triangle, and the concept of transfer in music education. These instructional videos could contribute to the development of a common, emergent pedagogic language among music instructors, and are available on The Royal Academy of Music’s YouTube channel.

Watch Torben’s video on the didactic relationship model

See Torben’s poster RAMA’s research seminar, 2023 (click to open)