Project Articles

Nordplus Higher Education

NordPULS: A Nordic network for rhythmic music

05 February 2014
AUTHOR: Jöns Ahlén
collaborating countries: Denmark, Estonia, Filand, Lithuania, Sweden

There are few things that cross boundaries as easily as music, making it a perfect starting point for international cooperation and exchange. The Royal College of Music in Stockholm is the founder of and coordinator for the NordPULS network – a cooperation in rock, pop and jazz – involving 27 music colleges in the Nordic region and the Baltic States.

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The NordPULS network is a cooperation in rhythmic music involving 27 colleges of music in the Nordic region and the Baltic States. Photo: iStock

The cooperation means that the teachers can meet regularly to exchange knowledge, ideas and skills. For the teachers, who often are specialized in particular instruments and types of music, it’s invaluable to be able to meet colleagues from other countries.

“When a teacher who is a specialist, such as a teacher of the electric guitar, has the opportunity to meet others with the same focus from around the Nordic region, then what we call a critical mass occurs.

It is through the physical meeting that the project comes to life. Otherwise it is just a theoretical idea that comes from those higher up”, says Johan Falk, international coordinator.

An international Master’s degree

At the Royal College of Music, the cooperation has resulted in the creation of a new degree programme: Nomazz – Nordic Master’s degree in jazz. It is run in partnership between the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Århus and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and is designed so that all the students travel as a group, studying one semester at each university. In the final semester, the students return to their home university to do their degree project.

An intensive, five-day course called “Nomazz Meets the Baltics” is on offer in 2011-2013, with students from the joint Master’s programme and selected students from the Baltic States.

It has been a unique opportunity for students and teachers, with their varying backgrounds and styles, to mix and link together their knowledge; an excellent opportunity for mutual inspiration and fantastic creativity.