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Kaarina Marjanen

University Lecturer, senior lecturer, music education
Tampere University
phone number+358469206574
City Centre Campus

About me

Dr. Kaarina Marjanen is a specialist of early childhood music education, with music and language integration and behavior, and artistic learning in a dialogue with wellbeing. Her education and professional qualifications include those of a kindergarten teacher (1980), an early childhood music teacher (1995), and a one subject music teacher (Master of Arts, 1999). Kaarina is also a Licentiate of Philosophy (2005) and a Doctor of Philosophy (2009). She is a member of EAPRIL, SIG Prime, CREAT, ISME, ECME, CCE Finland, and Teosto/NCB Finland. 


Currently Kaarina Marjanen works as a senior university lecturer at Tampere University, Finland (3.8.2020 -). 

Kaarina Marjanen works also as an associate professor (music education, especially early childhood music education) at the University of Jyväskylä.

Fields of expertise

Her working life career includes experiences in many Finnish universities, with international collaboration, focused on professional education development. Development of a model called “Multisensory Musical Design (MMD)” has been Kaarina’s latest interest. Her approach to musical integration derives from learning processes, with multimodal sense-based connections, emotions and transversal nature, as a ground for arts-integration. Presently Kaarina is constructing research approaches within her networks, to defense the status of music in Western societies, as a tool for higher education, to gain evidence of power of music in learning and education, as defined in early childhood. 

Top achievements

As a part of the European Music Portfolio, and also prior to that Kaarina was interested in music pedagogues, and especially the meanings of early childhood music pedagogues for latter teaching and learning, as a ground comprehension adaptable for various purposes. She has been observing music in various professional training programs, and as a bridge between various training programs, to serve the best of the culture and humanities.   

The deepening experiences of a creativity project for early childhood and primary school teachers in India (2014), and various education export and collaboration projects, besides the EMP-L, such as the Peers, have supported her steps towards the current multi-scientific and arts-integrated direction, starting from education fostered by music, and learning musically. As a member of the International Society of Music Education (ISME), Kaarina was responsible of theme "Cross Curriculate and Integrated Music Practices" at ISME 2020 scientific committee. Her learning-focused interests have been strengthened via the active participation at EAPRIL, and the founding of Cloud 9, “Sounds & Arts in Transversal Learning”, together with her colleagues Markus Cslovjecsek and Hubert Gruber in 2016. Currently, Kaarina leads the cloud with Dr. Hubert Gruber from Austria.

Mission statement

Strentghening the position of the arts, from musical comprehension, in human cultures and societies.

Research topics

Kaarina’s licentiate (2005) target was the degree program for early childhood music teacher / music pedagogue (UAS), and the success of the training to respond to the needs of the working life. According to the results, it was pointed out that the level of training was very high when looking at the positions for those teachers to work among, and their working circumstances, expectations and the holistic framework of the work. The training program has of course changed after 2005, among other music educational changes. It would be important and interesting, however, to observe the possibilities to adopt the qualification and training for the best interests and benefiting of general early childhood education, and to derive towards the targets to strengthen early childhood music education among day care.

At her doctorate (2009) Kaarina Marjanen focused in musical interaction, with investigations of the connections of pre- and postnatal music education with early mother-child interaction. According to the results, especially the impact of prenatal musical experiences for the postnatal interaction behavior turned out to be of a great significance, and lead Kaarina to continue towards many kinds of new doors. She then investigated 8-12-year-olds experiences of wellbeing as a postdoctoral researcher (Marjanen & Poikolainen 2012), and the connections of music and languages (The European Music Portfolio – A Creative Way into Languages, EMP-L 2009-2012), and the Carnival of the Animals -research (2013 and onwards), connecting with transversal learning and professional development through music, musical and music-integrated learning, and music and arts in early childhood teacher training (these all from 2013 on). 


Research unit


Research fields

  • Music as interaction 
  • Music in transversal, phenomena-based learning 
  • Music in wellbeing experiences
  • Music in professional development
  • Qualitative triangulation research, soft human approaches

Selected publications

Marjanen, K. Submitted. Multisensory Musical Design (MMD): Views for Music as a Phenomenal Framework for Human, Phenomena-based Education. The International Journal of Arts Education. ISSN: 2326-6944 (Print); ISSN 2327-0306 (Online).

Marjanen, K., Gruber, H., & Chatelain, S. (2020). Music Integration through Faces, Spaces and Timelines for Virtual and Face-to-face Encounters to Learn. International Journal of Music Science, Technology and Art, 2/1, 17-34. Retrievable 

Marjanen, K., Gruber, H., Cslovjecsek, M., & Chatelain, S. (2020). Sounds and Arts in Transversal Learning: Dialogic Spaces for Virtual and Real Encounters in Time. In M. Della Ventura (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on New Music Concepts Inspired Education and New Computer Science Generation. Revised selected papers . (Vol. 7, pp. 167-185). Treviso, Italie: Accademia Musicale Studio Musica. Retrievable  

Marjanen, K. (2020). Musiikki-integraatio opetuksen ja opettajakoulutuksen haasteena. Näkemyksiä krjasta Cslovjecsek, M. & Zulauf, M. 2018. Integrated Music Education. Challeges of Teaching and Teacher Training. Mousikae Padeia. Music and Education Vol 1. Bern: Peter Lang (418 pages). Finnish Journal of Music Education FJME (2019, 22 (1&2), pp. 152-163.) Retrievable 

Marjanen, K. & Juntunen, M-L.: Tenkku, Liisa. Kansallisbiografia-verkkojulkaisu. Studia Biographica 4. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 1997– (viitattu 3.10.2020). Julkaisun pysyvä tunniste URN:NBN:fi-fe20051410; artikkelin pysyvä tunniste (ISSN 1799-4349, verkkojulkaisu) 

Marjanen, K & Cslovjecsek, M. 2017. The Carnival of the Animals (COA) - iPad app as a tool for the students’ professional growth via practice oriented research on culture-based interaction. EAPRIL 2016 Proceedings, 338-354. SSN 2406 -4653. Accessible  

Marjanen, K. 2016. The Carnival of the Animals – an iPad App to Support Interaction. R&M Source. Special Issue #5, September 2016, Pädagogishe Hochschule NiederÖsterreich. ISSN: 2313-1640. Accessible

Marjanen, K. 2016. The European Music Portfolio. Music Pedagogues as a Support for Language Learning. In Hellenic Journal of Music, Education, and Culture, Vol. 7, Nro 1, Article 2. ISSN 1792-2518. Accessible   

Marjanen, K. 2015. Towards the understanding of Sound Education – Music Education, Language Education and Well-Being. CFMAE The Changing Face of Music and Art Education- Interdisciplinary Journal for Music and Art Pedagogy. ISSN 2228-0715/ ISSN 2228-0723 (Online, pdf) Accessible 

Marjanen, K. 2014. Reaching Out to the Positive Equilibrium of Children through Music. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 112, 1037 - 1045. Accessible 

Marjanen, K. & Cslovjecsek, M. 2014. Transversal Learning through Music in the Teaching Profession. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 112, 1046-1055. Accessible

Marjanen, K. 2012. Pre- and Postnatal Music Education for Early Mother-Child Interaction. Nordic Research in Music Education 2012 2, 269-279. Accessible 

Marjanen, K. 2009. Musiikkisuunnittelu varhaisiän musiikkikasvatuksen näkökulmasta. In: Louhivuori, J., Paananen, P., Väkevä, L. (Eds.), Musiikkikasvatus: Näkökulmia kasvatukseen, opetukseen ja tutkimukseen, 385-405. Accessible   

Marjanen, K., Ludke, K. & Weinmann, H. 2012. Eurooppalainen musiikkiportfolio. Luova tie kieliin. Opettajan opas: Teoriaa, ideoita ja käytänteitä opetustyöhön musiikin ja kielen yhteyksiin perustuen. Comenius Lifelong Learning Project 502895 LLP-1-2009-1-DE-COMENIUS-CMP.