Sounding Shakespeare: An Interdisciplinary Educational Design Project in English and Music


Shakespeare in Education
Teacher Education
Design-based research
creative processes

How to Cite

Pande-Rolfsen, M., and A.-L. Heide. “Sounding Shakespeare: An Interdisciplinary Educational Design Project in English and Music”. Early Modern Culture Online, Vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 87-04, doi:10.15845/emco.v7i1.2830.


This article outlines Sounding Shakespeare, an interdisciplinary project in Music and English, carried out with student teachers in Norway. The aims of the project are to explore and develop new ways of working with Shakespeare cross-curricularly through educational design research, focusing on creative and aesthetic processes in order for student teachers to gain experience in working across subjects, and to decrease their fear factor of using Shakespeare in the classroom. The current curriculum changes in Norwegian primary and secondary education (Fagfornyelsen) focus on experimentation, exploration and creative processes, and these are guiding educational principles that also provide a foundation for the Sounding Shakespeare project. Our research into student teachers’ experiences of working with Shakespeare’s texts, constitute the starting point for this article. In the project, students worked in two different workshops with Speech and Music Composition to collaborate and devise a performance based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream as their focus text. Through voice and prosody, students explored the musicality of Shakespeare’s text, and through music composition, students experimented with soundscapes in creative processes. In the final part of the workshops, students collaborated towards performances. Based on our collected data, our main finding shows how music can become a guiding agent for a meaningful experience of literature.

Copyright (c) 2020 Marthe Sofie Pande-Rolfsen, Anne-Lise Heide

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