Subject-Oriented Approach To Improve The Professional Competencies Of Music Teachers


The development of the system of life-long education is an important and rapidly developing direction in modern research. Under the conditions of the modern reality it is necessary to study the directions for further development in the area of life-long education, their theoretical foundation and the practical implementation. The ability to solve the problem appears through the introduction of subject-oriented approach, providing free trajectory of thinking and instructor activity, determination of goals and objectives of training, self-development and professional self-improvement. The aim of the study is to examine the possibilities of modernization training music teachers in the implementation of the guiding principles of modern concepts of life-long education. The methodological basis of the study was the subject-oriented approach. The study used the theoretical (analysis, synthesis, generalization) and empirical (observation, interview, test) methods. As a result of the implementation on the basis of the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication KFU additional vocational training program for music teachers by subject-oriented approach allowed to realize a number of important principles of modern concepts of life-long education, such as its integrity, coordination, openness, problem-based orientation. The study concluded the feasibility of improving the system of training of music teachers in the aspect of ideas for continuing education and with the help of subject-oriented approach. Further perspectives of this pedagogical task assume the realization of methodological support of the educational process in the distance format, as well as post-course support.

Keywords: Educationsubject-oriented approachmusic teacher


Modern conditions for the modernization of educational systems require a critical evaluation of the functions of education, its goals and tasks, the content of educational disciplines in accordance with changes in the requirements for professional training of a specialist who takes an active part in the life of society. The professional activity of music teachers is the main condition for the formation of the aesthetic, artistic and spiritual culture of younger generations.

Modern researchers, in particular, Shchedrovitsky (1993), points out the illegitimacy of identifying the concepts of "education" and "continuity" as its attributive characteristics. This means that administrative measures to organize a unified system of life-long education by combining all existing institutions: kindergartens, schools, higher education institutions, and the system of advanced training cannot provide a solution to its essential tasks.

According to the research of Western scientists, the essence of life-long education is defined as “the process of improving personal, social and professional development throughout the individual's life cycle in order to improve the quality of life as individuals and groups” (Dave and Stiemerling, 1973). This definition is consistent with the conclusions of Russian scientists, according to which an important requirement of continuing education is to provide each individual with a problem area and scope of activity for his/her life-long creative evolution (Schedrovitskiy, 1993).

The possibility of solving this problem is represented by introducing the subject-oriented approach that provides a free trajectory of the development of thinking and the activity of the teacher, self-determination of purposes and tasks of teaching, self-development and professional self-improvement. Studies of other humanitarian scientific fields, such as linguistics and literature, show that ensuring the free development of the individual is relevant on a global scale and characterizes the main trends in the development of world consciousness. According to literature research "The problem of free will, one of the most serious ones for the Western civilization as a whole" (Smyslova & Khabibullina, 2011). This fact is indicative, because "The semantics of each national language develops the system of images, in which the cultural information is accumulated" (Galiullina et al., 2016).

The subject-oriented approach represents a promising direction in the development of modern pedagogical science, where the creative self-realization and self-development are studied as "the main requirements of modern education" (Khurmatullina & Yachina, 2015). Creating the conditions for the formation of the subject is an urgent task in the development of modern “educational environment” (Valeeva, 2015).

The ideas of Maslow, Rogers, and others were put in the basis of research of the categories of personality and subject at the present time. Maslow identified the importance of the concept of self-realization, as one of the key in the characteristic of the category of "subjectivity". He argued than "the fullest use of his talents and abilities, his personal potential" (Maslow, 1954) happens through the self-actualization. In the works of Rogers, we should note a great deal of attention to the essence of subject-subject forms of interaction between participants in the educational process (Rodgers, 2003).

The theoretical and methodological foundations of the subject-oriented approach were comprehensively revealed in the works of Russian scientists of the second half of the 20th century such as Abulhanova-Slavskaya (1991), Borytko & Mazkajlova (2002), Ocnizkij (1996), Slobodchikov & Isaev (2000). This approach focuses on the processes of self-development and creative self-actualization (Andreev, 2015) of the individual, individual inclinations, interests and passions, pedagogical conditions for creating a subjective position and a unique trajectory of self-education. This view of the study reveals a close relationship between the concepts of subject and personality. Orlov (1995) avoids of their identification. He defines "personality" as an artificative characteristic of the subject, which regulates his relations with reality. Other researchers also differentiate these concepts and distinguish the activity component in the concept of "subject".

The readiness for realization of the received knowledge and the mastered skills and skills in the form of activity is presented in the theory of pedagogy by means of the concept "competence". The development of competencies is carried out in the process of implementing a competence approach. Its essence was revealed in the works of Khutorskoy (2005) as a comprehensive mastery of knowledge and skills. He pointed out the problem of the educational situation in Russia as a problem for students when mastering the theoretical information of a particular subject in the practical application of this knowledge when solving specific problems of the surrounding reality. Khutorskoy (2005) proposes the definition of educational competences as "a requirement for educational preparation, expressed by a set of interrelated semantic orientations, knowledge, skills and experience of the student's activity in relation to a certain range of objects of reality, necessary for the realization of personally and socially significant productive activities".

Problem Statement

On the basis of studies in the field of professional music education, life-long education, subject-oriented and competence-based approaches, we formulated the problem of this study: "What professional competencies are necessary for a music teacher in the context of the modern reality?".

Research Questions

The following questions were posed during the research:

  • What are the conditions of modern reality that have significance for determining the professional competence of the music teacher?

  • How can a subject-oriented approach ensure the implementation of the basic ideas of life-long learning?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to determine the competencies required for a music teacher in a modern reality.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study was the subject-oriented approach. The study used the theoretical (analysis, synthesis, generalization) and empirical (observation, interview) methods.


D. B. Kabalevsky, the founder of the system of music education in Russia, stressed the importance of studying the connections of various arts with the purpose of educating the aesthetic culture of the younger generation. For this purpose he proposed to include in the circle of attention various aspects of the synthesis of the arts in composing the content of conversations about music. According to his works, the themes of such conversations should be based on internal connections of the creative activity of representatives of different arts.

Kholopova (2009) is studying another aspect of this issue. She points to the existence of a disproportion between "subjects of composition-grammatical and content-semantic order" that take place in the Russian tradition of music education. This means that most of the subjects of the curriculum for musicians in different areas of training has the purpose of forming disparate knowledge and skills. At the same time, beyond the limits of attention are the ability to understand the content of a work of art. In order to solve this problem, Kholopova (2009) points to the need to consider a work of art from the perspective of integrating in it the expressive means of various arts.

The modern researcher Berlyanchik (2009) points out that in the practice of the upbringing of musical education too much attention is paid to the development of technique. At the same time, almost do not develop the skills of creating the own interpretation of the work of art.

It is important to note that in the second half of the twentieth century it has been scientifically proven that the notation is a semiotic system. Music marks are only the essence of generalization of individual spiritual meaning, and are necessary for its transmission. With the help of arguments of a mathematical type, it was proved that note notes cannot fix the unique uniqueness of the personal perception of the artistic image. That is why the initiative of performer should be aimed at researching previously unnoticed features, details, regularities, semantic and emotional connections in the work, expression of subject experience. It will be the method of creating an artistic interpretation, which is a qualitatively new subjective of the reading of music.

In the process of the study, the history of the development of art from the Ancient World to our days was studied in the aspect of the integration of the arts. It was found that throughout the history of different types of art were closely related to each other. In the process of development they exerted a great influence on each other.

The art of the Ancient World existed as a whole. This phenomenon is called syncretism. Different kinds of art were inextricably linked in the consciousness of the ancient man and were used as a ritual in magical rites. During the Middle Ages in Western Europe, the word defined the structure of the music theme in the Gregorian chant. In Muslim countries there was a special genre of "book singing", in which the melody and the word represented the whole.

In the 17th century the rhetoric was taken the central position in the system of arts. The rhetorical laws defined the principles of different types of arts. Each of them was regarded as an oratorical speech, which should convince. The genre "vanitas" appeared in painting under the influence of rhetoric. For reading these pictures, special dictionaries were needed, in which the meaning of each depicted object was deciphered. In music the phenomenon of "musical painting" arose. There were also dictionaries that explained the meaning of motives. In the choreography the genre "dance with singing" arose, in which dancers, a chamber orchestra and a harmonic orator, who spoke the artistic word, participated.

The facts of the close interconnection of different types of arts are found in other epochs. In our previous works, we examined "the problem of intercultural interaction in the conditions of an ever-expanding multicultural space" on the example of opera art of the twentieth century (Karkina, 2015). On the basis of their study, it was concluded that the phenomenon of art should be studied in a complex of their expressive means. At the same time, it is necessary to use meta-subject communications and artistic contexts.

On the base on the highlighted principles, we developed the content of practical classes for music teachers engaged in advanced training courses at the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication of the KFU. Such topics were developed:

  • integration of genres of different arts in the 17th century based on the principles of rhetoric;

  • interpretation of E.-T.-A. Gofman in the ballet P.I. Tchaikovsky "The Nutcracker";

  • interpretation of the ballad by W. Goethe - F. Schubert "The Forest King" in the piano transcription of the American duo Andersen & Roe;

  • interpretation of the Austrian conductor N.  Harnoncourt of the opera by V. Mozart "Idomeneus – The King of Crete".

Some of these and other developed themes were offered to listeners in the form of a distance course on the LMS MOODLE platform. These themes they studied independently. Following the results of each theme there were asked on the questions for self-control and open-ended questions, where they could express their subjective point of view on a work of art. Distance format allows to create a comfortable environment for training and exclude such negative factors as distance from the place of training, time difference, mismatch of the working schedule. Students of the courses get the opportunity to study in a mode convenient for them, to study new material at their usual pace. For this reason, it is very favourable for introducing a subject-oriented approach into educational practice.

Practical exercises with music teachers who were students of training program were organized with using the subject-oriented approach. In accordance with these principles, the classes offered a choice of themes for study, which were prepared in advance by the teacher. The listeners expressed their wishes to listen to a certain topic in accordance with their own professional goals and interests.

Each theme was studied in the form of a dialogue. In this process, the teacher was faced with the important task of listening to all points of view without singling out any one. For example, during the discussion of piano transcription W. Goethe - F. Schubert "The Forest King" listeners shared their impressions:

  • this piano interpretation in the format of the video is almost equivalent in importance to the ballad of F. Schubert in the original and represents artistic value in itself;

  • many of the bright images are used on the basis of the horror genre, which are presented from the positions of aesthetic generalization. For example, instead of drops of blood we see red beads;

  • the text of V. Goethe appeared here in a completely different quality, he found optimistic meaning thanks to the metaphorical form.

On the training courses was organized the work of the Round table. At this event, the teachers read reports in which they talked about their own professional experience in school. A number of topics are presented below:

  • Innovative approaches to conducting a music lesson within the framework of GEF implementation;

  • Development of vocal and choral skills in music lessons and after-hours;

  • The use of a psychological map in music lessons as a means of assessing the emotional state of students;

  • Methods and methods of activating the activities of students, involving in creative activity;

  • The ensemble of kurai pupils as a form of extracurricular activities of a music teacher.

The work of the Round table showed that every music teacher today is in rather difficult conditions, where he has to look for new and non-standard solutions to emerging problems.

During the entire period of the training sessions, the students prepared project works. They broke up into small groups. Each of them chose a problem from teaching practice. Then this problem was studied in detail using the methods of scientific research. The results were drawn up in the form of a project. The protection of the projects took the form of a report accompanied by a presentation. Several developed themes are proposed below:

  • "The vocal ensemble as a form of aesthetic education in extra-curricular activities of pupils of grades 4-7 of the general education school";

  • "Patriotic education of schoolchildren of the 5th and 8th grades with art through extracurricular activities";

  • "Education of the aesthetic needs of students of the 5th grade with the help of a cultural diary in the course of extracurricular activities".

The work on the projects allowed the teaches to demonstrate their professional knowledge and skills of research work, the ability to find the best solutions for problems arising in the practice of working with school pupils.

At the end of the course the students expressed their wish to continue studying these topics. The material they offered was highly appreciated and they were taken for use in their own teaching practice. As a post-course support for the program, teachers were invited to participate in future events at the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication, where they could share their methodological developments on the basis of acquired knowledge.


Proceeding from the definition of Khutorskoy (2005) and the tasks of musical and pedagogical education in the context of the development of the modern scientific thought, we formulated the professional competences necessary for a contemporary music teacher:

  • The readiness for scientific systematization, analysis and generalization of knowledge in the field of history and theory of art, and to use of interdisciplinary links necessary for the formation of a view of the role and significance of artistic culture in the life of an individual and society.

  • The ability to perceive works of art in their artistic integrity, in the context of semantic connections and the interaction of expressive means within the framework of the world experience of spiritual culture.

  • The ability for the meaningful and subject-colored perception of art works, understanding and creation of artistic interpretations on the basis of knowledge gained about the patterns of composition and personal value-semantic beliefs.

  • The willingness to participate in the dialogue, to discuss and argue their own artistic and creative position on the basis of a critical analysis of the work.

The above competences denote the requirements for the professional training of the future music teacher and have a general focus on ensuring free creative self-realization in the future professional activity.

The basis of these competencies are the principles of the interdisciplinary relationship of music with other arts and scientific knowledge, the perception of works in artistic and imaginative integrity, expressing world cultural and individual-personal experience, expression of subjective attitude through interpretation, readiness for dialogical communication and critical analysis of the artistic position.

The application of the competence approach in the educational process can be designated as one of the necessary pedagogical conditions for the formation of the personality of the music teacher within the framework of the paradigm of subject-oriented approach. The introduction of this approach as a theoretical model of training ensures the integration of the motivational-value and cognitive components of the learning process, setting the development of the personality in a practical direction. The obligatory condition is the interaction of the subjects of the educational process with the real objects of the surrounding reality and with each other.

In the process of introducing a program of additional vocational education for music teachers on the basis of the Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication of the KFU, through a subject-oriented approach, the significant principles of modern concepts of life-long learning, such as its integrity, openness, and problems were realized. This made it possible to create conditions for improving the professional competence of music teachers by providing them with a sphere of initiative and independent creative activity.

As a result of this research it was concluded that it is advisable to improve the system of professional development of music teachers in the aspect of ideas of life-long education and with the help of a subject-oriented approach.


The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University


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31 August 2017

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Karkina, S. (2017). Subject-Oriented Approach To Improve The Professional Competencies Of Music Teachers. In R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2017, vol 29. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 337-344). Future Academy.