Kaarina Marjanen

Kaarina Marjanen

Ph.D., music education

1983 …2022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Profile information

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.

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.

Language skills

Finnish (mother tongue), English (strong), Swedish (good), French and German (basics)

Research interests

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).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), Educational Science, The Belly Button Chord. Connections of Pre- and Postnatal Music Education with Early Mother-Child Interaction, University of Jyväskylä

Award Date: 30 Dec 2009

Licentiate of Philosophy (Education), Educational Science, The expert in early childhood music education, music playschool teacher. Working life as a challenge to education. Case: Jyväskylä Polytechnic , University of Jyväskylä

Award Date: 14 Jun 2005

Master of Arts (Education), Music Teacher, "Working as a music teacher at the early childhood education units at scientific universities and universities of applied sciences"

Award Date: 27 Jan 1999

Music Playschool Teacher, Keski-Suomen konservatorio

Award Date: 31 May 1995

Bachelor of Arts (Education), Kindergarten Teacher, "Impact of the growth environment to a child's creativity", Jyväskylän lastentarhanopettajaopisto

Award Date: 31 May 1983

External positions

Associate profesor, music education, Faculty of Humanities, University of Jyväskylä

23 Feb 2022 → …


  • M Music
  • musical interaction
  • music and multisensory experiences
  • music integration
  • ways of knowing
  • MT Musical instruction and study
  • music teaching
  • music learning
  • music curricula
  • L Education (General)
  • music education
  • early childhood music education
  • early childhood education


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