Next Article in Journal
Importance of Behavioral Therapy in Patients Hospitalized for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Opioid Use Disorder
Previous Article in Journal
Interaction of Physical Activity and Personality in the Subjective Wellbeing of Older Adults in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 72;

4E Music Pedagogy and the Principles of Self-Organization

Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
Department of Music, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RD, UK
Faculty of Music, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 1DB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [235 KB, uploaded 9 August 2018]


Recent approaches in the cognitive and psychological sciences conceive of mind as an Embodied, Embedded, Extended, and Enactive (or 4E) phenomenon. While this has stimulated important discussions and debates across a vast array of disciplines, its principles, applications, and explanatory power have not yet been properly addressed in the domain of musical development. Accordingly, it remains unclear how the cognitive processes involved in the acquisition of musical skills might be understood through the lenses of this approach, and what this might offer for practical areas like music education. To begin filling this gap, the present contribution aims to explore central aspects of music pedagogy through the lenses of 4E cognitive science. By discussing cross-disciplinary research in music, pedagogy, psychology, and philosophy of mind, we will provide novel insights that may help inspire a richer understanding of what musical learning entails. In doing so, we will develop conceptual bridges between the notion of ‘autopoiesis’ (the property of continuous self-regeneration that characterizes living systems) and the emergent dynamics contributing to the flourishing of one’s musical life. This will reveal important continuities between a number of new teaching approaches and principles of self-organization. In conclusion, we will briefly consider how these conceptual tools align with recent work in interactive cognition and collective music pedagogy, promoting the close collaboration of musicians, pedagogues, and cognitive scientists. View Full-Text
Keywords: 4E cognition; music pedagogy; self-organization; music psychology; interaction theory 4E cognition; music pedagogy; self-organization; music psychology; interaction theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schiavio, A.; Van der Schyff, D. 4E Music Pedagogy and the Principles of Self-Organization. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 72.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Behav. Sci. EISSN 2076-328X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top