Embodiment in Arts Education

December 12 2015, the research group ‘Arts and Cultural Education’ and the Master of Arts Education at the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK), together with the Research Division and the Bachelor of Music Education at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA), hosted a symposium on Embodiment in Arts Education.

This symposium took embodied learning/teaching in through the arts as its central theme, specifically the learning and teaching practices in dance and music education. The body is not considered as an instrument but as a primary signifier in the cultural transmission of musical and dancing skills - both from the perspective of the student and that of the teacher. Keywords in this symposium were: multimodal learning, co-agency, sensory attuning, embodied pedagogical content knowledge and the role of intersensory experiences in learning.
On the basis of five lectures and two workshops we aimed to encourage fertile cross-overs between embodied cognitive science/philosophy of mind and the field of arts education.

Melissa Bremmer and Carolien Hermans were the initiators of this symposium. They are both senior lecturers at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, where take part in the research group ‘Arts and Cultural Education’. Their dissertations concern 'embodied learning and teaching in the arts'.


The programme included the following lectures and workshops. Some programme items have been recorded, please click on the title to view the video.

Keynote lecture, Shaun Gallagher: 'Situating embodied cognition in learning environments'
Melissa Bremmer: 'What the body knows about teaching music'
Eeva Anttila: 'Dance as embodied learning'
Creative music workshop, byDebby Korfmacher
Dance improvisation, by Wieneke van Breukelen
The Music Paint‐Machine, by Luc Nijs
Jaco van den Dool: 'Sensual learning: investigating the role of the senses in musical learning processes'
Carolien Hermans: 'Within and without: what about a sense of agency in dance education?'


The publication 'Embodiment in Arts Education' by Carolien Harmans and Melissa Bremmer may be downloaded here.