Research Theme Musical Learning Cultures

Associate lector: Carolien Hermans

Musical Learning Cultures focuses on transmitting musical knowledge and skills in various locations in the Amsterdam metropolitan region, in neighborhoods and communities, in cultural centers and social communities, in music schools and at the conservatoire.
The differences between these environments may be more noticeable than the similarities, otherwise we would not be talking about ‘learning cultures’ in the plural. A non-countable noun such as ‘music education’ does not account for such differences. However, it does generally make more specific demands on the form of transmission or on the content of knowledge. Nevertheless, the goal of this research is to find ways and create exchanges that can reduce the distance between learning cultures - including those of the conservatoire - so that music education does not continue to contribute to the socioeconomic gaps that already divide society. Additionally, we promote thinking beyond dualism (such as body/mind, individual/social, process/product, formal/informal, etc.), as dichotomies often hinder and distort how learning is understood (Hodkinson, 2005).

The research is guided by the following three principles:

  1. An embodied approach to teaching and learning in music
  2. Learning music  is considered a pluralistic activity that encompasses diverse cultural practices
  3. We focus on the relational aesthetics of musical learning cultures. In other words, music is viewed not only as a product but as a process shaped by interactions, contexts and relationships.

Read more about the current research projects within the theme of Musical Learning Cultures