Future professional musicians must engage with flexibility in a rapidly changing professional practice in a constantly changing cultural landscape.
Lifelong Learning encompasses the interconnection between personal and professional development; it deals with being responsive and adaptive, with bringing about (cultural) changes in society and considering this as an opportunity to generate work. The adaptive side is the entrepreneurial side of the concept of lifelong learning. The responsive side relates to critical reflection and reflexivity; in order to be a good lifelong learner a musician has to be reflective and have self-confidence, know her own qualities and (professional) identity so that she can function in different contexts within society. Therefore, higher arts education institutions have to create adaptive learning environments, and have much attention for the professional development of teachers.
The research domain of Lifelong Learning in Music, underpinning all separate research strands, is the way in which musicians can make a meaningful contribution to our rapidly changing society, where music can be a connecting factor. The underlying question is: how can we make musicians look at themselves critically in relation to the connections with society?
Research, pilot projects and international exchanges within the work of the research group in Lifelong Learning in Music show that interdisciplinary work within the arts gives an impulse to competences which are crucial for lifelong learning, such as collaboration, contextualising and reflecting. By means of collaborative forms of music practice it becomes possible to work on a mutually recognisable artistic language with a sense of shared ownership.