The social and cultural landscape in which professional musicians work has radically changed over the last decade. Musicians are now expected to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to engage effectively and creatively in a number of related roles such as performer, composer, teacher, instrumental tutor, workshop leader, mentor and creative producer. Increasingly they have to work collaboratively across art forms,
disciplines, cultures, music genres and different sectors within a wide variety of networks. Any creative response to such changes necessitates the development of new working processes, new modes of learning, new connections and new organisational models. The implications for the training sector are enormous and these are now being addressed by institutions across Europe with the support of networks like the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) and the ERASMUS Thematic Network for Music ‘Polifonia’.
The challenge to those organisations responsible for training and development is how to create and sustain a culture of reflective and reflexive practice so that musicians can learn to respond to this changing workplace with confidence, flexibility, imagination and vision. It is now widely acknowledged that this challenge has to be
met partly by a serious commitment to lifelong learning.
If lifelong learning is to become a dynamic and relevant force in the lives of both young and experienced musicians, a process of mentoring must be pivotal at those critical stages of an individual’s personal, artistic
and professional development. Recognising that mentoring can be interpreted in many different ways, this particular study sets out to examine those approaches to learning that could be seen as fundamental in any mentoring process for musicians.
The proposed framework for mentoring draws on those forms of learning that are central to reflective practice in the areas of continuing professional development, informal learning and adult education. The principles that he lp to shape the study are rooted in a body of knowledge that is shared by such disparate areas of professional
practice as nursing, general practice, social work, education and the visual and performing arts.
Such a shared philosophy of practice can only strengthen the work of those conservatoires and training organisations that are beginning to realign their priorities within a culture of reflection and responsiveness. Within this context of renewal and development, mentoring is just one of several processes that can be used to help professional musicians engage in their own lifelong learning. It is incumbent on the training sector to provide the necessary structures and resources to ensure that this happens in practice.
Read the full mentoring report by Peter Renshaw
The Place of Mentoring 2009 - Peter Renshaw
Mentoring framework (Mentoring profiles, also included in The Place of Mentoring)