New learning opportunities and a lot of enthusiasm were what the participants took away from the artistic-reflective project ‘Landscapes’, that was held at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in January 2009. For first year students the purpose of this week was to start their orientation on the professional practice, connected to their Personal Development Plan. For the pilot students of the Joint Music Master for New Audiences and Innovative Practice it was a stimulating experience as well, since they had an active part this week in the team of workshop leaders. The creative workshops during the week and presentations held at the end of the week in both a primary school and a nursing home for the elderly, are good examples of the profession the Joint Music Master students are being prepared for. In this week the skills they developed during the first semester in the modules ‘Leading & Guiding’ and ‘Performance & Communication’ were tested. The assessment procedure of the Joint Music Master was piloted as well during this week.
The research group’s part in the project
The research group had an important role in designing this particular project. With this artistic reflective week, held for the first time five years ago, a non-formal learning context was implemented within the conservatoire’s learning environment. Research done by the research group indicates that competences and skills acquired in such artistic laboratories are at the very basis of the lifelong learning process of musicians. Furthermore the research group had a leading role in developing the Joint Music Master programme and in giving shape to and monitoring of the pilot year of the JM programme.
Contribution Joint Music Master
Joint Master students were part of the team of workshop leaders and several Joint Master professors participated as workshop leaders as well. They coached first year students with their preparations of performances, based on improvisation. This way the JM students could use and test the skills they developed the first semester.
During this week the skills the Joint Master students had acquired in the past period were used. The students were split up into groups that, under supervision of the workshop leaders, worked on the theme ‘Landscapes’. The JM's Creative Ensemble, consisting of older students, assisted this week in the student groups. The students worked with this ensemble every week and it was the 'artistic laboratory' for the Joint Music Master. JM students helped the first year students to produce the improvisation parts, that were used during the final performances at the end of the week. Inspired by the 'Landscapes' theme, music pieces were created. With the improvisation parts as a starting point, these music pieces were performed by the first year students with the Creative Ensemble at a primary school and in a care home for elderly people.
During this week the assessment procedure of the Joint Master was piloted as well. The test gave a lot of insight into the way the assessment should be organised in future.
Aims and participants
During the Artistic Reflective project in January 2009 first year students from all departments of the Prince Claus Conservatoire worked with each other based on the theme 'Landscapes'. The students took their first steps towards orientation on the professional practice in the framework of this week. Students and professors of the Joint Music Master for New Audiences and Innovative Practice had an important role in this week. All groups involved had different aims and roles in the project.
At the beginning of their professional music training students start thinking about their future as a musician. It is critical to consider questions like: what role do I want to play in society as a musician? What are my strengths? This kind of reflection is, in addition to artistic development, very important. By creating and performing an artistic product (a composition) together and reflecting on its realisation, a start was made. The compositions were connected to audiences not very common for a musician to perform for: a primary school and a care home for elderly and disabled people. During the week a lot of time was dedicated to evaluation and reflection. As a result the many aspects in the project came together at the end of the week and the students gained more understanding of the process.
The aims of the week were related to personal and artistic development:
- Collaboration with shared responsibility
- Cross-over within music disciplines
- Exploring and risk taking in a safe environment
- Adaptive attitudes and communication skills
- Learning within an artistic laboratory
More information about the aims and approaches in this type of project can be found at the web pages of the first artistic reflective project held in 2004.
Joint Music Master for New Audiences and Innovative Practice
The Joint Master had an important role in the project. A number of JM teachers were workshop leaders and the JM students were assistants in the team of workshop leaders. The pilot students, the creative ensemble of the JM and the teachers each had a specific role in connecting personal and artistic development and reflection on new audiences and social contexts.
Learning by doing
For the pilot students of the Joint Master the project week was a stage on which they could practise the skills they acquired in the module Leading & Guiding and Performance & Communication, based on 'learning by doing'. The challenge lay in bringing about a dialogue between first year students, members of the creative ensemble, workshop leaders and the audience. The dialogue (reflection-in-action) in such a process is the foundation of the artistic result and of the personal and artistic growth of the participants. The Creative Ensemble, consisting of students from higher years, was the spine in this mix of students. This enhanced the creation of the compositions as well as the reflective parts of the week in a powerful way.
An important goal for the Joint Master programme in this artistic reflective project was the opportunity to test the pilot students in their role of workshop leaders and to pilot the assessment procedure. The week gave a lot of useful insights in how to go about the assessment process in the Joint Master in the coming years.
'We hope there will be more projects like these!'
Read all about the personal experiences of the participants during the project week, such as that of coordinator Tine Stolte and workshop leader Marc van Roon, external observer Renee Jonker and several students. More info