Professor of Lifelong Learning in Music

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​​​​​Professor Rineke Smilde

Rineke Smilde is professor of Lifelong Learning in Music at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen and Professor of Music Pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences summa cum laude from the University of Göttingen, Germany, a master's degree in Musicology (20th Century music) from the University of Amsterdam and she graduated as a performing musician with principal study Flute at the Groningen Conservatoire. For many years Rineke Smilde had a career as a performing artist and as a professor of Flute at the Alkmaar Conservatoire and she taught Music History at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. She was director of the Department of Classical Music at the Prince Claus Conservatoire from 1994 to 1998 and director of the conservatoire from 1998 to 2004. In 1997 she founded the Peter the Great Festival, a yearly recurring festival in the city and province of Groningen, consisting of chamber music concerts in special venues and a summer academy for young, talented string players and pianists from all over the world. She was the artistic director of this festival until 2006.

As of 1995 Rineke Smilde has been active in the European Association of Conservatoires as a council member and from 2002 until 2005 as vice president. She also led various research groups on lifelong learning. She was elected Honorary Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (HonFGS) in 2001. From 2005 to 2008 Rineke Smilde served as a board member of the European Association of Music in Schools.

In 2004 Rineke Smilde was appointed professor of Lifelong Learning in Music at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Prince Claus Conservatoire) in Groningen. Together with a group of researchers consisting of teachers, international external researchers and experts from the professional field and supported by two external advisors, she examines concepts of lifelong learning for musicians. The group of researchers conducts (practice based) research into the question how professional artists can respond in a meaningful way to our rapidly changing society with the aim to make students more adaptive and responsive to change in the labour market and to contribute to musicians' and artists' continuing professional development. Rineke Smilde gave numerous presentations and lectures at, for example, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre in Brazil, the Antwerp Conservatoire, New York University, the University of Minnesota, Iceland Academy of the Arts and the College of Music in Tokyo. She is guest professor  for Lifelong Learning at the Music Academy of Sarajewo. Furthermore she is a regular speaker on conferences dedicated to lifelong learning and music education all over the world and has published extensively. Rineke Smilde has also served as an external examiner for the Royal College of Music in London from 2007 till 2011. In 2008 she received a knighthood from the Queen for her work.



Smilde, R, Heineman, E., de Wit, K, Dons, K and Alheit, P. (2019). If Music be the Food of Love, Play On – Meaningful Music in Health Care. Utrecht: Eburon.



Smilde, R and Alheit, P. (2017). Biographisches Lernen in der professionellen Musikerausbildung. Aspekte lebenslangen Lernen in der Musik. In W. Gruhn and P. Röbke (eds.), MusiklernenBedingungen - Handlungsfelder - Positionen. Esslingen: Helbling.

Van der Wal-Huisman, H., Dons K., Smilde, R., Heineman, E. and Van Leeuwen, B. (2018). The Effect of Music on Postoperative Recovery in Older Patients: a Systematic Review. Journal of Geriatric Oncology.

Smilde, R. (2018). Lifelong Learning for Professional Musicians. In G. Mc. Pherson and G. Welsh (eds.). Special Needs, Community Music and Adult Learning. An Oxford Handbook of Music Education. New York: Oxford University Press.

Smilde, R. (2018). Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning. In B. Bartleet and L. Higgins (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Community Music. New York: Oxford University Press.


Smilde, R. (2017) 'Being here: Equity through Musical Engagement with People with Dementia. In: N. Sunderland, D. Bendrups, N. Lewandowski & B. Leigh Bartleet (eds.), Music, Health, and Wellbeing: Exploring music for health equity and social justice. Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan. 

Smilde, R. (2017). "…it is not heard at all, but you are the music". Listening; reading and reflecting an audience with dementia. In O. Kramer and I. Malmberg (eds.), Listening and Understanding Music: Open Ears, Open Minds., Innsbruck: Helbling.

Smilde, R. (2017). Musicians in the 21st Century – Changing Perspectives. In M. Sternal (ed.) Professional musician, between art, education and management. Krakow: Akademia Muzyczna w Krakowie.

Smilde, R. (2017). 'Wie ein Chameleon!' Üben und Musizieren, Zeitschrift für Instrumentalpädagogik und musikalisches Lernen, 2-17, Mainz: Schott, pp. 6-10.

Smilde, R. and Bisschop Boele, E. (2016). Lifelong Learning and Healthy Ageing: The significance of music as an agent of change. In T. Hartog and A. Frick (eds.), Kulturgeragogische Forschung - Ansätze und Projekte. Kulturelle Bildung Vol. 1-X. München: Kopaed Verlag.​

Smilde, R. (2016). Biography, Identity, Improvisation, Sound – intersections of personal and social identity through improvisation. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education. Vol. 15 (34), pp. 308-324. DOI: 10.1177/1474022216647374.

Smilde, R. and Alheit, P. (2016) On Music and Dementia: perspectives of learning. In: R. Evans (ed.): Before, Beside, and After (Beyond) the Biographical Narrative. Duisburg: Nisaba Verlag.

Smilde, R. (2016) A Health Agenda in Terms of a Learning Context: Musicians' leadership within health issues – aspects of biographical learning. In: Lifelong Learning in Music in Groningen. A Liber Amicorum for Peter Mak. Eds. Smilde, R. and Bisschop Boele, E., Groningen: Research Group Lifelong Learning in Music, pp 128-145.

Smilde, R. (2015) Musik und Demenz, Kunsträume. Magazin der MDW Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Nr. 3, Wenen.

​Smilde, R. (2015) Door de ogen van de ander kijken. Kunst als veranderkracht. In Boekman, Kunst als recept. Gezond ouder worden met kunst 104, pp 22-25.​

Smilde, R. (2015). Leadership and empathy: looking through the eyes of another. In: Becoming an artist and supporting a lifelong career.​

Alheit, Peter, Page, Kate & Smilde, Rineke. Musik und Demenz - das Modellprojekt 'Music for Life' als innovati​ver Ansatz der Arbeit mit Demenzkranken.  Gießen: Psychosozial - Verlag.​

Smilde, R. Reflective Practic​e at the Heart o​f Higher Music Education. In T. Debeats and T. Buchborn (eds.). European Perspectives on Music Education, Vol. 3: The Reflective Music Teacher. Innsbruck: Hebbling.

Smilde, R., Page, K. and Alheit, P. (2014). While the Music Lasts – On Music and Dementia. Delft: Eburon Academic Publishers.​

Smilde, R. and Alheit, P. (2014). On Music and Dementia - Perspectives of Learning. Magdeburg: ESREA.​​​

Lion, B., Stoeger, C. and Smilde, R. (2013). Music Educators: their Artistry and Self Confidence. In I.Mamberg and A. de Vugt (eds.). European Perspectives on Music Education, Vol. 2: Artistry and Craftmanship. Innsbruck: Hebbling.

​​Smilde, R. en Halldorsson, S. (2013) An International Masters Programme "New Audiences and Innovative Practice": critical reflection and mentoring at the heart of an artistic laboratory. In H. Gaunt and H. Westerlund (eds.): Collaborative Learning in Higher Music Education: Why, What and How? Aldershot: Ashgate. 

Chong, S, Rohwer, D., Emmanuel, D, Kruse, N. and Smilde, R. (2013) Community Music through Authentic Engagement: Bridging Community, School, University and Art Groups. In K.K. Veblen, S.J. Messenger, M. Silverman and D. J. Elliott (eds.) Community music today. Landham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Smilde, R. (2013). Improvisation and Identity - a Biographical Perspective. HBO Kennisbank / Proceedings seminar Erasmus Improvisation Intensive, 2-11-2013, The Hague.

Smilde, R. (2012). Facing the Music – challenges and changes: Report from the research group Lifelong Learning in Music from the Netherlands. International Journal of Community Music.

Smilde, R. (2012). Change and Challenges of Lifelong Learning. In D. Bennett (ed.), Life in the Real World: How to make music graduates employable. Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing.

Smilde, R. (2012). Lifelong Learning among Musicians. In G. Mc. Pherson and G. Welsh (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Music Education. New York: Oxford University Press.

Smilde, R. (2011). Musicians Reaching out to People Living with Demenia: Perspectives of Biographical Learning. In H. Herzberg and E. Kammler (eds.): Biographie und Gesellschaft; Ueberlegungen zu einer Theorie des modernen Selbst. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag.

Smilde, R. (2010). The Innovative Conservatoire: Creating a Model of Continuing Professional Development for Conservatoire Teachers. In Researching Conservatoires: Enquiry, Innovation and Development of Artistic Practice in Higher Music Education. Utrecht: AEC.
Researching Conservatoires, website AEC

Smilde, R. (2010). Lifelong and lifewide learning from a biographical perspective: transformation when coping with performance anxiety. International Journal of Community Music 3:2, pp. 185-202, doi10.1386/ijcm.3.2.185_1.

Smilde, R. (2009). Musicians as Lifelong Learners: Discovery through Biography. Delft: Eburon Academic Publishers.

Smilde, R. (2009). Musicians as Lifelong Learners: 32 Biographies. Delft: Eburon.

Smilde, R. (2009). Musicians as Lifelong Learners. In P. Alheit and Heide von Felden (Hrsg.) Lebenslanges Lernen und erziehungswissenschaftliche Biographieforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Smilde, R. (2009). Musicians' Profession-related Health Issues and their evolving transformative Learning through

Smilde, R. (2009). Expanding Career
Smilde, R, (2009). Supporting the Educational Process: the Necessity of Lifelong Learning.

Smilde, R. (2008). Lifelong Learners in Music; research into musicians' biographical learning. International Journal of Community Music 1: 2, pp. 243-252, doi: 10.1386/ijcm.1.2.243/1.

Mak, P. en Smilde, R. (2008). Meer met Muziek: muziek en de kwaliteit van het bestaan. In R. Diekstra en M. Hogenes: Harmonie en Gedrag. Uithoorn: Karakter uitgevers.

Amussen, G. and Smilde, R., (eds.) (2007). Trends and Changes in the European Music Profession. Thematic report of the working group on the music profession of the European Erasmus Thematic Network 'Polifonia'.

Smilde, R. (2007). The Music Profession and the Professional Musician; a Reflection. Revista em Pauta, journal of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Smilde, R. (2007). Lifelong Learners in a Changing Musical Landscape; Musicians' perspectives. In I. Malmberg and C. Wimmer (eds). Communicating Diversity: Musik lehren und lernen in Europa; Augsburg: Wissner Verlag.

Smilde, R. (2007). Lifelong Learning in Music - A Model for the Future. Sounds in Europe, Journal of the European Music Council. Issue II

Kors, N., Mak, P., Harris, R.,  Rickels, H.,  Smilde, R. and Verkuil, M. (2007). Teacher Competences for Working with Young Talent. Groningen: Lectoraat Lifelong Learning in Music. ISBN 978-90-811273-4-9.

Smilde, R. (2006). Lifelong Learning for Musicians. Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music, held in Boston, USA in 2005. Reston: NASM.

Smilde, R. (2006). Lebenslängliches Lernen: Eine Frage der Einstellung. Ueben und Musizieren, April/Mai 2006.

Smilde, R. (2006). Lifelong Learning for Music Teachers. Proceedings congress European Association for Music in Schools, Würzburg 2006.

Smilde, R. (2005). Lifelong Learning in Music, a Challenge for Music Education. Revista em Pauta, vol. 16, no. 26, pp. 5 -18.

Smilde, R. (2005). Lifelong Learning- a Conceptual Framework. Community Opera and the Artist, proceedings working conference Yo! Opera Festival, Utrecht, October 2005

Smilde, R. (2004). Lifelong Learning as a Challenge; a Portrait of the Conservatoire in 2015. In A Portrait of the artist in 2015; artistic careers and higher arts education in Europe. Amsterdam: Boekman Studies.

Smilde, R. (2004). De Nouvelles Perspectives pour la Formation du Musician professional: un défi pout les Conservatoires. Journal of the European String Association, France.

Lafourcade, D. and Smilde, R., (eds.) (2001). Promuse: Professional Integration of Musicians and Continuing Education in Music. Utrecht: European Association of Conservatoires.

Smilde, R. (2000). Lifelong Learning: Continuing Professional Development for Musicians. Final Report of the AEC working group on Continuing Professional Development for Musicians in the framework of the Socrates Thematic Network (TNP) for Music. Paris: European Association of Conservatoires (AEC).

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