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CONSERVATOIRES IN SOCIETY The Reflective Conservatoire 2015 PART ONE: Presentations A brief review of the ‘Conservatoires in Society' project – John Sloboda,

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Presentation on theme: "CONSERVATOIRES IN SOCIETY The Reflective Conservatoire 2015 PART ONE: Presentations A brief review of the ‘Conservatoires in Society' project – John Sloboda,"— Presentation transcript:

1 CONSERVATOIRES IN SOCIETY The Reflective Conservatoire 2015 PART ONE: Presentations A brief review of the ‘Conservatoires in Society' project – John Sloboda, GSMD Conservatoires as institutions of public service – Peter Tregear, ANU School of Music Conservatoires, society and listening as a central human ability – Helena Tulve, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre The mission of higher music education institutions in North-West Europe – Harald Jørgensen, Norwegian Academy of Music What contributions can research make? – Richard Wistreich, RCM & Geir Johansen, Norwegian Academy of Music –––––––––––––––– PART TWO: Discussion Pre-invited response – Professor Leonella Grasso-Caprioli, University of Venice, Italy. Plenary discussion

2 A brief review of the ‘Conservatoires in Society' project John Sloboda Guildhall School of Music & Drama

3 Remarks at the close of Reflective Conservatoire 2012 “We have heard here how, in many parts of the w orld conservatoires are considered as essential sym bols of national identity or maturity. In this somew hat problematic relationship, how can we preserve authenticity and courage in our relationships to government an d business? How can we work to ensure that our activities do not simply address th e sickness and brokenness of the prison cell or the hospital ward, but also the short comings of the corporate boardroom or of the poli tical system.”

4 The response Initial interest in this agenda was expressed from the Norwegian Academy of Music, shortly joined by the Royal Conservatoire, Antwerp. A one-year project (2 meetings) to explore the issues was devised. The three founding institutions each suggested other inst itutions where there was known to be interest in this agenda.

5 Institutions represented at Director or senior management level Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London UK Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo Royal Conservatoire, University of the Arts, The Hague, Netherlands Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester UK School of Music, Australian National University, Canberra Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre, Tallinn Artesis University College Antwerp, Belgium ESMUC Barcelona, Spain Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane, Australia Institutions responding positively to the initiative but unable to attend Schulith School, Montreal Vienna Conservatoire, Austria Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,

6 Purpose of process making explicit the potential of our institutions in relating to the society and hence taking pa rt in the public conversation about society at large. Discussing how to help our students to realise the potential of art’s cri tical function in society (from a political as well as philosophical perspective)

7 Primary output Report of a one-day meeting held May 2013 Meeting identified a number of challenges, potential opportunities, and arenas of action for wider discussion Full report and executive summary available from website

8 Some Challenges.

9 1. Articulating the nature of the change we are intending to bring about in our students Students often express aspirations that go well beyond defining their success in terms of measurable technical advancement as musicians, to embrace deeply-felt desires to ‘make the world a better place’. We need to articulate how a conservatoire can help them to realise such ambitions.

10 2. Manifesting conservatoires as meaningful communities How do we create genuine consistency between what we tell the outside world about ourselves, our students and our staff, and how we actually live as institutions?

11 3. Transforming competition between institutions into co-operation How do we replace fighting each other for “the best bassoonist” with multi-levelled collaboration to project both a more coherent identity and exercise greater collective influence in the world?

12 4. Drawing effectively on disciplines outside music for intellectual resources If conservatoires want to resist the apparently inexorable drive to a monetarised model of education and the increasing commodification of the cultural economy, they need to understand and engage their potential to reverse the equation, and find a shared language in which to frame their role differently.

13 Some opportunities.

14 1. Deepening understanding of the nature of artistic transactions Musical work can be seen as an example of the gift economy, where the value cannot be captured by the price of a ticket, or what money is paid to the musician. Music institutions are potentially powerfully transformational because they can be incubators of a culture that celebrates values different to those usually imposed, intentionally or not,on young musicians and – it has to be said – on their teachers

15 2. Conceiving musical activity as addressing “life or death” issues There is a tendency to “dress up” art and hide its deeper messages behind a glamorous surface. Conservatoire students need to be encouraged to connect their experiences in the contemporary world – however ‘messy’ – to their lives as highly –skilled musicians.

16 3. Adopting organisational roles as social actors In an atmosphere of disillusionment with the power of traditional structures to deal with the big problems like environmental change and the increasing gap between rich and poor, examples of new means of engagement and action are springing up everywhere. There is every reason for student musicians to be empowered to engage directly and pro-actively (rather than reactively) in these debates and actions through their art.

17 Arenas for action The core teaching function (1 to 1 instrumental/vocal lessons) Our teaching of broader musicianship and professional skills (including music pedagogy) The research and intellectual culture that we foster and promote Relationships to external individuals (alumni and attenders of our events) Relationships to other organisations and institutions Staffing and institutional strategies

18 After May 2013 Participants shared the report and held discussions within their institutions. They met again in February 2014, to receive feedback from each other and invited industry representatives. Based on these experiences, 6 individuals agreed to prepare presentations for this conference, as a first move in opening this debate to the wider conservatoire constituency.

19 A personal evaluation ENCOURAGEMENT that a group of conservatoire leaders are so enthusiastic to address a “stretching” agenda. that considerable consensus was achieved on the broad direction of travel. CONCERN that sectoral inertia (and overwork) will sideline these issues that a mechanism for making effective progress within or between institutions has not been articulated. that the specifics of particular countries or regions will interfere with emergence of global consensus HOPE that these discussions can inform actual action for change in the sector and not just remain a “talking shop”

20 Conservatoriums as Institutions of Public Service Peter Tregear

21 21

22 22

23 What do we (or should we) mean by ‘musical excellence’? What is its purpose? Who should have access to the kind of education that can help create it? 23

24 The Public Conservatorium ‘Owned’ by, and for, all of us Redefines musical excellence as a social good, not just an individual goal Educates the audiences, as well as performers, of the future Encourages research, not ‘me’-search Teaches a ‘curriculum of giving’ 24

25 Conservatoires, society and listening as a central human ability

26 “To my endless amazement, I keep discovering a common root underneath all the diverse crises of the modern age. Underlying the vast swath of ruin our civilization has carved is not human nature, but the opposite: human nature denied. This denial of human nature rests in turn upon an illusion, a misconception of self and world. We have defined ourselves as other than what we are, as discrete subjects separate from each other and separate from the world around us.” (Charles Eisenstein)

27 Listening as an agent deepening our way of being alive


29 Environment, pollution



32 Technology, noise, loss of hearing

33 “Seeing ourselves as discrete and separate beings, we naturally seek to manipulate the not-self to our best advantage. Technology in particular is predicated on some kind of individuation or conceptual separation from the environment, because it takes the physical world as its object of manipulation and control. Technology, in effect, says, "Let us make the world better.”” (Charles Eisenstein)

34 What is the mission of higher music education institutions in North- Western Europe? Harald Jørgensen Norwegian Academy of Music Centre of Excellence in Music Performance Education

35 1. Engage in student development, 25 2. Provide studies and education, 25 3. Contribute to society, 18 4. Contribute to culture and the arts, 18 5. Provide research and innovation, 12

36 Engage in student development 25 institutions. 1.Prepare students for a multifaceted work context. N=9. 2. Prepare students for a role as musician or artist. N=7. 3. Influence individual/personality development N=7. 4. Prepare students for a role in society. N=7. 5. Prepare students for a contribution to art/culture. N=3.

37 Prepare students for a role in society:  - … to prepare students to become actively involved in society  - The purpose of the college is to educate and train musicians for the benefit of individuals and society at large  - The University’s task is to educate independent, dedicated and reflective members of society who are able to work responsibly and engage themselves in important functions in the arts and education  - … to prepare university students for being responsible citizens who are capable of taking the initiative in life

38  - The principal object of the academy … shall be educating the students to feel responsible for the welfare of Poland, strengthening principles of democracy and respecting human rights  - … wants to educate and train gifted students into excelling musicians who contribute to society through artistic reflection on it  - … educate young people into creative, initiative, entrepreneurial members of the society who would be open to Lithuania and the entire world

39 Contribute to society 18 institutions. 4 have it as the only mission. 1. Contribute to employment. N=10. 2. Contribute to social values and social enrichment. N=6. 3. Contribute to general development of society. N=4.

40  6 want to contribute to social values and social enrichment:  - preserve the Estonian language and culture  - foster the spiritual harmony and the national identity  - and have a role of outreach to the public  - … wants to contribute to man’s overall sense of well being through music and art  - excite and inspire as many people as we can reach  - promotes itself and Ireland’s culture and creativity locally, nationally and internationally

41 4 want to contribute to general development of society, in 5 statements: - - The A … recognizing its social responsibility and seeking to serve the community - - … artistic excellence in responsibility to society - -… to contribute to the development of a human- centered Estonian society - - to provide service for society in its area of activity - - … acting for the benefit of local and regional communities

42 Approximately 20 of 50 institutions have mentioned some sort of contribution to society. Why have not all institutions mentioned this mission?

43 What contributions can research make? Richard Wistreich, Royal College of Music, London Geir Johansen, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo

44 Research in conservatoires Practice-led artistic (performance, composition) Musicological and music theoretical topics, often practice-based. Music psychology, performance science Music education Studies of the relationship between music institutions and society

45 Three questions 1.What might be the effect of ‘adding’ a new research area devoted to understanding the wider role of conservatoires in society? 2.How might ‘conservatoire-based research’ play a particular role in helping conservatoires situate themselves more dynamically and appropriately in society? 3.Could a more ‘critical and enquiry-led’ approach to learning and teaching, rebalancing the curriculum in favour of students as ‘co-researchers’ rather than ‘apprentices’, and encouraging them to address wider societal issues contribute to a more self-aware conservatoire?

46 Adding a new research area The wider role of conservatoires in society Conservatoires consistently claim that they are more than just ‘training’ schools. Is there a definable set of relations between conservatoires and society that is beyond just providing a music educational service? How do conservatoires function in society in general?

47 Conservatoire-based research How conservatoires see their role in society depends on their perceptions of society’s need for the kind of services they provide. But - how does ‘society’ view conservatoires? What do they want conservatoires to offer? Does the professional music worker fulfil the needs of the labour market? What characterizes the dynamics of conservatoires’ educational outreach, other community activities, and public artistic programmes?

48 A more ‘critical and enquiry-led’ approach Are conservatoires preparing their students to become citizens and not ‘just’ musicians? Conservatoires can be fertile spaces for initiatives, such as Developing ‘a critical and enquiry-led’, holistic approach to becoming a professional musician – including addressing wider societal issues e.g., Master’s and doctoral students pursuing collaborative projects that address broad questions about their own roles as musicians in society. Perceiving students as ‘co-researchers’ rather than ‘apprentices’ Students and their teachers acting as co-researchers in many ways and at several levels.

49 PART TWO: Discussion Pre-invited response – Professor Leonella Grasso-Caprioli, University of Venice, Italy. Plenary discussion


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