De promotiecommissie was van mening dat met dit werk een concrete basis is gelegd voor het hanteren van het concept van lifelong learning binnen het Europese muziekvakonderwijs. Het proefschrift Musicians as Lifelong Learners: Dis.overy through Biography’ behandelt het concept van lifelong learning door middel van biografisch onderzoek naar leerstijlen, attitudes en waarden van musici in formele en non-formele onderwijscontexten. Het proefschrift en de daarbij horende 32 leerbiografieën worden begin volgend jaar uitgegeven bij de academische uitgeverij Eburon. Voor haar onderzoek maakte Rineke Smilde biografische portretten van musici uit alle geledingen van het muziekvak, nationaal en internationaal. Zij interviewde onder meer pianist Yonti Solomon, gitariste Corrie van Binsbergen, saxofonist Yuri Honing, violist Oene van Geel, zangeres en pianiste Dena DeRose.
Today musicians face major changes in their professional life, confronted with questions of how to function flexibly and exploit opportunities in the rapidly changing cultural context. To this end, the concept of lifelong learning is being investigated within this study; lifelong learning being a dynamic concept that responds to the needs generated by continuing change. Biographical research into musicians’ learning styles, attitudes and values leads to the proposition that informal learning and related modes of learning, in both formal and non-formal educational settings, can play a prominent role throughout different stages of music learning.
Educational interventions that generate new models of adaptive learning environments are explored, underpinning recommendations for continuing professional development. Future musicians would then have the opportunity to acquire a reflective and reflexive attitude in their response to cultural change and develop into true ‘lifelong learners’. Within the study ‘Musicians as Lifelong Learners: Discovery through Biography’, biographical research was used to examine key developments in the professional lives of musicians, focusing on the relationship between their life, educational and career span and their learning styles.
This resulted in a collection of 32 narrative learning biographies of musicians with various careers and from different age categories, in which critical incidents and educational interventions were described. Three main categories are used: musicians with a performing career, music pedagogues and musicians with a portfolio career, who combine different roles within various areas of engagement. The main thread throughout the biographies is the question of how these musicians learn and what we can learn from this when designing a conceptual framework of lifelong learning in music.