LUCA School of Arts - Campus Lemmens
Chamber Music Hall

Lemmensberg 3
3000 Leuven

Bridging the gap!

Lectures & artist talks
Bridging the gap!

How can artistic-pedagogical strategies using musical improvisation in community music projects and formal music education inspire each other?

In recent years, improvisation has been increasingly used and practiced in music education and has become an important educational tool to promote creativity (MacDonald et al., 2011). Recent research increasingly points to the importance of interaction and collaboration for the development of creativity.

In this symposium, we elaborate on how the pedagogical - artistic strategies of community music projects using improvisation, may inspire a broader range of educational practices.

The pedagogical-artistic strategies of the coaches in such projects (Hickey, 2015; Schiavio et al., 2019), their training and their beliefs may play a crucial role not only in enhancing a sense of belonging (Verneert, Nijs & De Baets, 2021), but also in facilitating the musical process and outcomes. Thus, they foster the emergence of an educational approach that may have the potential to enrich formal music educational practices. We focus on the pedagogical implications to provide a more systematic approach in working with musical improvisation and implications for teacher training.

This symposium will address important questions such as: How can we highlight the social relevance of improvisation in music, as well as critically consider how improvisation can be shaped in formal music education? How can educational practices in CM and formal music education be reconciled? What is needed for teacher training?


Prof. dr. Raymond MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)

Dr. Jo Gibson (Guildhall School of Music and Drama and York St John University)

Dr. Maria Varvarigou (University of Limerick)

Dr. An De bisschop (University College of the Arts, Ghent - University of Ghent)

Prof. dr. Luc Nijs (University of Luxembourg)

Filip Verneert (LUCA School of Arts - KU Leuven)

Prof. dr. Thomas De Baets (LUCA School of Arts - KU Leuven)

This mini symposium combines several research lines from the music education research cluster at LUCA - KU Leuven: improvisation, music in the community and the music teacher. The symposium aims to share knowledge both between our researchers and foreign speakers and to connect with practitioners in the field.


09.00 – 09.30         
Registration and coffee

09.30 – 09.40                    
Welcome and introduction (Thomas De Baets)

09.40 – 10.00                    
Opening statement (Filip Verneert)

10.00 – 10.45                    
Keynote (Raymond MacDonald)

10.45 – 11.15                    
Musical improvisation (LUCA students – Bert Appermont)

11.15 – 11.45                   
Coffee break

11.45 – 13.00                   
Paper session on the (social) relevance of improvisation in formal education, community music and teacher training.
Jo Gibson, An De bisschop, Filip Verneert (chair: Thomas De Baets)
Discutants: Mathias Moors, Tine Castelein, Wiebe Sieds Koopal

13.00 – 13.45                    

13.45 – 14.45                   
Paper sessions on the intersections between informal, non-formal and formal practices and contexts in music education.
Luc Nijs, Maria Varvaringou (chair: Filip Verneert)
Discutants: Thomas Geudens, Lierin Buelens

14.45 – 15.30                   
Panel discussion
Raymond MacDonald, Luc Nijs, Maria Varvaringou, An de Bisschop, Jo Gibson, Filip Verneert, Thomas De Baets (chair)



Register through the link below.

price: 30 euro

This event is organized by the Music Education Research Cluster of LUCA School of Arts - KU Leuven (www.musiceducation.be)