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How to Integrate Artistic Research in a Master Curriculum for Music Performance Majors—a Proposition from the Royal Conservatoire the Hague

29 August 2019


The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague has a long history of actively engaging with artistic research through its longstanding cooperation with Leiden University and its ambition to integrate artistic research in all of its programmes. During a 2017 external review of its research activities by MusiQuE, an international evaluation organisation for higher music education institutions, the Royal Conservatoire was mentioned to be an international leader in this field. Despite this history, it is constantly seeking to improve the integration of instrumental/vocal and composition training with artistic research activities. 

In September 2019, the Royal Conservatoire will start a new experimental curriculum in its Master of Music programme, which seeks to further integrate the various elements of the curriculum. The educational philosophy of the programme is dedicated to developing the student’s individual artistic vision, personal growth, inquisitive and entrepreneurial attitude and independence, and their instrumental and technical skills at a high qualitative level. We want our alumni to be excellent performers and composers, but also professionals who can reflect on their role in society and navigate the complex realities of today’s music profession. To guide their development, the curriculum is designed in three domains: artistic development – research – professional preparation. 

The main goal of the Master of Music programme is for students to develop and complete their own master’s project that will integrate these three domains. The programme is aimed at helping students to find their place in the professional practice. Therefore, they are constantly encouraged to make their own choices and develop and carry out their own ideas and plans. We challenge them to connect all three domains in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them, so that they can find their ‘niche’ and prepare themselves for the professional practice after they have finished your studies. Acquiring research skills is an essential part of this objective. To support the students, they will receive intensive individual guidance from instrumental/vocal teachers, master research supervisors and professional integration coaches. 

In this presentation, the rationale of the programme will be explained in view of the European higher education context, details will be provided about the curriculum of the programme with regards to its schedule, content and assessment methods with a focus on the artistic research domain, and input will be asked by the audience for further development and reflection.

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