Welcome to the research overview page of the Lectorate Music, Education & Society at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. This exposition gives access to documentation of all research projects supported by the lectorate between 2018 and 2021. For projects since 2022, please click here.

More info about the lectorate can be found on the research page of the Royal Conservatoire.


Music education, especially instrumental education, often builds on traditions and the experience of many generations of musicians. At the same time, new insights into the historic, cultural, biological and cognitive fundaments of musical imagination, expression, perception and motoric demand the innovation of musical training, preparation and performance. The research cluster ‘Musical Learning and Performance’ builds a bridge between music education and didactics on the one side, and insights from other knowledge fields that may lead to more informed processes of musical learning and performance on the other.


Royal Conservatoire The Hague, 2018-2021

Theory in Practice. Analysing music theory (2019)


Suzanne Konings, Jasper Grijpink, Patricia Witte, Santo Militello

The lectorate 'Music, Education & Society' at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague is led by Paul Craenen and focuses on the role and meaning of musical practice in contemporary society, from the perspective of higher music education.

Music is everywhere, both in public and private sphere. Our relation with music is constantly changing through influences of media, technology and changing cultural values. In cognitive, social and medical science, the attention for music is growing, and leads to new insights into the possibilities of music in education and society. In the arts, there is an increasing exchange between disciplines and many artists follow unique, self-made career paths. Successful musicians often combine many different skills. 

Due to this dynamic, higher music education is faced with great challenges. How can professional music education prepare students for a musical culture in a state of flux? Which cultural developments are crucial and should be implemented in the curriculum? Which are the values of musical traditions, niches and specialisations in a globalised world? How can musicians contribute to new collaborations and face the ethical questions that arise from today’s complex society?

The lectorate investigates these questions from the perspective of conservatoires, and supports their ambitions to educate a new generation of musicians that are able to play a meaningful role in the arts, in education and in the cultural field. To fulfil this mission, we choose for a pluralistic research perspective in which artistic, applied and engaged approaches complement each other.

research cluster: MAKING IN MUSIC

The research cluster ‘Making in Music’ investigates how music and sounding art come about and what drives music makers and sound artists today. Special attention goes to research that crosses the borders between composition, improvisation and performance.

In addition to supporting individual research projects, the research group looks for new insights and common grounds that can be implemented in the curricula of various departments within the conservatoire.







The research projects of the lectorate are organised in three complementary research clusters that embody the societal, artistic and educational mission of the lectorate: Curating Music, Making in Music and Musical Learning and Performance. Each of these clusters brings its own research approaches. The scheme above visualises this diversity in a simplified manner. Research projects often combine applied, artistic, and socially engaged perspectives, therefore the arrows are in no way exclusive to the associated research cluster but only indicate general perspectives.


research cluster: CURATING MUSIC

The concert hall is by far not the only place where educated musicians can share their music with an audience anymore. Musicians work in neighbourhood projects, schools, hospitals; in the public and virtual space. This calls for a reconsideration of the skills that contemporary musicians need and a critical examination of the discourse that grounds our musical and artistic values. Even in traditional music venues, the public is becoming increasingly diverse and often no longer shares a common cultural repertoire. This poses a challenge to the way early, classical and contemporary repertoire is contextualised, presented and performed. The research cluster ‘Curating Music’ investigates how musicians can interact with today’s audiences and curate music by engaging with the world from their own artistic identity.