Alongside education and production, research is one of the pillars of the Royal Conservatoire. The focus of research within the educational programmes is directed towards the artistic-musical and intellectual development of the students. In the Bachelor this involves the learning of basic research skills which a musician will require in their later music practice. These have relevance to the articulated ability to reflect on the musician’s own speciality.
Research in the Master course is more specifically directed towards the conducting of a research project where the student specialises in their own field. Types of research in the Master can range widely, for instance the making of instruments, experimentation, historical interpretation (e.g. in function of performance practice), creative (artistic) research, cultural/critical reflection and/or research in the field of didactics or pedagogy. The topics are usually directly related to the main subject, and are of importance both for artistic and intellectual development of the student as for the development of the field of study.
After the Master course students can apply for participation in the doctoral programme for musicians and composers which is facilitated by the Academy of Craetive and Performing Art at Leiden University. A research training programme is offered by DocARTES, the collaboration of the Royal Conservatoire, the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the universities of Leiden, Leuven and Antwerp, and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent. The final PhD defense takes place at Leiden University through the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts. Just like with the Master course, the student’s own artistic practice is the central element in the PhD course.
Research is not only one of the foundations of a musicians’ training, there is also an increasing number of teachers who are active in research as part of their work at the conservatoire. In this way, the nexus of research and education is further strengthened. Musicians, composers and sonologists who are connected to the Royal Conservatoire as teachers are traditionally always involved in research. This is integral to their leading position in the music profession. Teachers are offered the possibility of further developing and propagating this research within the conservatoire.
In the end all results of these research activities are of importance for musical practise, and contribute to the strengthening of the curriculum at the Royal Conservatoire.
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