Dialogues on Music: Playing Matters

Robert Duke & Susan Williams in conversation on playfully converting mistakes and growing as an artist, moderated by Johannes Boer

In October 2023, Robert Duke (Director of the Center for Music Learning) will come to The Hague for a visit to the KC. We have seized this opportunity to invite Robert to join us in conversation with KC teacher Susan Williams in a ‘Dialogues on Music’ event on 5 October, 19:00 – 21:30, in Studio 1.

What is a mistake or a failure? When does judgement come in for something we have struggled to achieve? And whose judgement is it? Do we actually know what we want to achieve? It looks as if everything that matters can be approached only seriously. But if music is the result of playing, play should matter too. Play could be a tool for converting mistakes into constructive matter. It actually might be a condition for growing as an artist. In this dialogue, the speakers will use their expertise and experiences to confront each other and the audience with challenging ideas about playing, learning, competition, overestimation of accuracy or efficiency, safety, memory, predictions, expectations, etc.

Robert Duke’s research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, and his most recent work explores the refinement of procedural memories and the analysis of gaze in teacher-learner interactions. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction, The Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University, and Brain Briefs, which he co-authored with Art Markman, his co-host on the public radio program and podcast Two Guys on Your Head, produced by KUT Radio in Austin.

Susan Williams is one of the world’s most well-known specialists in baroque trumpet. In addition to teaching natural trumpet and leading ensemble projects and workshops, Susan has been giving regular courses in practicing and performance preparation for over ten years. Susan is actively involved in curriculum development in the area of training practicing. She teaches in staff development programs in The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria and for the Netzwerk Musikhochschulen of Germany. She has carried out research on the topics of attentional focus and musical imagery, as well as self-regulated learning for musicians. Susan’s book Quality Practice has enjoyed wide popularity amongst musicians and teachers. In 2020 she developed NOTES: a Musician’s Reflective Journal.



5 oktober 2023 19.00 - 21:30


Studio 1, Royal Conservatoire, Amare