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Conference blog 2015

Final preparations are in full swing, excitement is growing. This year for the first time, I'm curating a blog in the lead up to and immediately after the conference. Entries are contributed by presenters and delegates, students and professionals close to the conference. The aim is that the blog helps to open up what I hope will become key areas to showcase, discuss and debate during the conference, and will then sustain the exchange after the live event. There are some wonderful and provocative contributions already - please join the exchange on being a global musician, or bringing "rasa" into the heart of artistic practice, the transformative power of questions in one-to-one teaching and Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process, the DNA of contemporary work in conservatoires or leadership and empathy in the arts.........

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This, our 4th conference, has the title "Creativity and Changing Cultures". We will have sessions on visioning future artistic learning environments, exchange and learning through the body across different art forms, the realities of professional life and need for creative entrepreneurship, enabling and supporting peer learning, transforming skills of feedback and reflection, deepening enquiry and research as artistic practitioners, the role of improvisation in developing core musicianship/artistic craft, connecting individual and group creativity. We will be showcasing innovative work and findings from recent research, and using these to open up key questions and debate about how we continue to develop specialist performing arts education with integral relationships to professional arts organizations.

My hope is that the conference will support renewal and fresh thinking at a critical time for the arts as a whole. Within contexts of major funding cuts and perceptions of irrelevance in some quarters, specialist education in the performing arts has a challenging and exciting part to play: championing and enabling fundamental values of human connection, artistic and creative expression, passion and determination to excel; at the same time empowering fresh thinking outside the box, interdisciplinary working, artistic and educational innovation and risk-taking. What I see happening is momentum building in renewing conservatoire practices based on these principles, and in repositioning the multi-layered value that our institutions can offer to young people, the creative industries and wider society. I believe, therefore, that it is more important than ever then that we grow and deepen our community and exchange in order to make a step-change collaboratively towards revitalizing experience of the performing arts at the highest levels, and embodying their vital place in society.

See here for details and how to book.

In a nutshell

So why should you be interested in Learning in and through the Performing Arts?

The collaborative processes of the performing arts open a pandora's box of possibilities for artistic, personal and organizational development. They are subtle and multi-layered, embodied practices that can yield much more than what individuals bring to them, creatively and in terms of human exchange. My work is about continuing to develop these processes for the twenty-first century, so that artists can adapt to their changing contexts and enable their work to take root as creative entrepreneurs, and so that the processes of the arts can be shared and enhanced through exchange with other disciplines and across cultural contexts.