Give us a call on+44 (0)7960 700335
Ensemble practices in the arts
  • Illuminating the range and nature of collaborative working and ensemble practices in the arts

Ensemble practices in the arts

As a visiting Professor at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, I am leading interdisciplinary research within CERADA with a team from across the disciplines of theatre and dance, music, and fine arts in the University of the Arts, Helsinki. This work explores the nature and range of collaborative working and ensemble practices in the arts, and the ways in which these practices may catalyze learning and innovation in higher arts education and in wider fields of organizational design and management. We aim to illuminate and celebrate the diversity of collaborative learning and teaching processes across the disciplines, and to explore potential for interdisciplinary dialogue, exchange and collaboration.

Ensemble working and processes of collaborative development are increasingly understood to underpin high-level performance, expertise development and innovation. In the arts, ensembles work in multi-layered, embodied and often tacit ways. Practices vary across artistic disciplines, yet relatively little research has been done to understand synergies and differences between them, although interdisciplinary activity is rapidly growing both in professional arts practices and in higher arts education.

This project is building on existing knowledge to illuminate ensemble processes and collaborative development within music, theatre, dance and fine arts. Findings will be used to provide a rich resource for interdisciplinary research and exchange within these disciplines. In addition, it is clear that insights from the arts can offer important critical perspectives on ensemble-working and collaborative development relevant to contexts beyond these disciplines, including for example the generic discipline of organizational development within management studies. As well as being relevant to the development of higher education in the arts, this research aims to have wider scientific and societal impact within organizational design and development.


Why entrepreneurship should be at the heart of higher education, and what we’re doing about it at the Guildhall School….
Universities are melting pots of creative, bright and idealistic young people – they have the potential to be hotbeds of innovation. Those specialising in...
As we embrace the new year, here's a blog about leadership in the arts, not about celebrity, but about slow burn growth, connecting personal and...
Coaching skills are becoming increasingly important to us at the Guildhall School.....  
Creative Entrepreneurship, do we really need to bother in the performing arts? And is it relevant to what we do in Higher Education?

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.