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ICON Seminar 11

Kallio-Kuninkala, Helsinki, Finland


Theme of the 11th Seminar: Student-centred teaching

Last updated September 12, 2016

ICON Seminar 11: Student-Centred Teaching

In recent years we have experienced an important shift in emphasis in higher education from a focus on teaching and the expertise of the teacher to processes of learning and how students become empowered to develop their potential.  This does not at all remove the need for a teacher’s musical expertise. Rather it challenges us to explore the nature of the collaboration we have with our students and to extend our repertoire of approaches so that we can respond appropriately to them as individuals and as a community, and can be creative as teachers in working with students to open up powerful developmental pathways.

At ICON we have been working to develop three particular aspects relating to this theme:

•             The use of questions in learning and teaching, and how different kinds of question stimulate different sorts of responses, thereby also affecting the nature of the interaction and relationship that builds between students and teachers. In particular we have explored the potential of open questions and the way in which these promote more of a coaching/mentoring rather than didactic relationship.

•             Embodied learning and teaching and the huge impact that our physical presence and communication through the body have. We have been drawing particularly on the experience and expertise of actors and dancers, and have begun to focus on how our embodied sensitivity to one another’s presence, and availability to listen and respond, changes the experience of learning and teaching.

•             Improvisation and the ways in which this can bring us in touch with our fundamental musical and personal identities, and liberate our creative and collaborative instincts. Improvisation is of course a creative process in itself, and we have also explored its potential in supporting interdisciplinary collaboration and as a reflective and problem-solving tool within learning processes.

In this seminar we will work to develop these three dimensions further. We will also specifically seek to empower participants to make ICON their own in terms of identifying how they can use particular exercises and approaches within their own contexts as artists and teachers with their students, and in building confidence to do this and to continue evolving their own professional practice.

Who is the seminar aimed at?

  • Teaching staff or those responsible for pedagogy courses who are actively exploring one or more of the fields above.
  • During the seminar we particularly hope to be able to share the full range of knowledge and practical approaches in these fields that participants have; our aim is that some of the outcomes will then feed into a larger seminar in autumn 2015.


Cost: £465 GBP (550 Euro) per person (includes accommodation, meals, access to all sessions, excludes travel).

Practical Details
Kallio-Kuninkala, Helsinki, Finland
Dates: Sunday, 26 October – Wednesday, 29 October 2014.
Note the seminar will start at 18:00 and end after breakfast on 29 October.
Sunday 26 October:
arrival at Helsinki-Vantaa airport preferably before 16.00hrs (we will start with dinner at 18:00pm).

Wednesday 29 October: departure from Helsinki-Vantaa airport from 13.00hrs (we will finish at approximately 10:00am)

Please be aware that Kallio-Kuninkala is a 30-40 minute taxi journey away from the airport.




Event Resources

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Last updated September 12, 2016


Each institution sends between 2—4 participants to each seminar. ICON members associated with this seminar are shown here. Click on a member’s photo to be taken to their profile page.

Last updated September 12, 2016