A Digital Course in Music

A NEXT Step in Music Education?

Anja van Keuler by Ronald Knapp
Simon Reinink, by Marco Borggreve
Jorien Castelein by Hermien Lam
  • event type:Classical:NEXT 15 conference
  • date:21 May 2015
  • time:11:00 - 11:45
  • city/area:Rotterdam
  • venue:de Doelen - Conference Room 1
  • country:Netherlands
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

Chaired by:

Anja van Keulen (The Netherlands)
Head of music education, Concertgebouw Amsterdam


Jorien Castelein (The Netherlands)
Director, Blink Publishers

Simon Reinink (The Netherlands)
Managing director, Concertgebouw Amsterdam

Music education has been in decline for several decades. As a result, children are hardly given music lessons on primary schools and their teachers have in general lost the ability to teach music. In addition schools no longer have the means to buy learning materials, as a result of which publishers stopped developing new learning materials. To reverse this downward spiral, the Royal Concertgebouw has taken the initiative to cooperate with an educational publisher and to raise the money needed in order to develop a new, state of the art online learning course. This initiative aims to reach over 300.000 children in the Netherlands. The learning course is not meant to replace the teacher, but to enable the teacher in giving good and inspiring music lessons. In this session this learning course will be showcased. The debate will touch upon fundamental issues such as: can we ensure the quality of musical lessons when there is not a professionally trained musical expert present in the classroom? Will the course activate teachers to develop their musical skills or will it turn out to be impediment to their musical development? Is a digital school board a suitable tool to bring musical education into the classroom, or do we lose the essence of music when using smart boards and tablets?


Anja van Keulen:
Anja van Keulen studied recorder, education and geography. She has taught in primary and secondary schools and lectured and tutored at Hogeschool Rotterdam. In 2008 she worked as a music education coach for Concertgebouw, where she started a programme to train schoolteachers in Amsterdam. In 2009, she became head of Concertgebouw’s education and participation programme.

Jorien Castelein:
Jorien Castelein is co-founder and director of Blink Publishers, an innovative educational publisher in the Netherlands. She has worked for more than 20 years in publishing. Blink specialises in developing learning courses that empower teachers to bring out the best in pupils, by creating cross-medial courses in collaboration with teachers, pupils and scientific researchers.

Simon Reinink:
Managing director of the Concertgebouw since 2006. Holds a degree on Private Law and Musicology and worked as attorney at De Brauw, in management positions at Kluwer and ThiemeMeulenhoff. Chairs foundation of Linschoten Estate and in board of De Hoge Veluwe, National Music Instrument Fund and Amsterdam Partners.

Photo credits: Anja van Keulen by Roland Knapp, Jorien Castelein by Hermien Lam, Simon Reinink by Marco Borggreve.