transforming M3

Title of the research: ‘Transforming Musicianship: Developing Musicians’ Learner Identity Through Multidisciplinary Pedagogy’

Principal investigator: Adj. Prof. Dr. Guadalupe López Íñiguez 

Dates of research: 1.9.2018—31.8.2021

Funder: Academy of Finland (grants for postdoctoral researchers, 2017 call)

Follow the project updates here (Website) & here (Facebook)! 

Public Description of the Project

Despite the popularity of music learning and music making in Finland, the pedagogies that underpin instrumental studio teaching are outdated and ineffective. Based at the Sibelius Academy, the Transforming Musicianship Project will renew learning and performance practices among musicians and transform pedagogy in higher music education by highlighting the importance of learner identity. The project will revive historical music learning conventions to develop autonomous learners who can direct their learning and careers. The multidisciplinary project comprises an intra-individual, experimental and longitudinal study with seven classical musicians including the PI. The research involves questionnaires, reflexive diaries, interviews, concerts and rehearsals, and naturalistic observations of behaviour. The project’s theoretical and practical contributions have the potential to position Finnish music education at the forefront of instrumental pedagogical practice globally. 


  • Highlight the need to see instrumental music learning as a lifelong reflexive process in professional musicianship and western classical music; 
  • Nurture a professional learner identity among music instrumental students in higher education and graduate performance musicians through the development of strategies, resources, and tools to provide them with the means to improve and enhance their practice; 
  • Rebuild the traditional concept of guided learning and challenge rigid conceptions of transmission or apprenticeship models of instrumental learning; 
  • Challenge the status quo of classical music performance present in the orthodoxy of contemporary and historically informed performances; 
  • Extend the artistic research field, usually characterized by a single artist collecting data on his/her own artistic work, through a unique and multidisciplinary collaboration; and 
  • Develop a network of academics, performers, and institutions, providing opportunities to share ideas and develop collective and transformative pedagogical and performative knowledge. 

Results of the Project

(N.B.: The information below will be updated regularly.)

Scholarly and Popularized Publications

  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2019). Report from the symposium ‘Transforming Musicianship: Understanding C19th Historical Style and its Implications for Learning‘, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, 12th of November 2018. Manuscript in press. Trio, 8(2). | Julkaisufoorumi: 1
  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2019). On the transformative power of autoethnography as self-pedagogy: A cellist’s journey to learner identity formation. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • López-Íñiguez, G. & Bennett, D. (2019). A lifespan perspective on multi-professional musicians: Does music education prepare classical musicians for their careers? Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • López-Íñiguez, G. & Bennett, D. (2019). Engaging music students in the professional life: The role of learning identity. Manuscript in preparation.
  • López-Íñiguez, G. & McPherson, G. (2019). Intra-individual change and variability in intentional self-regulation: A concert cellist optimizing performance. Manuscript in preparation.

Concerts and Performances

  • (11.11.2018). Concert at Organ Hall, Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland).
  • (25.10.2018). Concert at the Moscow Philharmonic Society’s Small Hall, Moscow (Russia).
  • (10.9.2018). Inaugural concert at the Conference ‘Perspectives on Historically Informed Practices in Music Conference’, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford (United Kingdom).

Audio/Video Recordings

Symposia & Panels

  • (3.5.2019). Chair and speaker: ‘Did Music Education Prepare Me For My Career? A Panel With Multi-Profiled Musicians’. Event hosted at Wegelius Hall, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (Finland). Guest speakers: Tomas Djupsjöbacka, Markus Hohti, Anssi Karttunen (via video), Dr. Juho Laitinen, Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez, Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Heidi Peltoniemi, Prof. Martti Rousi. Organized by Uniarts’ CERADA, and the research initiative Developing Employability (Australia).
  • (12.11.2018). Chair and speaker: ‘Transforming Musicianship: Understanding C19th Historical Style and its Implications for Learning’. Event hosted at Wegelius Hall, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (Finland). Speakers: Claire Holden (keynote, University of Oxford, United Kingdom); George Kennaway (keynote, University of Oxford, United Kingdom); Tuija Hakkila and Guadalupe López-Íñiguez (Sibelius Academy, Finland). Organized by Uniarts’ CERADA, Uniarts’ CfAr, and the University of Oxford (United Kingdom).

Invited Talks and Guest Lectures

  • August 2019 (28th). INVITED TALK: at Re-Sounding Research Series, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane (Australia). More info later.
  • June 2019 (11th). INVITED TALK: Engaging Music Students in Professional Life: Highlights of an Employability Intervention. Future of Work Institute, Curtin University, Perth (Australia).
  • March 2019 (28th). INVITED TALK: Artistic performance-research studies in higher music education, at a symposium organized by The Alliance for Higher Education (Lehren), Radialsystem V, Berlin (Germany).
  • March 2019 (12th). INVITED TALK: About my research project on musician’s learning identity, Doctoral Seminar, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (UK). 2pm.
  • Spring 2019 (dates open). INVITED TALK: Talk on Artistic-Scientific Research, Folk Music Doctoral Programme, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (Finland). More info later.

Conference Presentations (Papers & Posters)

  • López-Íñiguez, G. & Bennett, D. (2019, July). Engaging Music Students in the Professional Life: The Role of Learning Identity. Paper accepted for the 7th International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS). Melbourne (Australia).

  • López-Íñiguez, G. & McPherson, G. (2019, July). Intra-individual Change and Variability in Intentional Self-Regulation: A Concert Cellist Optimizing Performance. Paper accepted for the 7th International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS). Melbourne (Australia).

  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2019, April). On the Transformative Power of Autoethnography as Self-Pedagogy in Higher Music Education: A Cellist’s Journey to Learner Identity Formation. Paper accepted for the ‘11th International Research in Music Education Conference’ (RIME). Bath Spa (United Kingdom).

  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2020, dates TBD). Presentation TBA. ‘34th World Conference by the International Society for Music Education’, Helsinki (Finland).

  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2018, September). The Beethoven-Mendelssohn Project: Constructing Historically Informed Performance Musicians’ Learning Identities, or How Time’s Up on Nineteenth-Century Music Orthodoxy. Paper presented at the Conference ‘Perspectives on Historically Informed Practices in Music’. Faculty of Music, University of Oxford (United Kingdom).
  • López-Íñiguez, G. (2018, September). Learning Identity vs. Classical Music Performance Orthodoxy. A Cellist’s Autoethnography of Embodied Cognition and Self-Regulation. Paper accepted for the 3rd “Doctors in Performance” festival conference. Vilnius (Lithuania).

Research Visits

  • (2019 May 20 to June 30). Visiting fellowship, Curtin University, Perth (Australia).
  • (2019 July 11 to August 18). Visiting fellowship, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne (Australia).
  • (2019 August 19 to September 4). Visiting fellowship, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, South Brisbane (Australia).
  • (2020 Spring). Visiting postdoctoral researcher, Faculty of Music, Oxford University, Oxford (United Kingdom).
  • (2019-2021 several dates). Visiting fellowship, Faculty of Psychology, Madrid Autonomous University (Spain).

Training events 

  • (16.7.2019) Different research training events: Performance Science Development Day, provided by the ISPS Conference and the Australia Music & Psychology Society (AMPS), Melbourne (Australia).
  • (28.11.2018) Lecture: Grounded Theory lecture (10:30-12:00) by Markko HämäläinenLecture hall U3, Aalto main building, Espoo (Finland).
  • (31.10.2018) Workshop: Media Training for Researchers (9am-4pm) with TV presenter and journalist Kirsi Heikel, Theatre Academy, Helsinki (Finland).
  • (18.9.2018) Seminar: Viewpoints to societal impact in the humanities and social sciences (11:30am-3:30pm), Academy of Finland, Auditorium, Helsinki (Finland).
  • (27.8.2018) Meeting: Kick-off meeting for the new Academy of Finland researchers (10-12am), Uniarts Rector`s office, Botta, Helsinki (Finland).


  • (3.5.2018). Press release of the project at the Spanish newspaper Las Provincias.

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