The Future of Education

Edition 14

Speaker Profile

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Johanna Maria Roels

Institution: COIMEVA Comm.V.

Address: Keizershofdijk 4/5

Postal Code: 2222

Country: Belgium

Institution: Coimeva Comm. V.
Address: Schoolstraat 9
Postal code: 3040 Ottenburg (Huldenberg)
Country: Belgium

Johanna Maria Roels studied at the Conservatories of Antwerp and Ghent (piano, harpsichord, chamber music, music analysis etc.). She obtained a doctoral degree in (music) education from the university of Antwerp. From 1979 till 1995 she has been performing onstage giving solo-and chamber music recitals and playing with orchestra. She also served as a conductor and piano accompanist for choirs, brass band, operetta. As artistic adviser and co-founder of Symfonia Joachim, Johanna also organized multiple concerts and lectures at a national and international level. In this endeavour, she engaged artists from several disciplines such as musicians, authors, actors, painters and dancers.

Johanna has a long-standing track record on teaching piano. For many years she served as a visiting professor at the Royal Music Conservatory of Antwerp, teaching classes in piano methodology and collective composition/improvisation.

Key areas of work and interest

Johanna developed a novel approach to teaching music. Using the piano as an example, she recorded the results from her in-depth research and documented her underlying insights on the subject of music pedagogy in her doctoral thesis. Her comprehensive work on this topic includes a wealth of educational information, including international lectures, workshops, peer-reviewed (ISI-) publications, articles and books. Johanna titled her novel concept ‘Children on Wings’. This concept aims for deep-level-learning-effects with high cross-disciplinary transfer capacity and is embodied in a child-friendly approach to composing music. Children on Wings’ recipe for teaching music is unprecedented in that it starts from a non-musical input, i.e., visual expression. It fosters musical development and education by capitalizing on the logical sequence of listening, designing and performing. The interaction between the visual and aural components gives the concept exceptional value. ‘Children on Wings’ advocates for a new approach to musical education, wherein exploring and exploiting children‘s unique creativity plays a central role. By building on their very own intelligence and tapping into their cognitive abilities, the method ultimately enables children to not only develop an authentic musical language but to also unveil other latent capacities. As those become visible, relationships between different competencies can be established and integrated into the overall educational approach. Hence, this novel path of musical education has the capacity to broaden the perspective of children’s overall talent and development. Although the title ‘Children on Wings’ refers to children, the concept applies to students of all ages including adults.

Areas of expertise: piano teaching, piano methodology, composing and improvising, music pedagogy, music psychology

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