Karolien Dons

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Karolien Dons is a teacher and researcher at the Prince Claus Conservatoire and its research group Lifelong Learning in Music of the Research Centre Arts & Society. Karolien’s expertise hovers at the interface of music and quality of life and the contribution that musicians can make here. She is interested in innovative forms of musicking for and with people within specific social contexts, specifically in health care. Her recent research activities were situated in care homes, refugee centres, nursing homes for people with dementia and hospital wards. Karolien studied musicology at Ghent University and music psychology at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). In 2019, Karolien obtained her doctoral degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London) with an ethnographic study into co-creative musicking with vulnerable elderly people. Apart from her research activities, she teaches music pedagogy, music psychology and research methodology at the conservatoire's Bachelor in Music, Bachelor in Music in Education and Master of Music. 

Research Interests

Innovative music practices, musical co-creation, new audiences, person-centred music making, culture participation, ethnography

Professional Information

Member of the Ethical Review Board of the Hanze University (HEAC)

Member of the Exam committee Minerva Art Academy

Education/Academic qualification

Music, Doctor of Philosophy, Guildhall School of Music & Drama


Award Date: 31 Jul 2019

Music, Master of Arts, University of Jyväskylä

Award Date: 31 Jul 2010

Music, Master of Arts, Ghent University

Award Date: 31 Jul 2007

External positions

PhD student, Guildhall School of Music & Drama


Vice-chair Working Group Youth, European Music Council

31 Dec 200831 Dec 2013


  • M Music
  • co-creation
  • person-centredness
  • new audiences
  • professional musicianship
  • music practice
  • culture participation


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