Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Karolien Dons is professor (lector) Music in Context at the Research centre Art & Society. Her expertise consists of innovative music practices in social contexts. Recurring themes in Karolien’s recent research activities are a.o. participatory making processes, the engaged musician and ethical aspects, for example about inclusion and autonomy. Karolien was connected to the research group Lifelong Learning in Music where she substantially contributed to numerous research and innovation projects in capacity of researcher and project leader, such as Music and Dementia, Music at the Odense house, Meaningful Music in Healthcare (MiMiC) and Professional Excellence in Meaningful Music in Healthcare (ProMiMiC). 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 the facilitation of co-creative musicking with vulnerable elderly people.

Research Interests

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

Professional Information

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

Education/Academic qualification

Music, Doctor of Philosophy, Musician, friend and muse: an ethnographic exploration of emerging practices of musicians devising co-creative musicking with elderly people, Guildhall School of Music & Drama


Award Date: 31 Jul 2019

Music, Master of Arts, Music Psychology, University of Jyväskylä

Award Date: 31 Jul 2009

Music, Master of Arts, Musicology, Ghent University

Award Date: 31 Jul 2007

External positions

Working Group member Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality of the ARTEMIS project, Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC)


PhD student, Guildhall School of Music & Drama


Vice-chair Working Group Youth, European Music Council



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


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