This article describes musicians' lifelong and lifewide learning as it was investigated through biographical research. Key developments in the professional lives of 32 musicians were examined, focusing on critical incidents and educational interventions in their life, educational and career span. The main thread was the question of how these musicians learn. After analysis, three conceptual entities were established in the biographies, the first being musicians' artistic, generic and educational leadership; second, the interconnection between their varied learning styles; and third, their need for an adaptive and responsive learning environment within a reflexive and reflective institutional culture. Two biographical examples of musicians suffering from performance anxiety are described, focusing on their leadership, learning styles and subsequent transformative and transitional learning when developing coping strategies. The article concludes with directions for teaching and learning that can be extrapolated from the findings of biographical research.