Knowledge exchange at Guildhall School
Knowledge exchange is core to Guildhall School’s values and mission. As an institution we are committed to supporting positive change in the wider world by working with a range of partners across higher education, the public sector and the creative industry.
We train artistic citizens who can make a positive difference in a fast-changing world. Our vocational training enables students to work side by side with leading artists and industry, bridging innovative opportunities for mutual exchange and learning between academia and industry contexts.
Our creative alliance with the Barbican centre enables us to have increased impact – in community engagement in our locale, in supporting the career development of artists and creative professionals, and in convening debate and discussion on the future roles of arts HE and cultural institutions.
As a local authority department, we hold a unique position as a founding partner of Culture Mile, enabling us to have an impact on placemaking, urban design and planning, community engagement, and relationships with local business.
We foster partnerships which promote exchange of ideas and shared innovation. We work with professional orchestras, theatres and arts centres, but also explore partnerships for mutual learning and development in sectors such as arts and health, social justice, and architecture.
Our programmes in continued professional development enable us to work with diverse industries outside of the cultural sector to develop skills through the prism of artistic practice and education.
We are committed to exploring the potential for technology to innovate and disrupt, through partnerships in immersive and interactive digital experiences, and our on-site state-of-the-art low-latency streaming infrastructure fostering further creative innovation and audience engagement.
We cultivate and develop meaningful exchange and collaboration with the creative industries, with a focus on performing arts: driving innovation for the thriving arts sector of the future, and maximising the impact of the arts on wider society.
We collaborate with key partners to enable small creative businesses and creative professionals to flourish, through targeted business support, CPD and skills programmes, open calls and commissions.
We actively participate in KE networks across HE within the UK and internationally at both institutional and individual levels.
Leaders on Stage: Developed by the School’s Coaching Associates and designed around research with orchestral players, this course is an experiential, highly interactive programme backed up by neuroscience, positive psychology and tried-and-tested professional coaching tools and techniques. The course equips orchestral musicians with non-musical leadership skills that support them to empower all members of their sections. Our aim is to help all members of the orchestra to be at their best in the moments when it matters most. With this work and through the steady building of a ‘community of practice’ we aim to effect a positive change in the culture of orchestras.
DISRUPT: Launched in 2021, DISRUPT was a digital festival that aimed to bring together industry, policy makers, researchers and publics to explore radical change in the sector. Over two days, DISRUPT looked at how the performing arts and communities collaborated during the pandemic, as well as new models for working in partnership with communities. We endeavoured to structure the process as non-hierarchical, inviting challenge, critique, and a diversity of experiences. Our partners had equal decision-making powers and input, a new way of working for the school. All applications for the festival programme were invited via an open call process; the commissions were selected by a panel of brilliant people, independent of our partners, with the panel then selecting the successful commissions using their own sets of priorities; and finally our programme was constructed with, and by our commissioning partners. To view the commissions and video footage taken from the 2021 festival, click here
In 2022, we used this same way of working to partner with a team of industry leaders. This led to us developing the DISRUPT Toolkit, a resource for sharing power that collated learnings from the festival as well as new ways of thinking. Partners included Barbican, Slung Low, Headway East London, Jumped Up Theatre and the Royal Exchange. In 2023 we will be launching the Toolkit and its digital counterpart, with a focus on distributing this nationally.
We support staff, students and alumni by enabling creative entrepreneurialism, high-quality outward-facing knowledge exchange and socially engaged practice.
We challenge our students to work to professional standards in a world-class context, drawing on the insight and skills of internationally-renowned artists and practitioners, such as directors, designers, conductors, coaches and tutors.
We support students and alumni to be artistic citizens by ensuring that creative entrepreneurialism and socially engaged practice are a key part of their training, with sustained opportunities for graduates to engage with us.
We aim to actively encourage academic staff to engage in high-quality outward-facing knowledge exchange, maximising possibilities for knowledge-sharing, dissemination and impact.
Music Therapy: Working alongside qualified music therapists, this MA programme allows students to experience working with adults and children on placements in a variety of settings including healthcare units, special and mainstream schools, and with people who experience mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities and communication disorders.
Guildhall Live Events (GLE): GLE is an innovative unit which provides immersive technology services to external partners and clients. It also provides a conduit between professional industries and the educational practices of Guildhall School; providing industry experience to students, and offering the best of emerging talent to external partners. During the Pandemic, GLE and production arts students worked with BILD Studios to create cutting-edge 3D virtual performances of our Opera Double Bill. From home, the cast and chorus captured and filmed their own performances, which were brought to life on a virtual stage through innovative technology.
We will pursue our aim to allow all young people, whatever their background, to learn and thrive through access to the arts. We achieve this through partnership, drawing together arts expertise, education and local government to deliver a step change in access to the arts for under 18s.
Music Education Islington: Launched in 2018, this pioneering education hub is the first of its kind to be offered by a Conservatoire. The programme opens up a wealth of diverse opportunities for young people in Islington to access world-class music education, resources and experiences.
National Open Youth Orchestra: The National Open Youth Orchestra offers an environment where talented young disabled and non-disabled musicians learn, rehearse and perform together, promoting a more diverse orchestra for the 21st century.
We collaborate with partners across sectors, including business, industry, public and third sector to deliver innovative exchange, harnessing the power and value of the performing arts.
We work with our partners in Culture Mile to deliver creative place-making and regeneration in our local area, creating genuine exchange with local communities and stakeholders.
Our Coaching programme is led by a highly trained group of associates from a broad range of industries. We work with freelancers, organisations, and individuals to develop bespoke training to meet development needs and empower people to reach their potential as leaders, mentors and professionals.
We develop income generation potential through a variety of KE relationships that draw on the specialisms and expertise of Guildhall with opportunity for commercialisation, technological innovation, and entrepreneurial developments.
Culture Mile Creative Enterprise and Innovation Research: In 2019, we funded research by BOP and Publica into innovation in the Culture Mile area. The report found the area’s mix of culture, technology, commerce, learning and research make it ideally placed to become London’s ‘Creative Innovation District.’ The report led to the Lord Mayor forming a Culture and Commerce Taskforce. The Taskforce is convening cross sector collaboration and leadership to address the challenges faced by the cultural and creative industries.
Change Makers Academy & Workshops: This area of creative industry support was developed in order to give renewed agency to creative industry workers affected by the COVID crisis. The offer comprised intensive short courses in partnership with the Change Collective, and free drop-in workshops led by industry professionals. The offer covered both theory and practice, with the ultimate aim to foster genuine change and career advancement.