Caring for musically gifted children

In this project, Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez seeks to support children gifted for music internationally, so that they can live as agentic and healthy individuals while pursuing desirable educational outcomes in caring ecosystems.

Research description

Despite decades of humanitarian discourses advocating for the ethical education of exceptional achievers, children gifted for music remain largely underprotected and exploited for the sake of sustaining the prestige of educational institutions and nations. In this project (2022-2027), Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez explores how the politics of care in elite higher music institutions and certain educational “cults” could better support the education of gifted children. This transdisciplinary, intersectoral, cross-cultural, and multimethods research includes data from diverse cohorts of participants in multiple contexts in Finland and beyond. Systems Thinking will be used as an overarching approach to explore fundamental change in professional music education. Based at the Sibelius Academy, the project seeks to support children gifted for music internationally, so that they can live as agentic and healthy individuals while pursuing desirable educational outcomes in caring ecosystems.

Dissemination

Refereed publications

López-Íñiguez, G., & McPherson, G. E. (2023). “Caring approaches to young, gifted music learners’ education: a PRISMA scoping review“. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1167292.

López-Íñiguez, G., & Westerlund, H. (2023). “The politics of care in the education of children gifted for music: A systems view“. In K. S. Hendricks (Ed.), Oxford handbook of care in music education (pp. 115-129). Oxford University Press.

General audience publications

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, November 20). “Music education pathways for underage gifted learners’ talent development“. Uniarts Helsinki’s Emerging Perspectives on Instrumental Pedagogy blog.

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, August 9). “Caring for children gifted for music: Who is responsible & is it really done?” Uniarts Helsinki’s Emerging Perspectives on Instrumental Pedagogy blog.

López-Íñiguez, G. (2022, November 16). “The pro­fes­sion­al­iza­tion of gifted chil­dren in the per­form­ing in­dus­try: Who cares?” Uniarts Helsinki’s Emerging Perspectives on Instrumental Pedagogy blog.

Reports

López-Íñiguez, G. (2024). “The politics of care in the professional education of children gifted for music: A sustainable ecosystem worth advocating” [Special Issue on sustainability in music education]. Finnish Journal of Music Education, 27(1), 129–136.

Invited keynotes

Westerlund, H., Laes, T., & López-Íñiguez, G. (2024, July 30). “Beyond Advocacy: Engaging with the Political in Music Education”. Invited collective keynote, 36th World Conference for the International Society for Music Education (ISME), Helsinki (Finland).

López-Íñiguez, G. (2024, January 22). “El complejo ecosistema de los niños con altas capacidades para la música: ¿Cómo podemos facilitarles un futuro más amable?” [“The complex ecosystem of children gifted for music: How can we facilitate a kinder future for them?”]. Invited keynote, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile (Chile).

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, April 13). “Desafíos en la educación musical profesional de niños y niñas con altas capacidades” [“Challenges in the professional musical education of children with high abilities”]. Invited keynote, I Congreso Iberoamericano de Psicología de la Música y Cognición Musical, organised by SACCoM, ABCM), and AEPMIM. International online conference.

Invited talks/lectures

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, October 19). “The art of connecting multiple research projects across the years to tackle my dream: Caring for children gifted for music”. Invited talk, Ian Potter Southbank Centre, University of Melbourne (Australia).

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, January 19). “Insights into my 11- plus 5-years’ research journey: What it takes to tackle the musically gifted child paradigm”. Invited talk, University of the Arts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy Research Forum, Music Centre’s Agora (Finland).

López-Íñiguez, G. (2021, May 17). “The right to a childhood for musically gifted children: Academic acceleration in higher arts education”. Invited talk, University of the Arts Helsinki’s CERADA and Open Campus online seminar (Finland).

Refereed conference paper presentations

López-Íñiguez, G. (2023, August). “Caring approaches to young, gifted music learners’ education: Is there any evidence?” Paper presentation at the 25th Biennial World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC). Virtual conference.

López-Íñiguez, G., & McPherson, G. E. (2023, August). “Caring for musically gifted children: What research is out there?” Paper presentation at the 9th International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS). Warsaw (Poland).

Symposia, panels, round tables

Symposium (refereed; chair): “Providing caring professional education for children gifted for music: A sustainable ecosystem worth advocating”, with the presentation “Caring for musically gifted children: What do various music education and music industry stakeholders suggest?”. 36th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). Date TBA, 2024. Helsinki (Finland).

Workshops

López-Íñiguez, G. (2024, date TBA). “Caring for gifted children who study in higher education and work as professional musicians”. Refereed workshop for music professionals. ISME CEPROM Commission 25th International Seminar, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn (Estonia).

Other events

Pitching competition at Science Night LIVE! (2023, March 29). Awarded the 3rd Prize, pitch title: “Caring for Musically Gifted Children”. Event funded by Tieteen tiedotus and jointly organised by E2 Research, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, and Heureka. Heureka, Vantaa (Finland).

Research project’s kick-off seminar (2022, October 11). Keynote address by Prof. Gary McPherson, and a discussion panel with distinguished guests. Sonore, Helsinki Music Centre (Finland).

Principal Investigator

Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez is a Spanish researcher, musician, and educator based in Finland. Her main goals as an academic are to support music students in their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, and to help performing musicians in building a thriving career. Guadalupe holds a permanent position as a University Researcher in the fields of instrumental pedagogy and performance science at Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki. She has led multiple research projects as a PI since 2009; as an Academy Research Fellow appointed by the Research Council of Finland, she is currently leading the project “The Politics of Care in the Professional Education of Children Gifted for Music” (2022-2027). In recognition of her contributions to the psychology of music education, she has been awarded several international prizes and has received honorific titles from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (Honorary Senior Fellow) and the Sibelius Academy (Docent). An important part of her scholarly life is dedicated to supervising and empowering doctoral candidates to undertake inspiring projects related to music education.

Some of her current leadership roles include being co-editor in chief of ISME’s Spanish language journal “Revista Internacional de Educación Musical”, co-chair of ISME’s Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician, a member of the European Association of Conservatoires’ Artists as Makers in Society project, and member of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers’ Information field and open science -working group. Guadalupe is co-editor of “Learning and Teaching in the Music Studio – A Student-Centred Approach” (Springer, 2022), and “Research Perspectives on Music Education in Ibero-America” (Routledge, forthcoming), and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters with leading publishers. She is internationally sought-after to serve as a distinguished speaker as well as an expert for academic journals, doctoral committees, scientific conferences, and funding bodies. In addition to the field of gifted education in music, her research expertise includes constructivist pedagogy and conceptual change, musicians’ employability and careers, identity and lifelong learning, and wellbeing, as well as music performance optimisation and theories of emotion and motivation. 

As a musician herself, Guadalupe knows the music performance field from within. She holds a Master’s degree in classical music performance and plays professionally on baroque, classical, and modern cellos. Alba Records released her critically acclaimed albums with the complete cello works by Gabrielli and Scarlatti in 2018, and the complete cello works by Mendelssohn in 2019. She has played recitals at relevant festivals and venues in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She has recorded for radio and television and collaborates at times with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra. She also has earlier professional experience as a studio teacher and curriculum developer at the music school level, having taught cello to children who are now professional musicians.

Contact information

Blog

Videos

Keynote lecture (in Spanish) at Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago, Chile, January 22 2024.

Media coverage

Newspaper Interview (3.2.2024) regarding specialist music education of gifted and talented children by Helsingin Sanomat (Finland).

Video Interview and Academic News Release (26.1.2024) on the research project regarding caring for musically gifted children by the University Alberto Hurtado (Chile).

Academic News Release (24.1.2024) on the research project regarding caring for musically gifted children by the University of Valparaíso (Chile).

Written Interview (17.4.2023) on giftedness education in music for the Finnish Broadcasting Company – Yle (Finland).

Online Newspaper Column (17.4.2023) on the research project regarding caring for musically gifted children for Uusi Suomi (Finland).

TV News Interview (16.4.2023) on innate abilities in music for the Finnish Broadcasting Company – Yle (Finland).

Documentation for participants

Information Form | Consent Form | Privacy Notice | Ethicality Statement (28.4.2023)

Project name

The Politics of Care in the Professional Education of Children Gifted for Music

Time

09/2022-08/2027

Funder

The Academy of Finland (Ref. 348591)

Team

Principal Investigator: University Researcher & Docent, Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez

Lead organisation

Sibelius Academy