The Transformative Politics of Music Education in an Aging Society

This research project (2019-2022) by Tuulikki Laes explores music learning and performing as ways of promoting ageing identities.


This project challenges the dominant ideas of lifelong music education in the rapidly ageing society. It aims to shift the focus from health benefits of music for older adults to the music learning and performing by older adults. The data will be generated within three multigenerational music learning communities in Finland by interviewing the older adult participants. In addition, ready quantitative data about the current musical learning and participation possibilities of retired adults in Finland will be utilized in parallel with the qualitative data through a mixed method approach to illustrate the need for a systemic change in music education to better cater for older adults.

The project presents a new, sustainable vision of lifelong music education by connecting the societal, institutional and individual dimensions and showing how music can be part of rethinking the societal position of ageing and older adults.


Tuulikki Laes is a researcher and entrepreneur who believes in the potential of music to tackle major challenges in our society.

Her scholarly expertise and interests are in inclusive & special education, critical disability studies, adult education & critical gerontology, policy studies, critical theory, creative systems thinking, and sociology of ageing, among others.

Currently Tuulikki is leading her own Academy of Finland funded post doctoral research project (2019-2022): The Transformative Politics of Music Education in an Ageing Society at CERADA, University of the Arts Helsinki. She works regularly as a lecturer, public speaker, mentor and facilitator in various contexts.

Tuulikki is also the founder and CEO of RockHubs, a company that helps to build accessible, intergenerational music learning communities in urban environments.

Contact information for the project

Project name

The Transformative Politics of Music Education in an Aging Society




Academy of Finland