Advancing Music Education

We will soon be giving a presentation about recent developments in Northern Europe for the world conference of the International Society for Music Education, in Baku, Azerbaijan. We are happy to report that the book on which this presentation is based has now entered the production stage and will be published by Routledge within about six months. The manuscript received positive reviews, and we are currently contemplating cover designs and awaiting the "proof" results of the layout process.

Below is the abstract for our presentation, Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe: Authorship in a State-Sponsored International Network

This session will report on the findings and outcomes from a new multi-authored book entitled Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe, under contract by Routledge, with publication expected in mid-2018. We chronicle how the Nordplus-sponsored Nordic Network for Music Education was founded and developed across a 20-year period, document the network’s impact on Master programs and professional development in the field of music education, and demonstrate how the eight nations involved in this network – Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – are making unique contributions of global significance to the field. Northern Europe, is a region arguably of great importance to music education for a number of reasons, seen for instance in Norway’s ranking as the ‘happiest nation on earth’; the well-known success of Finland’s schools in international-comparative measures of student achievement; how Sweden has grappled with its recent experience as ‘Europe’s top recipient of asylum seekers per capita’ and Estonia’s national identity as a country born from a ‘Singing Revolution’, to name but a few examples. Our book offers reflections on how music education, and approaches to the training of music teachers, have changed across recent decades, a period of significant innovations. At a time when international partnerships appear to be threatened by a recent resurgence in protectionism and nationalism, our book (and the discussion at ISME) also more generally demonstrates the value of formalized international cooperation in the sphere of higher education. Our panel for the ISME conference in Baku includes authors from several different Nordic and Baltic countries (including Norway, Sweden, Estonia, and Iceland), each of whom contributed chapters to the forthcoming book. The co-editors of the book will chair the one-hour session in which we discuss the concept of the book, as well as key points developed through our international collaboration, and share reflections on the process of collective authorship.

Chair: David Hebert, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Kristi Kiilu, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
Geir Johansen, Norwegian Academy of Music
Cecilia Ferm-Almqvist, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden
Adriana Di Lorenzo Tillborg and Eva Saether, Malmo Academy of Music, Lund University, Sweden
Helga-Rut Gudmundsdottir, University of Iceland

Here are links to earlier posts with more information about NNME and the book project:

From China to the World: Internationalizing

I have just returned to Norway from a visit to Beijing, where I had projects with both China Conservatory of Music and the China University of Political Science and Law, and attended the National Music Education Conference.

Next, I go to Baku, Azerbaijan to give two presentations at the world conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). One of the presentations is called “From China to the World: Internationalizing an Innovative Music Education Initiative”.

Here is a link to a brochure for this presentation:

Below is the abstract of our presentation:

On November 6 of 2017, CETV (the world’s largest Chinese-language educational broadcaster) televised a special report on the official launch of Huaxia Yuefu, which took place at the annual national conference for music education in the People's Republic of China. Huaxia Yuefu is the Chinese branch of a major initiative known as Open Global Music Academy (OGMA), which has been developed across the past 3 years in cooperation with various ISME leaders, and is expected to become the world’s largest music institution. The purpose of OGMA is to enhance international knowledge of music, and musical collaboration, via online study partnerships. Three of the Chinese professors that have been most active in ISME across recent years participated in the launch of Huaxia Yuefu: Jiaxing Xie (China Conservatory), Bo-wah Leung (Hong Kong University of Education), and Victor Fung (University of South Florida, USA). Twenty pilot online courses (known as MOOCs) were demonstrated at the conference, with representatives from 225 universities, teacher colleges and music conservatoires. The courses fall into six major fields of music study: MOOCs for universities, conservatories, general education, teacher colleges, early childhood, and community music education. According to the CETV report, there are currently 300,000 music teachers in China, but this is insufficient relative to the increasing demand for music education, and online education via MOOCs offers important opportunities that would otherwise not be possible for providing lessons to music students and enhancing the specialized professional training of music teachers. Now that Huaxia Yuefu has been launched in China, the next step in this initiative is to expand in partnership with higher education music institutions worldwide that would like to cooperate with Chinese institutions to facilitate online music studies in both Chinese and English. Huaxia Yuefu is likely to soon reach tens of thousands of Chinese learners, but the broader Open Global Music Academy (OGMA) vision calls for both English and Chinese subtitles, and overdubs, in online courses that openly share knowledge of music around the world. How will the Chinese Huaxia Yuefu branch expand into the international OGMA framework in the near future? The purpose of our ISME panel session is to engage in transparent discussion regarding possible governance models for OGMA and prospective policies to ensure the OGMA initiative is inclusive, educationally effective, and technologically robust, with intuitive functionality that fits the needs and interests of music educators worldwide. With reference to the theoretical underpinnings and practical developments in various phases of this project, our discussion will emphasize ways of steering the future development of the Open Global Music Academy so it aligns well with the vision and mission of ISME.

Speakers: David Hebert, Jiaxing Xie, Alex Ruthmann, Gary McPherson, Bo-wah Leung, and others.


Summer Teaching in Arts Policy

For the next two weeks, I will be teaching in Norway for our new PhD course Cultural Heritage and Policy in a Digital Age, a part of the Bergen Summer Research School: Global Challenges.  

To launch the BSRS opening event, I am also premiering an original piece on trumpet and piano, composed in collaboration with pianist Mai Goto. Fitting the program theme, we call it Facing Global Challenges.

UPDATE (15 June 2018): Here is a link to an article about BSRS!:

Our PhD course, which I am co-teaching with prolific math educationist and Indigenous Studies researcher Tamsin Meaney, has attracted accomplished scholars from all around the world, representing an array of academic and professional fields: from Norway, Nigeria, Turkey, India, Indonesia, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Guyana, and Greece. Their fields of specialization include archaeology, music, library/information science, law, public relations, socio-political studies, comparative literature, language arts, media technology, global studies, comparative politics, and museum studies. We have so much to learn from each other, and there are many good reasons to anticipate a very stimulating and profoundly meaningful experience together in Bergen, Norway!

Here is a link to projects from the course:

After BSRS, I teach a course for China’s leading law school, which nowadays has the world’s largest law faculty, CUPL-Beijing. That course is called “Arts Policy in the 21st Century”.

Later, I will go to Baku, Azerbaijian to chair two panel presentations at the 33rd world conference of the International Society for Music Education. The titles of these sessions are (1) “Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe: Authorship in a State-Sponsored International Network” and (2) “From China to the World: Internationalizing an Innovative Music Education Initiative”.

It is inspiring to have the chance to work with such diverse and thoughtful students, and to catch up with colleagues from across the world.

[Shown above is a photo I took of the harbour in Bergen a few days before BSRS. Below is a video of our performance from the opening day]


Book Launch and Concert of East Asian Music

A unique book release event and concert is planned for Friday, September 7, 2018, at University of Bergen and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. It is open to the public. A detailed schedule will be posted here when the planning is finalized.

We will celebrate the publication of a new book entitled International Perspectives on Translation, Education, and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies (Springer, 2018), which is a major research outcome of the Nordic Association for Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS).

A guest lecture will be offered by one of the distinguished contributors to the book, Dr. Lars Larm – a linguist recently affiliated with University of Gothenburg and Lund University, Sweden. 

As the book’s contributing Editor, I will also give a talk, and with pianist Mai Goto I will give a short concert of folk songs from Japan and Korea as well as works by East Asian composers. As the Hebert-Goto Duo, we have recently begun preparing Norwegian and East Asian repertoire in the hope of attaining funding for a recording session and international tour.

The major sponsor for this event is the Japanese Studies department at University of Bergen, and support has also been offered by the Institute of Arts Education at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Here are links for further information about the book:


Music Conference in Zhejiang

The Fourth International Forum for Leadership of Music Institutions (IFLMI) will be held in Jinhua, Zhejiang, China in mid-May, 2018. Several notable music professors from around the world will be attending as invited speakers.

UPDATE (16 May 2018): There have been some cancellations, but here is a link to the final program for this event: 

It has been a pleasure to be part of the organizing committee. I will give a presentation on the Nordic Network for Music Education, and also discuss the process of MOOC development for the Open Global Music Academy, which is to be built upon Huaxia Yuefuan online consortium of 200 music institutions in China.

Below is an institutional profile of the School of Music at Zhejiang Normal University, which is likely to develop an excellent international network through this unique event.

Zhejiang Normal University, School of Music
Founded in 1985, the Music School of Zhejiang Normal University (ZJNU) is one of the earliest higher music education institutions in the province. Currently we have 72 faculty members, which including 10 professors, 27 associate professors, 23 lecturers and 12 staffs. Most of our faculty members held doctoral and master degrees, one was selected to “the Excellent Talent of the New Century by the Education Ministry Plan,” three were selected to the “151 Talent Project of the New Century,” three were selected as the provincial young leaders of the higher education system.
Currently the Music School has 700 undergraduate students and 120 graduate students. We offer three bachelor programs: Musicology, Music Performance and Dancing. We also offer first rank Master Program in Music and Dancing; recruit both EDM and MFA students in graduate level.
The ZJNU music education building has 13,000 mand provides plenty space for Music School for our study, research, teaching and learning. Our music library has more than 60 thousand publication volumes. Up to now, more than 2,000 school music teachers have achieved their academic degrees from our school.
We are looking for more overseas music education institutions for international cooperation. We sincerely welcome foreign universities or music colleges to create connections and cooperative relationships to us.
Address: 688 Yingbin Ave., Wucheng District, Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province 321004, P.R. China
Tel: (+86) 579-8228 2416


Book Release Event in Norway

Celebrating a new book with live music and readings . . .

UPDATE (June 25): There is already a nice review of this book:

WHEN: Wednesday afternoon, April 25, 2018, 14:00.
WHERE: Library, Kronstad campus, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen.
WHO: All are welcome, free public event.
LINK for more details:

The book to be featured at this event is called Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age (edited by David Hebert and Mikolaj Rykowski). This book describes how the experience of music has changed as a result of new technologies and evolving attitudes toward the human condition. Cambridge Analytica/Facebook and music preferences, didjeridoos of PVC pipe, Eastern vs. Western influences from contemporary Uzbek music to the compositions of Estonian composer Arvo Part, musical traditions of Sumatra (Indonesia), and how Wagner transcends the stereotypes of pro-Nazi art - these are just a few of the topics raised in the book Music Glocalization.

Prof. Hebert’s co-author for this book – Dr. Mikolaj Rykowski – is coming from Poland to participate, and together they will present the main ideas from the book, offering brief readings and live performances of songs that directly relate to themes in the book. They are joined by two other musicians, Mai Goto and Aleksandra Rykowska.

Drinks and snacks will be served, and the audience will also have a chance to win a free copy of the latest book.

Here is a link to the recent book release event in Poland:

Here are links for further information about the book and its authors:


Book Release Event in Poland

I look forward to visiting Poznan, Poland, in early April for a launch of our new book Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age.

Here are links for further information about this book, including free samples:

A link to further information on the book launch will be posted here soon. To make this book launch especially interesting, we plan to perform songs that thematically link with each excerpt to be read from the book.

Shown above is a nice photo of the Old Town district of Poznan, offered to the public domain by Dennis Jarvis on Wikipedia.