Music Education Conferences

I recently attended conferences of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in New York City, and Cultural Diversity in Music Education (CDIME-NINE), in Seattle.

At AERA, I had the great pleasure of finally meeting in person with the entire editorial team of International Journal of Education and the Arts. Other highlights of AERA included opportunities to see sessions on arts learning that developed from Liora Bresler's important new reference work International Handbook of Research in Arts Education, as well as a session on popular music that was organized by Randall Allsup.

CDIME was an amazing conference and I highly recommend it. There were really too many fascinating presentations there to mention. I especially enjoyed seeing my mentor Pat Campbell again, and Steven Morrison, as well as former classmates, and ethnomusicologists such as Bonnie Wade, Anthony Seeger, and Charles Keil. Some particularly insightful and memorable presentations were made by the great kiwi musicologist John Drummond and Seattle's music technology guru Jon Kertzer. I presented a paper there entitled Inside the World's Largest Music Competition: Application of an Ensemble Ethos Model.

At CDIME, it was a great pleasure to meet Huib Schippers, Ninja Kors, and Carlos Abril for the first time.

Between CDIME and AERA, I briefly visited the Honkfest West events with Charles Keil.

Yesterday I learned that MENC has cancelled its next national meeting because only 1,000 people - less than 1% of its membership - attended its national biennial meeting that is currently (today) running in Milwaukee. This is quite small compared to meetings of other relevant organizations, such as the Midwest Clinic (for bands) and the American Educational Research Association. Prior to the conference I had heard that proposals for presentations by many of the most well-known music education researchers had mysteriously been rejected this year. I did not submit a proposal, since I had a prior commitment to conduct an honor band in Connecticut.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education has historically played a very important role in the field of music education in the United States, essentially unrivaled in terms of its impact, but it is surprising to see how much it has transformed in recent years to become so closely allied with the music industry, the American military, and the educational agenda of George W. Bush's administration. In previous generations, MENC was known for taking a progressive view of music and education, so perhaps this 100-year old organization will manage to reorganize and survive its current crisis. The field of music education seems to be rapidly changing, and at this point it is difficult to know which organizations have become the most important sites for new ideas in the field. I suspect that the next conferences of AERA and CDIME will be well worth attending, as well as meetings of the International Society for Music Education.

Here are links to relevant websites:

American Educational Research Association (AERA) -


International Journal of Education and the Arts (IJEA) -


Cultural Diversity in Music Education (CDIME) -


Honkfest -



MENC: National Association for Music Education -


ISME: International Society for Music Education -


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