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:

UPDATE (July 23, 2018): Below are a few photos from the presentation, which was very well attended and positively received by delegates from several different countries, including leading professors from China, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, etc.

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.

UPDATE (July 23, 2018): Below are a few photos from the presentation in Baku, which was very well attended by delegates from many different countries, including Board members of the society. Unfortunately, neither of the women scheduled for our panel were able to attend, but we engaged with excellent Discussants from many places, including Ana-Lucia Frega from Argentina and Eva Saether from Sweden.