Keynote: Brit Ågot Brøske (Norwegian Academy of Music)

Towards Music for All: Values and Responsibilities in Community Music and Music Teacher Education

Community music has evolved as a field of practice and a field of research internationally, and is experiencing increased interest also in the Nordic countries. Community music practices seem to share some common values, such as an unconditional welcoming, cultural democracy, inclusion and in many cases also social change. At the same time, the field of community music has paid less attention to formal music education and teacher education. This keynote aims to discuss the relationship between community music and formal education settings. It argues that reaching the aims of community music practices requires a well-functioning cooperation between formal and informal education, and further that both sides would benefit from a dialogue on values, practices and approaches. The discussion draws on research studies on collaborative projects and practices in Lebanon, India and Georgia. These examples represent different models of combining informal and formal education, but are all based on collaboration between local partners and music teacher education. Building on this, the key-note raise some questions on how to design music teacher education for promoting central values within both the field of music education as well as the field of community music.

Alicia de Bánffy-Hall (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

The Development of Community Music in Germany through the Lens of Critical Pedagogy

In this presentation I will introduce the Masters program in inclusive Music education/Community Music at Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. I will provide a brief background of the development of community music in Germany that led to the establishment of the MA program. I will then examine challenges as well as pedagogical strategies that are in resonance with community music principles when delivering the courses for our community music program.

Michele Biasutti (Università degli Studi di Padova)

Teaching Improvisation through Processes

The fundamentals of environmental education to sound and of music ecology are presented in the current report by analysing the main trends in soundscape research. The following three main areas are examined: the first concerns the ecological psychology and the variables involved in the perception and cognitive processes of the everyday listening, the second the environmental psychology and the approaches to sound and noise, and the third the world soundscape project that considers the acoustic, social and cultural characteristics of the soundscape. Research trends have been developed on the basis of different assumptions but are considered complementary in order to integrate them in applied research. Finally, the educational potential of the soundscape is highlighted, identifying the main implications in the field of music education and community music. The idea is that the basic competences regarding the soundscape can contribute to the fundamentals of environmental education to sound, developing applied interventions. In this case, the soundscape becomes the stimulus to induce people to think about the sound and acoustic characteristics of the places, trying to develop a basic sound competence and creating a musical ecology. It is a concept that can induce particular educational application planning activities and actions in the realms of schools and community music.


Biasutti M. (1999), Educazione ambientale al suono, La Nuova Italia, Firenze.

Gianpaolo Chiriacò (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

Sanctuaries of Slavery: Dealing with Music in Impossible Communities

‘Sanctuary of Slavery’ is the name of a performance organized for Transart, a popular festival in South Tyrol that focuses on music and contemporary cultures. Central for this performance was a series of musical and artistic workshops with asylum seekers led by myself and by the rapper and jazz-vocalist Napoleon Maddox.
The main goal was to enhance social relationships through collective artistic practices in a way that could support a stronger community among asylum seekers and between them and local people. However, the project had to face and somehow overcome the idea that asylum seekers should rather focus on working (whether it was daily gigs, volunteer jobs or the search thereof) and not engaging in such ‘wasting of time’. We encountered this idea everywhere, within local musicians and organizers, within social workers, as well as within the asylum seekers themselves.
How is it possible to build a communal space through music where the very possibility of such a thing is neglected by the larger community? In this presentation, while showing video excerpts of it, I will argue that the final performance, together with its unconventional title, provided a tentative answer to this question.

Franz Comploi (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

How Do Community Music and Music Education Position Themselves in the School?

At the moment there are exciting discussions about the relationships between music education in schools and out-of-school music education. Where and how is Community Music positioned in this context of the tension between con-centration or de-centration of music education in and/or outside school?

Ana Čorić (University of Zagreb)

Developing Community Music Activities in Higher Education System: Working on Sounded Stories

The role of music teachers in the modern society has changed and expanded in theoretical, practical and contextual sense. Polisi (2016: 13) emphasize the importance of developing the professional identity of musicians as a sociological challenge and says that „there should be no dividing line between artistic excellence and social consciousness“. Therefore, a music teacher today needs to be educated as a good musician, teacher-facilitator, creative entrepreneur, artist-citizen and reflective practitioner (as a meta-category). The artist-citizen dimension makes one of the most important parts of his identity, because it implicates an inclusive engagement with music in different educational contexts (Schmidt-Campbell and Martin, 2006; Elliott, 2015; Elliott, Silverman and Bowman, 2016; Polisi, 2016). Integration of music and music education in all aspects of social life though community music makes culture accessible to all citizens, which can contribute to the cultural development and well-being of the whole society. This shift in thinking about musicians’ professional identity has affected educational and methodological paradigm of higher education. Music academies are slowly developing their civic mission and become places with “open doors” for different audiences. As the potential of community music in Croatian society is still unknown, the purpose of this presentation is to describe Love Notes, one of the community music creative workshops for children, made by students and teachers at Music Education Department, Academy of Music, University of Zagreb. The activity is based of making sounded stories, based on the stories form the classical literature. Every story has a follow-up part made of different artistic activities, wich makes these workshops interdisciplinary in many ways. The target group for workshops was originally blind children with mental disabilities, but soon the programme widened the scope to all interested children in different contexts. In the first year of implementation, it expanded to childrens’ libraries, parks and nature in the city of Zagreb, and connected the Academy of Music with many NGO’s, schools, hospitals, children’s homes and interested students from diverse universities in the local community. The program of sounded stories Love Notes also connected students from various musical programmes and their teacher in a transformative process which gives a great chance to all of them to explore different ways and contexts of music education practice. Using qualitative methodology, this presentation will gather their experiences in the engagement in the project.

Keywords: artistic citizenship, community music, higher education system, music education, stories.

Lee Higgins and Catherine Birch (York St John University)

Community Music as a Global Phenomenon

In the presentation and workshop, the first moments of the encounter between community musicians and participants will be explored. What does it mean to be welcoming? One might say that a well placed and genuine welcome might make those whom receive it feel like the new place is “home from home” setting up a positive situation – one where the wish is to repeat the experience. Examples of practice illuminates the complexes of human relationships within set boundaries and across profound social barriers. The session will be shared with Catherine Birch.

Paul Mosley (University of Sheffield)

AHRC – International Project Presentation

Both in high-income and in developing countries, welfare systems are finding it increasingly difficult to cope. Structural changes including an ageing population, market liberalisation, and freer migration have created new risks to well- being which welfare authorities have found hard to manage. Similar pressures have also afflicted developing countries, where the underlying problems are even more complex because of state weakness and consequent vulnerability to conflict. As a consequence, there has been a tendency for inequalities of income and wealth to increase over time in many developing and industrial countries, with the implication of increased risks of internal conflict. The key question which arises from this is how best to promote poverty alleviation and social inclusion within this context.

In this research we investigate an unexplored but potentially powerful approach to this question: the promotion of the performing arts, and specifically musical education and performance, as a vehicle for achieving social inclusion. It has long been acknowledged that the arts do not thrive if their provision is left to the free market; but what is much more recent is that some exciting initiatives in the performing arts, especially El Sistema of Venezuela, the global range of music training initiatives which it has inspired and the group of initiatives collectively known as ‘community music’, have attempted not only to fill a gap in the market but at the same time to try and transform society, and in particular to address the problems of poverty, social exclusion and political instability mentioned above. The aim of these programmes is through musical education and performance to increase capacities such as resilience, creativity, ability to collaborate with others, which can be seen as assets – and thereby individual and community well-being. Their achievements have been lauded by many world-famous musicians, including Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado; however, these achievements are disputed. The British academic Geoff Baker and others have argued that El Sistema of Venezuela, so far from achieving a miracle, has entrenched a backward-looking and even repressive system of musical education in Venezuela, and that claims for its effectiveness are based on an inadequate methodology.

We agree with the latter point –although not with the whole of Baker’s critique – and in this research use a ‘qual-quant’ methodology, rather than the purely qualitative approach used by most writers in this field, to achieve accurate measurement of impact. Working with partners who have pioneered measures to broaden the social impact of music in both the developing world (the Fundaciόn Musical Simόn Bόlivar in Venezuela and the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste in the DRC) and the industrialised world (Sistema Italia and Sound Lincs and More Music in the UK), we apply this methodology to assess the social impact of these different approaches between 2019-2021 and to embed them into practice in both the global North and the global South.

Werner Schmitt (International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation)

Musique Europe

Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest violinists and humanists of the twentieth century, founded the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in Brussels in 1991 as an international non-profit association by royal decree.
His vision was to bring to life long-term projects, designed to give a voice to the voiceless, through artistic expression in all its forms. As the parent company, the International Foundation coordinates a network of associations that are the national operators of programs such as MUS-E® network.
The mission of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation is to remind political, cultural and educational institutions of the central place of art and creativity in any process of personal and societal development. Drawing on Yehudi Menuhin’s humanist work, it initiates artistic projects that give a voice to the cultures present in Europe.
The main activity is the launching of the MUS-E® program, which is active today in 13 countries and involved more than 1 million of children. One of the most developed MUS-E® activities are in Italy beside of Spain.
MUS-E® could celebrate at the “city of birth”, Bern Switzerland now “25 years of MUS-E®“.