32nd World Conference
International Society for Music Education
Glasgow, UK 24-29 July

Preconference Seminar

ISME Commission for Community Music Activity (CMA)

Innovation and Change in Community Music

19-23 July 2016

Hosted by Edinburgh College and Edinburgh Youth Music
In collaboration with Sage Gateshead and Sound Sense

The XV Community Music Activity (CMA) Pre Conference Seminar will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 19-23 July 2016. The seminar will bring together community music practitioners and scholars to celebrate and explore the music-making practices, pedagogies, and cultural politics that are currently shaping community music throughout the world.  The program will feature a welcome function on the 19 July, a 4-day seminar based at Edinburgh College concluding with a day trip to Sage Gateshead on 23 July.

We welcome community music practitioners and scholars to join us for this exciting seminar, which will precede the XXXII International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference in Glasgow from 24-30 July 2016. The ISME World Conference themes are Well Being, Social Justice and Identity. The ISME World Conference 2016 aims to foster global understanding and cooperation among the world’s music educators, by strengthening ties and sharing ideas about different aspects and issues within music education, in ways that promote music education for people of all ages throughout the world. The Conference will have relevance for school and studio music teachers, university academics, music researchers, students of music, practitioners, and other interested parties across all areas of music and music education.

The Pre Conference Seminar theme will be Innovation and Change in Community Music. Community music as a field of practice, pedagogy and research is coming of age. This growth and development has been reflected in the biannual CMA gatherings where new debates about the nexus of practice, pedagogy, research, and ethics have been emerging and new voices have begun broadening the agenda to consider community music at the interface of other disciplines. Further internationalisation of the field has brought insights from cultural contexts in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, which are challenging and transforming accepted approaches, priorities and ideas within the field. The increase of scholarship and academic courses has significantly increased the amount of people engaging in community music, and these new voices, agendas and contexts indicate that the field is continuing to expand, diversify, and mature. This seminar sets out to capture the vibrant, dynamic, and divergent approaches that now characterize the field, and also chart the new and innovative contexts, practices, pedagogies, and research approaches which will change and define the field in the coming decades.

The following three themes will structure the content of the seminar. The questions are presented to stimulate thinking within each theme. Presentations that address other issues relevant to the seminar themes will also be most welcome.

Becoming a community musician in the twenty-first century
We invite submissions that explore the process of becoming a community musician participant and a community musician facilitator in the twenty-first century.

  • What are the skills needed for community musicians in the twenty-first century? How have these changed over time?
  • What innovative pedagogical approaches and curriculum designs are needed to deal with the current realities of community music?
  • In the training of community musician facilitators, how do we best facilitate learning about the music in community music and community in community music?

The nexus of practice and research in community music
We invite submissions that consider the nexus of practice and research in community music from the perspective of the practitioner and/or the researcher.

  • What innovative approaches are community music practitioners currently using in the field and what innovative methodologies are community music researchers using in the field? How can we maximise the synergies between these? 
  • How can innovations in practice and research enhance the evaluation of community music programs more broadly?
  • What are some practical strategies that can be used to build collaborations and synergies between community music practice and research within and beyond the seminar?

Community music at the interface of interdisciplinary and international developments
We invite submissions that examine community music at the interface of other disciplines and what new perspectives arise from diverse international perspectives in this space.

  • What new and innovative insights come from the interface of community music and other fields (such as public health, social justice, political activism, peace making, health and wellbeing, and online engagement, amongst others)?
  • What are some of the significant trends emerging in community music across the world? How have changes in political perspectives and ideologies impacted upon these developments?
  • In what ways is this increasing internationalisation of community music changing the nature of its practice, pedagogy and scholarship?




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Conference Secretariat Email: isme@meetingmakers.co.uk