2nd European Music School Symposium

2019 | October 10th to 11th


Creating interfaces in music education systems

The second European Music School Symposium was dedicated to collaboration and offered panel discussions and keynotes with renowned experts from 25 European countries in addition to numerous European research results. In 32 presentations, diverse approaches and perspectives for a broad musical education, which also surpass institutional boundaries, were presented. 

As a broad music education requires diverse educational settings, manifold musical experiences and different institutional options music schools must cooperate with partners to enable every child and adolescent to reach their individual musical goals. The challenges of enabling diverse access to music education and the associated cultural participation for as many children and young people as possible became clear in many of the presentations. The research contributions presented the associated challenges in relation to the professional profile of teachers, the interactions with communities of practices and, in particular, the role of pupils in the context of teaching and also outside institutional education. In line with the theme of interfaces, the contributions also dealt in particular with the interfaces between schools and music schools in different countries such as Ireland, Austria, France and other European countries.

The special position of music schools, which as organisations must cooperate with other institutions in order to be able to fulfil this task in today's society, was elaborated in differentiated ways. In addition to looking at numerous innovative and creative approaches that have been developed at music schools in this context, the social responsibility of music schools was also always addressed. Here, especially results and analyses from model projects such as Floora or Songlab in Finland, AÏCO in France or L'Hospitalet in Spain showed interesting results.

More than 140 researchers and experts took part in this symposium, which took place at the mdw from 10 to 11 October 2019. With internationally renowned speakers, including Peter Renshaw, Heidi Westerlund, Stefan Gies and many others, this symposium once again enriched the comprehensive topic of music education and also offered numerous innovative impulses for the music education landscape. Special attention was again paid to the connection between research and practice. Once again, the European Music School Union was intensively involved in the implementation. This was exemplarily visible in the function of the board members as chairs, in some joint presentations by researchers and music school experts and above all in the participants, who showed a balanced mixture between researchers and practitioners. The KOMU (Conference of Austrian Music School Associations) was traditionally responsible for the evening concert, in which 26 young music school pupils from all provinces performed. During a summer camp at the mdw, they had independently developed and designed a concert format under the motto "Collaboration", which delighted the European audience.

This symposium took place for the first time two years ago on the initiative of the mdw and was implemented this time within the research platform Interfaces | Music School Research at the Institute for Music Education Research, Music Didactics and Elementary Music Making. With this successful format, a further focus but also differentiation in the European exchange around the diversity of musical education systems is aimed at.


Coming soon: Music Schools in Changing Societies within the ISME Routledge Book Series