Music schools and their ecosystems: Building sustainable futures
University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 15–16 October 2022
Department of Music Education Research, Music Didactics and Elementary Music Making (IMP) Partners: European Music School Union (EMU), Conference of Austrian Music School Associations (KOMU)
In preparation for the 3rd European Music School Symposium (6–7 October 2023), more than 60 participants from 24 countries spent a day and a half together online discussing sustainability in music school contexts from different points of view:
· Cultural sustainability: interaction and education in a field of tradition and creativity
· Social sustainability: participation, well-being, and vital connections
· Environmental sustainability: mindful use of resources and its implications for music school practice and research
· Economic sustainability: strengthening institutional resilience and developing long-term policies
Welcome addresses were given by Eveline Christof, Head of the Department of Music Education Research, Music Didactics, and Elementary Music Education (IMP), University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Philippe Dalarun, President of the European Music School Union (EMU), and Michaela Hahn, Conference of Austrian Music School Associations (KOMU).
Two main talks were given:
Sustainability and beyond: Music schools and their ecosystems (Heidi Westerlund, Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki & Cecilia Björk, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)
The art of reduction: Sustainability requirements and the evolution of music schools (Peter Röbke, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna).
Working groups on the four sustainability topics were moderated by Philippe Dalarun (EMU), Adriana Di Lorenzo Tillborg (Malmö Academy of Music), Heidi Partti (Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki) and Lauri Väkevä (University of Helsinki). Music school researchers, doctoral students, music school principals and teachers and representatives from music school associations discussed interactions and interdependencies within the ecosystems that are relevant for music schools. Issues brought to the working groups ranged from the importance of local culture and musical heritage to digital resources, policy and public spending, and collaborations between music schools and higher education. The major questions of children’s and young people’s well-being and the responsibility of music school and music school research to contribute to sustainable development in society were present in all groups.
On 14 October 2022, the day before the presymposium, 16 doctoral students from seven countries also came together in Vienna and online to network and discuss their music school research projects with peers and experienced researchers.
The intensive and inspiring discussions during these three days highlighted the impact that music schools can have in their communities and their potential for positive, even visionary work. As a prelude to the 3rd European Music School Symposium, the presymposium brought a vibrant group of participants together and generated many new ideas to be further explored in Vienna and online in October 2023.