The AEC – Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen plays an important role in the cooperative activities, positioning, and further development of university-level institutions of music education both in Europe and (thanks to close global networking) farther afield.

Numerous AEC platforms and initiatives support the development of excellence in artistic education in terms of artistic practice, learning, and teaching as well as research and innovation. On the basis of its democratic values, the AEC considers musical and artistic training as well as broad cultural participation to be central underlying factors in a high quality of human life.

The mdw supports the AEC’s important work as an active member. With the values and objectives formulated in our Mission Statement, Development Plan, and individual strategies, we at the mdw quite deliberately combine our orientation towards excellence with diversity, openness, and respect—and we’re convinced that the appropriate transnational anchoring of the core concerns of musical and artistic training in public policy and society can only be achieved on the basis of a collective effort.

After the AEC’s Annual Congress of 2020 (long scheduled to take place in Antwerp) had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, the mdw responded to an enquiry from the AEC by volunteering to fill the gap with a digital edition.

The planning for this event, which is scheduled to take place from 6 to 7 November, is still underway. But it’s already set to include an interesting programme with plenary and working sessions, artistic contributions, panel discussions, and a concluding General Assembly.

A strong thematic emphases will of course be on the enormously accelerated developments in the field of digital and hybrid (“blended”) forms of learning and working that have occurred due to the COVID-19 situation.

And there will also be contributions regarding various other areas of core concern for both the AEC and the mdw: student-centred teaching, reinforced collaboration with the broad range of scenes in which professional musical performances take place, and reinforced social involvement in forms including outreach, audience development, and community-building.

With its prominent guest speakers and panel participants, up-to-the-minute information on state-of-the-art developments in the above-mentioned areas, and—last but not least—the opportunity to present the mdw in its diversity and excellence as a central player in all of these urgent matters, this very special AEC Congress will contribute strongly to the mdw’s further internationalisation in a way that goes far beyond the merits of simply “coming to the rescue”.

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