The United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) includes data from 175 UN member countries on three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth); knowledge (measured by adult literacy rates and gross enrolment ratios in phases of formal education); and standard of living (measured in Gross Domestic Product [GDP] per capita and purchasing power). The HDI data act as a reminder of the differences and inequalities in many people's lives and why it is important for those of us who have more to take positive action to help others who have less. Nevertheless, knowing gross enrollment ratios in education does not automatically tell us anything about the quality of education outcomes, nor the rich cultural experiences that may be available in local and regional cultures.
That is why it is important for ISME to continue to encourage, promote and celebrate musical diversity in its biennial conferences, to nurture various single and multi-disciplinary musical activities through its Commissions and its links with national and regional associations, and to find ways to empower local individuals and communities in all aspects of their musical lives. ISME has to make a difference, not just every two years, but in the ways that its distinctive mission is networked, articulated, understood and acted on, such as by government agencies across the world. Music is our birthright and music education is a key component in ensuring that all children, young people and adults realize their musical potential.
Professor Graham Welch holds the Institute of Education, University of London Established Chair of Music Education. He is currently Past President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) (from July 2012), elected Chair of the internationally based Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) and past Co-Chair of the Research Commission of ISME. He holds Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Queensland (Australia) and Limerick (Eire), and within the UK at Coventry, Roehampton, UEL and (recently) the Royal College of Music. He is also member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Review College for music. Internationally, he has acted as aspecialist external consultant in the following areas: (i) aspects of children’s singing and vocal development for UK and Italian Government agencies, as well as the USA National Center for Voice and Speech (NCVS) in Denver and the Swedish Voice Research Centre in Stockholm; (ii) education and teacher development for the British Council in the Ukraine and Ministry for Education and Youth in the United Arab Emirates; and (iii) the development of the national research cultures in music for the National Research Foundation of South Africa and British Council in Argentina. Publications number approximately three hundred and embrace musical development and music education, teacher education, the psychology of music, singing and voice science, and music in special education and disability. Publications are primarily in English, but also appear in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Greek, Japanese and Chinese. He is on the editorial boards of the world’s leading journals in music education, including IJME, JRME, RSME, BJME, ACT and MER, as well as being Joint Editor of the new Hellenic Journal of Music, Education and Culture and also a Series Editor in applied music studies for Ashgate Press. External research funding awarded over the past decade as Principal Investigator totals £2m, with an additional £2.4m as Co-Investigator. This includes grants from major UK Research Councils, the European Community, UK Government agencies, Local Authorities in England and leading UK Charities. (see http://imerc.org/people.php#gfw and http://www.ioe.ac.uk/staff/CCMA/ARHS_69.html).
He received a Royal Society for Public Health 'Arts and Health' award in 2011 for research into the links between singing and social inclusion.