ISME 2012
ISME 2012 logo

30th ISME World Conference on Music Education

Music Pædeia: From Ancient Greek Philosophers Toward Global Music Communities

Thessaloniki, Greece

July 15-20, 2012

Greek Society for Music Education

Local organiser: GSME - Greek Society for Music Education (http://www.eeme.gr/en/index.htm)

Conference venue: Thessaloniki Concert Hall

Some comments offered by ISME delegates can be found here

Photo Galleries and information can be found on ISME's official blog: Post 1 | Post 2

Call & Technical Instructions for Presenters PDF Print E-mail

The original "Call for Presenters Document" can either be viewed online here, or alternatively it can be downloaded here [help].

1. All presentation laptop computers will meet the following specifications:

  • Operating system: Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7
  • Software installed: Microsoft Office 2010 (English), Acrobat PDF reader, Microsoft Media Player 11, VLC (Multimedia player for every audio or video type)
  • DVD/CD reader and player
  • VGA out
  • Audio out

2. There will be one computer for each presentation session, connected to the projector and loudspeakers, so the presenters should avoid bringing their own laptops and connecting them to the equipment (except in special cases, see nr. 6-7 below).

3. All speakers must create or export their presentations either as powerpoint files (ppt or pptx) or as acrobat files (PDF). Please avoid any other options, for maximum compatibility and less risk. In case you use other presentation software (e.g. Keynote for Mac OSX or OpenOffice for Linux, etc), you can export your presentation to powerpoint format (ppt or pptx) or acrobat format (PDF) from the menu options of the software.

4. All speakers must have their presentation files in a folder entitled with their name and copied to a USB flash disk formatted with FAT32 (windows compatible format). They must also come to the conference room soon enough to copy their files from the flash disk to the presentation computer and test their presentation with the equipment with the help of the technical assistant responsible for this room (best time to do this is during the conference coffee break prior to the paper session).

5. Important advice for powerpoint presentations

  • Please, use standard fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Cambria, Calibri, etc) in order to avoid formatting inconsistencies during the presentation (the conference computer is unlikely to have any special or rare fonts installed).
  • If your presentation includes embedded audio of video files, be sure that these files are included in your USB flash disk IN THE SAME FOLDER as the presentation file (this is very important and is the most frequent problem in powerpoint presentations). Also, try to avoid any special media types and prefer wav or mp3 for audio and avi or mp4 for video.

6. If a presenter needs to use other special software except Powerpoint, Acrobat reader and Media Player (e.g. sequencing software, real-time/interactive audio/midi processing, etc) or special hardware (e.g. audio/midi equipment, special interfaces, etc), he/she must use his/her own laptop and hardware. No external software or hardware will be installed in the Conference computers.

7. Special notes regarding Macintosh computers and Mac OS X software

  • If you use Microsoft Powerpoint for your Mac, your presentation should work without problems in Microsoft Powerpoint 2010 for Windows, provided that you use standard fonts (to avoid page formatting problems) and you copy any embedded audio/video files into the same folder as your ppt or pptx file.
  • If you use Apple Keynote software, you may export your presentation as a ppt file in your USB flash and it should work without problems also.
  • If, however, your Keynote presentation cannot be exported successfully, or if you use other Mac OS X specific software for your presentation, then you may bring your laptop at the conference and connect it to our equipment. Please, do not forget to bring your own Macbook mini-DVI to VGA or mini-Display-Port to VGA adapter, to ensure a successful connection between your computer and the VGA projector.

8. The Conference Venue (Thessaloniki Concert Hall) will provide internet access only at the Conference Administration Desk and at specific computers or areas. Please, prepare your presentations without any online content. If you need to present internet content, prefer to download the web pages in your computer and then embed them in your presentation software (e.g. Powerpoint) as offline content.

Keynote Speakers and Plenary Sessions PDF Print E-mail

One of the highlights of ISME Conferences are the presentations at Plenary Sessions by invited Keynote Speakers. Work is in progress to present to delegates some exciting and inspiring speakers each day of the week, so watch this space for further information.

We are pleased to advise the Plenary Sessions to date are confirmed as follows:

Monday 16 July: Nikos Kypourgos

Nikos Kypourgos

Born in Athens in 1952, Nikos Kypourgos pursued studies in music theory and contemporary music techniques under the supervision of Yannis Papaioannou while simultaneously studying Law and Political Science at the University of Athens. He continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris on a scholarship granted by the Onassis Foundation, where he attended the classes of Max Deutsch, Iannis Xenakis, and other renowned composers. His studies also included Ethnomusicology and Music Education.

Nikos Kypourgos has composed vocal music (Knots, a choral 'game' for 16 voices, was awarded the first prize at the International Rostrum of Composers organized by UNESCO in 1979), orchestral music, chamber music, ballet music, musicals and songs.

For the past twenty years, Nikos Kypourgos has been occupied with incidental music for the theatre (having composed music for many different theatrical genres ranging from ancient Greek drama to contemporary theatre) as well as music for films (more than fifty films in Greece, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Turkey, USA, Canada). In both fields he has received numerous awards in Greece and abroad. Most of Kypourgos' work is available on CD. Many of his works were first performed in France, Italy, England, Spain, the United States and Belarus, (for full discography and filmography: www.nikoskypourgos.com).

For many years he has been actively involved in the field of Music Education, being one of the pioneers in the formation of a modern Greek music pedagogical system.

His diverse teaching experience includes teaching music theory and composition at renowned Conservatories as well as classes of Music Pedagogy at the Department of Education of the University of Athens.

Keynote title

Music and Songs for Children: stereotypes and paradoxes


For Greeks, music is linked with speech ever since the age of Homer: from the rhapsode –"the storyteller-singer", ancestor of the troubadour– we go through the chorals of ancient drama to the melopoeia and the hymns-odes of byzantine music, the medieval recited-sung akritika (borderline) and Cretan epics, the folk song, the rebetiko and the modern laiko (popular) song. Although it seems to be a contemporary fact that today we tend to sing less than before, singing still continues to be an irreplaceable and basic means of expression and communication. In respect to children's song, we study children's singing focusing on songs that adults compose for children. In the latter case, there are songs that address exclusively children, like the traditional lullabies and tachtarismata (nursery rhymes), and 'adult' songs that children embrace and love. Besides, rhapsodists and storytellers did not have only adults as an audience. Many Greek composers have tried to address the 'children's audience'. In this case the following paradox occurs: children are often unenthusiastic to musical material produced particularly for them, whereas they embrace songs that are not created for children. And they embrace them regardless of stylistic differences and music idioms. In general, children tend to surprise us; however, their judgment seems to be almost unmistakable. They deal with the music material with open-mindedness and evaluate it in terms of both its content and its form, its functionality and originality, and, most of all, in terms of its truth. Generally, children's response to the song is partly unpredictable. However, a general rule seems to apply: children show respect to the songs that do not underestimate them as an audience. In the current presentation, I will attempt, through examples of my personal experience, to approach the complex issue of children's songs and investigate the various contextual aspects of their creation (e.g., music pædeia, music-drama performances for children, musicals, radio), their perception and acceptance.

Tuesday 17 July: John Baily

John Baily

John Baily is Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of the Afghanistan Music Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has worked on the music of Afghanistan for many years, starting with extensive fieldwork in the 1970s (before the Soviet invasion) in the city of Herat, followed by many shorter research trips to work with Afghan musicians in the diaspora, viz. in Pakistan, Iran, USA, Australia, Germany and Ireland, as well as at home in the UK. He returned to Kabul in 2002; his report on the state of music after the fall of the Taliban government in the film A Kabul Music Diary led to his being commissioned by the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA) to start a Tradition Bearers' Programme in 2003. Its objective was to support and encourage the traditional art of music in Kabul as practised by the musician families of the Kucheh Kharabat (Kabul's musicians' quarter). This has developed into a significant music education institution under its Coordinator, Mirwaiss Sidiqi. In 2009 he was a Visiting Research Fellow in the Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, which supports the work of Dr Ahmad Sarmast, Founder and Director of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), a vocational music school for 300 children, teaching western, Afghan and Indian music. He has published extensively on the music of Afghanistan, most recently with a monograph Songs from Kabul: The Spiritual Music of Ustad Amir Mohammad (Ashgate 2011).

Keynote title

Musical enculturation and music education in Afghanistan


The place of music in the lives of the people of Afghanistan has been profoundly influenced in the past by negative attitudes towards music and music making. Music was in the hands of low status families of hereditary musicians; amateur musicians often had to battle against family disapproval to acquire musical skills. The positive values of music in general, and the importance of music in the development and education of the child in particular, were not understood. Despite considerable progress in the second half of the twentieth century, difficulties remain.

The paradox is this: how could Afghanistan have produced a music loving people at a time when music was not part of the school curriculum, when there was no conservatory, no university department of music, no national sound archive, and Radio Afghanistan the main centre of musical creativity? The answer lies in part in the role of women's domestic music making – singing, dancing and playing the frame drum – in the musical enculturation of the child. This is where the child's crucial early exposure to music took place.

After thirty years of war Afghanistan has changed. Women have been largely silenced and discontinued their domestic music making. Men's practical knowledge about performance and familiarity with music theory has diminished or lost altogether. Since the defeat of the Taliban government in 2001 there have been various small-scale music education initiatives in Kabul, such as instrumental classes for girls learning ‘armonia, rubab and tabla. And there are two large-scale projects, the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia Tradition Bearers' Programme (established in 2003), intended to maintain the traditional art of music of Kabul, and the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (established 2010 by Dr Ahmad Sarmast), a vocational music school teaching Afghan, western and Indian music, intended to be "the model for future music schools and colleges to be built throughout Afghanistan" (http://www.musaid.org/project/afghanistan/).

Wednesday 18 July: Miguel Angel Peña Mora

Miguel Mora

Miguel Angel Peña Mora, MSc, is a music educator and tuba player from Costa Rica. He was part of the young musicians programme of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, studied at the Instituto Nacional de la Música and has graduate and postgraduate teaching degrees from the Universidad Continental de la Ciencias y las Artes of Costa Rica. As a tuba player he has performed chamber music extensively, with ensembles including Conjunto de Metales Paz and Costa Rica Brass, with whom he toured a number of American countries and played at the German Brass Festival at Jever, Germany. In 1986 he was Principal tuba with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Ecuador.

He has been tuba lecturer and ensemble conductor at the University of Costa Rica and at the Instituto Nacional de la Música. Since 1982 he has been Principal tuba of the Banda Nacional de San José.

Conductor and founder of the first SiNEM in 2006, he is currently General Director of the National System of Music Education (Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical-SiNEM). This programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Children of Costa Rica. He is also Musical Director of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Instituto Nacional de la Música, and is the representative for Costa Rica at the inter-government committees of the programmes Ibermúsicas and Iberorquestas Juveniles from the Iberoamerican General Secretariat (SEGIB), as well as member of the Permanent Counsel of the Orquesta Juvenil Centroamericana (OJCA).

Keynote title

Youth and Children's Orchestra Programmes: a wealth of opportunities. The Costa Rican experience.


Practice tells us that implementing youth and children's music programmes in communities of any socioeconomic backgrounds with a view to social and human development results in sizable benefits, not only for the participating children but for their communities at large. The issue under discussion is not if music can contribute to individual development but rather: what can we do to make this development a significant one, purposefully affecting the life of children and adolescents, a development that goes beyond the growth of artistic skills? Undoubtedly the options are plentiful: crime prevention, skills development (not necessarily musical), reinforcement of the family core, social responsibility and values education, etc. Music programmes, and particularly the ones focussed on youth and children's orchestras, are an option for transforming social behaviour, a window full of opportunities for children and adolescents, their families, their communities, their nations and the world. The Costa Rican experience focuses on the National System of Music Education programme (founded in 2006 and enacted as a state programme with the Decree #8894 of 15 December 2010) from the Ministry of Youth and Culture. We are aware that it is not the only or the first of such programmes, but we have aimed at imprinting a unique stamp into it by taking into account the above opportunities with a committed purpose, rather than just leaving the musical activities to impact on participants thanks to the power of music. We have also availed of the gentle historical context of Costa Rica, a country that even though it is classed as a developing estate, has its health, education and human development indexes at the level of first world countries.

Thursday 19 July: Plenary Session

a. ISME Gibson Awards Presentations

b. Address by Wilfried Gruhn on ISME Honorary President, Leo Kestenberg: Leo Kestenberg - the well-known unknown: A pioneer of internationalism and universalism in music education

Wilfried Gruhn

Wilfried Gruhn is professor emeritus of music education at the University of Music Freiburg, Germany. He served as co-editor of several journals for music education. 1995-1997 he was president of the International Research Alliance of Institutes for Music Education (RAIME), 2000-2004 ISME Board Member, and 2003-2009 director of the Institute for Early Childhood Music Learning, Freiburg and is currently president of the International Leo Kestenberg Society. Research areas include historical and empirical research on music learning and teaching.


In honor of the 50th anniversary of Leo Kestenberg's death, we will reflect on the first Honorary President of ISME and forerunner of an international association of music education to prevent his ideas and intentions from being buried in oblivion. More than 100 years ago he started a splendid career as a pianist, but became intrigued by socialist philosophy and consequently linked music and socialism in favor of people's education. In Germany he became the father of modern music education. His structural reforms are still influential. As a Jewish intellectual and artist he had to emigrate in 1933 and first moved to Prague and Paris. He finally became the General Manager of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in Tel Aviv. He spent the rest of his life in Israel and influenced many famous musicians such as Menachem Pressler, Daniel Barenboim or Alexis Weissenberg. Beyond his life experience Kestenberg embodies universal ideas of education to enlighten and transform human beings who are today part of an international (or: global) society. By this, music becomes a universal attitude of culture and cultural development. We want to remind the ISME community of its important mentor and innovator.

Friday 20 July: Plenary Session

Philosophy Panel: Reflections on the theme of the Conference

Reflection and Critical Considerations on the Conference theme "Music Paedeia: from Ancient Greek Philosophers towards Global Music Communities"
The issue of Music Paedeia in the light of current trends and challenges


The most vigorous and significant controversies in the field of Music Education have to do with its philosophy.

The nature of music, the new trends within the field of Music Education, and the pluralism of the 21st-century music world prompt a plethora of philosophical questions:

  • What is the role of music and Music Education in our culturally, and economically complex and fast-changing society?
  • What methodologies and practices should we adopt in Music Education as to help our students to explore, understand, accept and reflect critically upon all aspects of music in a world inundated with a bewildering array of messages and meanings?
  • What is the nature of the manifestations of music expression nowadays?
  • Are the skills learned through music essential and fundamental to our daily life?
  • What relevance might recent developments in Music Education Philosophy have for music educators?
  • What could we learn from the past?
  • What is the possible future of Music Education?

The presenters of our philosophy panel and the feedback from the audience will contribute to form some answers - or to raise new questions....

Panelists' Biographical Notes

Paul Lehman (chair)

Paul LehmanPaul R. Lehman is a Professor Emeritus and former Senior Associate Dean of the School of Music at the University of Michigan. Previously he taught in the public schools of Ohio and at the University of Colorado, the University of Kentucky, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has also served as Music Specialist with the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Prof. Lehman served as president of the National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC), as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Music Education, and as a member of the Executive Board of the College Music Society. He is an Honorary Life member of the International Society for Music Education, and he is the author of more than 200 publications on education reform, music teacher education, and measurement and evaluation in music.

Wayne Bowman

Wayne BowmanWayne Bowman's primary research interests involve philosophy of music and the philosophical exploration of issues in music education. His work is extensively informed by pragmatism, by critical theory, and by conceptions of music and music education as social practices. He is particularly concerned with music's sociopolitical power, music and social justice, and ethically informed understandings of musical practice. Dr. Bowman's publications include Philosophical Perspectives on Music (Oxford, 1998; Korean translation, 2011), the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education (2012), numerous book chapters, and articles in prominent scholarly journals. The former editor of the journal Action, Criticism, and Theory [ACT] for Music Education, his university teaching experience includes positions at Brandon University (Manitoba, Canada), Mars Hill College (North Carolina), the University of Toronto, and New York University. An accomplished trombonist and jazz educator, Dr. Bowman earned his graduate degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

June Boyce-Tillman

June Boyce-TillmanJune Boyce-Tillman read music at Oxford University and is Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. She taught in many schools in the London area and has published widely in the area of education, most recently on spirituality/liminality and music education. Her doctoral research into children's musical development has been translated into five languages. She is a composer active in community music making, exploring the possibilities of intercultural/interfaith sharing through composing/improvising which she has written about in Music and Conflict Transformation. Her collection of hymns and liturgical music A Rainbow to Heaven is used internationally. Her one-woman shows have been performed in three continents. She has written widely on music and healing and Hildegard of Bingen. Her large scale works for cathedrals such as Winchester and Southwark involve professional musicians and school children. She runs the Research Centre for the Arts as Well-being. She was awarded an MBE for her services to music and education.

David Elliott

David ElliottDavid J. Elliott is Professor and Chair of Music Education at New York University.

He has also served as Visiting Professor of Music Education at Northwestern University, the University of North Texas, Indiana University, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Limerick. He is the author of Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education (Oxford, 1995) and editor of Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues (Oxford, 2005). He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, and he is the current editor of Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education.

Panagiotis Kanellopoulos

Panayiotis KanellopoulosPanagiotis A. Kanellopoulos received his MA and Ph.D. in music education from Reading University (UK). His research focuses on developing socio-cultural perspectives on children's musical improvisation, on ethnographic approaches to young people's musical creativity and on collective improvisation and composition as a form of socio-political musical practice. He has co-edited the volume Arts in Education, Education in the Arts (Nissos, 2010, in Greek) and has published articles in international publications and leading scholarly journals (including Psychology of Music, Philosophy of Music Education Review, British Journal of Music Education, Action Criticism and Theory for Music Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory). He is active as a mandolinist, performing and recording in a variety of musical contexts. Panagiotis has led many experimental educational workshops that focus on collective free improvisation with variable forces, in a wide range of venues and contexts. He currently serves as an assistant professor of music education at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and is co-chair of ISPME (International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education).

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) PDF Print E-mail

As a new initiative at the forthcoming ISME World Conference for 2012 in Thessaloniki, we are pleased to announce Special Interest Groups (SIGs). This is a pilot study for 2012 and the outcomes will be reviewed prior to a decision being made to continue with the concept in subsequent World Conferences from 2014.

Policy approved by the ISME Board of Directors, Beijing, August 2010.

Submissions for the SIGs should be made directly on the ISME World Conference submission system (after logging in as an ISME Individual Member) by choosing the SIG of your choice in the drop-down menu.

List of SIGs

SIG #1 Active Music Making

Mission and Aims

The aims of the Active Music Making SIG are to demonstrate, promote, and advance well-established music pedagogies based on active music-making (e.g. Orff, Dalcroze, Kodály, and Gordon). The SIG intends to engage ISME conference participants in active, hands-on workshops. The SIG also aims to sponsor panel discussions that articulate international support for active music making and the culturally specific ways teachers use this music education pedagogy. A third aim is to sponsor articles in the IJME Practice and Research Journals as a follow-up to conference workshops and sessions.

The Active Music Making SIG will contribute insights and perspectives using a practical lens in a number of conference workshops, panel discussions, and journal articles. The focus of this proposed SIG will centre on enhancing students' lived experiences of music, by having music-making be a vital part of their music education. By recognizing and exploring the strong intercultural ties in active music making proponents this SIG will also foster global and intercultural understandings of music that lead to greater cooperation among the world's music educators.


  • Susie Davies-Splitter, Australia
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  • Daniel Johnson, USA
  • Jarmila Kotulkova, Czech Republic

SIG #2 Assessment, Measurement, Evaluation (AME)


The mission of the ISME SIG on Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation is to improve music teaching and learning through the dissemination of new knowledge and practices of assessment, measurement, and evaluation in music education. Accountability for music learning is an area of growing interest among music educators because assessment is an area in which there has been insufficient teacher preparation in many countries. The growing need for the dissemination of research, scholarship, and practice in assessment in music education is addressed for ISME members through the AME SIG.

ISME members advance music education worldwide in their roles as musician-teachers and researchers, and a growing body of evidence supports the consensus that excellent music teachers know and implement appropriate assessments to further their students' musical growth and their own professional development. Teaching and assessment are inseparable components of music education in its many forms and practices across the world's cultures and continents. The ISME SIG on Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation provides ISME members a venue for presenting research and practice from multiple cultural, theoretical, philosophical and practical points of view and, in turn, affords ISME members the opportunity to gain knowledge of current research and practice in music education assessment from internationally recognized scholars and practitioners.


Specifically, the aims of the AME SIG are to:

  1. Serve as a resource for ISME members and provide a means to organize the international discourse in this area within the Society.
  2. Encourage the development of new knowledge and practice in assessment, measurement, and evaluation that honors and transcends cultural, racial, and socioeconomic differences.
  3. Provide an international venue for the dissemination of new knowledge and practice in assessment, measurement, and evaluation.
  4. Identify and honor both the unique and universal characteristics of approaches to assessment, measurement, and evaluation across the world's cultures and continents.
  5. Advance the profession worldwide by improving music teaching, music learning, and music teacher preparation through increased knowledge of the practice of assessment in music education.
  6. Stimulate new research in the field as an outcome of international communication and cooperation.

Events and Meetings

The SIG convenes in the even years during the ISME world conference. In the odd years, the SIG members attend the International Symposia on Assessment in Music Education. SIG members also publish in the Selected Papers collections from the international symposia, published by GIA Publications, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Timothy Brophy

University of Florida, USA

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Timothy S. Brophy is Director of Institutional Assessment at the University of Florida and Professor of Music Education. He holds a PhD in Music Education from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Music degree from the University of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Dr. Brophy has published and presented widely throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Brophy holds national and international leadership roles in assessment, served as a past National Chair of the Assessment Special Research Interest Group of The National Association for Music Education, and is the founding and organizing chair of the International Symposia on Assessment in Music Education (ISAME). He co-founded the Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation Special Interest Group for the International Society for Music Education. Dr. Brophy is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) liaison for the University of Florida, and serves on the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.


Ming-Jen Chuang

National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan


Ming-Jen Chuang is Professor of Music Education and Coordinator of Music Education Programs at the National Taichung University of Education Department of Music, Taiwan.  He holds degrees in music from Tunghai University (Taichung City, Taiwan) and music education from the Pennsylvania State University (USA).  Chuang taught choral and general music for 14 years (1985-1999) in Nantou County, Taiwan.  At the National Taichung University of Education, Chuang teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education with particular emphases in psychology of music education, curriculum design, assessment, and choral music methods.  An active researcher and clinician, Chuang has directed ensembles and given presentations throughout the Taiwan, China, United States, Thailand, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, Germany, and Latvia.  He has presented his research on children’s singing voice development and music learning assessment at regional, national, and international symposia and conferences, and published in numerous journals and conference proceedings.


Andreas Lehmann-Wermser

Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media, Germany


Dr. Andreas Lehmann-Wermser received a Master of Arts in Music Education and a PhD from Hanover University of Music and Drama. After two decades of teaching in German high schools he was appointed assistant professor in 2004 and full professor in 2006 at University of Bremen. He has led major national research projects on assessment and cultural participation. From 2009-2015 he was Director of the Center for Teacher Education at the University of Bremen; in 2015 he became Director of the Institute for Music Education Research at Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media.



SIG #3 El Sistema


El Sistema advocates and supporters believe that music has the power to change the future for children, their families and their community by adhering to, among others, the three most fundamental principles of the model:

  1. That social change can be achieved by teaching, learning and playing music in large ensembles. Musicians come together to rehearse and perform because these are the acts that yield social benefit. (Five Fundamentals, Jonathan Govias, Abreu Fellow 2010/ In Harmony, England)
  2. That social change through music is primarily a result of community learning through the pursuit of musical excellence. One happens through the other, and neither is prioritized above the other. (Five Fundamentals, Jonathan Govias, Abreu Fellow 2010/ In Harmony, England)
  3. That El Sistema-embracing teachers care about the whole child. "They must be competent, adaptable, flexible, and have problem-solving abilities" (Jonathan Govias, Blog, 2011). El Sistema advocates and teachers understand that curriculum, pedagogy and technique are necessary but not sufficient for the overall effectiveness of a music teacher/educator ie what we teach is 80% of who we are. (El Sistema's Open Secrets, Eric Booth, April 2010)


The El Sistema SIG presents the following Aims

  1. to provide a forum within the ISME 2012 Conference, for the gathering of individuals who are drawn together by their strong interest in understanding (through the philosophy, research and pedagogy) how music ensemble - learning and playing may function as a means by which social inclusion and change can occur.
  2. to facilitate networking and the sharing of information (via round table discussions and paper presentation on related research). As well, convenors believe that it is through dialogue that we can challenge assumptions, on different contextual issues, embedded in one's way of thinking as a result of their background and experience of the El Sistema model in their country of origin.
  3. to attract teachers/educators associated with best practice models world-wide. Their experience, methodology and challenges will inform and guide the focus and priorities for future research.
  4. to raise awareness of the incredible gains of this fascinating model to the entire ISME community.
  5. to form a loosely built community of researchers, practitioners and performers. Under the prestigious umbrella of ISME acting as the catalyst, the international El Sistema - modelled community aspires to disseminate current research, practical field experiences and knowledge as well as guidelines/resources in support of existing and newly-formed El Sistema initiatives and Sistema teacher - training programs world-wide.


  • Theodora Stathopoulos, Canada/Greece
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  • Richard Hallam, UK
  • Graça Mota, Portugal

SIG #4 Jazz


The jazz SIG will provide guidance and resources for ISME and it's membership in the area of jazz education and research. With the loss of the International Association for Jazz Education in 2008, there is no longer and international professional organization dedicated to jazz education. The Jazz SIG will provide information for educators who want to learn how to teach jazz and jazz improvisation. The Jazz SIG will facilitate the sharing of resources and professional contacts and help establish and promote jazz programs in schools, conservatories and universities. The Jazz SIG would include jazz in vocal, instrumental and general music contexts, and research related to jazz and improvisation.


  • To recruit new members for ISME from the jazz education community and to inform existing ISME members about jazz.
  • To provide an online presence for teachers to find out more about jazz and who to contact for advice.
  • To provide leadership in the area of jazz for ISME; making recommendations for guest artists and presenters and suggestions for industry partners who support jazz education.
  • To establish a track with sessions devoted to teaching jazz including jazz improvisation styles, history and literature, and to disseminate jazz related research.

Jazz is an international music. We propose to make it more of a presence among the ISME membership and likewise introduce ISME to the greater jazz community.

Improvisation is the very essence of musical understanding and cooperation. Jazz musicians share a vocabulary that transcends language barriers. By promoting jazz education we will also promote music education for people of all ages.


  • Kimberly McCord, USA
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  • George Hess, USA
  • Martin Norgaard, Denmark
  • Tim Simpson, Australia
  • Greg Carroll, USA

SIG #5 Musician's Health and Wellbeing


Maintaining the health and well being of musicians crosses all musical disciplines and age groups. Providing educators a diverse stream of sessions focusing on essential health and wellness information will help stem the growing numbers of injured musicians around the world. It will also provide educators the information to positively affect countless future musicians, offering indispensable injury-preventive strategies to help keep them healthy. Information provided by this special interest group will be of benefit from beginning music students (of all ages) to seasoned professionals performing at the highest level. Sessions presented within this SIG will address both the physiological and psychological needs of performers of all ages. It will also encompass the health needs of the entire spectrum of musicians, performing and non-performing.


To disseminate crucial health and wellness information to provide educators the tools to assist their students develop their musical skills in a healthy way that will enable them to maintain a lifetime of joyful music making. Topics may include: the development of efficient and natural technique, injury prevention strategies, healthy practicing techniques, concepts for handling stress and performance anxiety, prevention of hearing loss, recovering from injury, health benefits of recreational music making, understanding neuroscience and its impact on music learning.

The subject of musician health and wellness impacts all musicians worldwide. Providing opportunities for dialogue on this crucial information can positively influence individuals of all ages and musical abilities. Musicians' health and wellness is a subject gaining significant awareness throughout the world.


  • Gail Berenson, USA
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  • Sylvia Schwarzenbach, Switzerland
  • Maravillas Diaz, Spain

SIG #6 New Professionals


The mission of the New Professionals SIG is to support the professional development of music educators new to the profession through offering research mentoring, practice sharing, networking and social events both online and during ISME World Conferences. The activities of the New Professionals SIG will engage new professionals with experienced ISME member mentors and music education practices from around the globe.


Provide professional development activities for new professionals.

Symposium and workshop sessions will be offered at ISME World Conferences in support of music education research mentorship, pedagogy and practice for new professionals. The SIG will recruit experienced international music educators from ISME Commissions and the broader ISME membership to serve as mentors, assisting in leading the professional development activities. Opportunities to experience and share a diversity of musical-educational practices from around the world will also be facilitated in person during World Conference workshops and via the SIGs online forum.

Provide networking opportunities online and at World Conferences.

Through sharing experiences among new professionals and with other ISME members, the SIG members will have opportunities to network informally and formally with other new professionals and experienced music educators, both at World Conferences and through social networks via the SIGs online forum.

Provide an introduction to ISME.

The New Professionals SIG exists in part to help members and first time World Conference attendees learn and engage with the Society and its work, preparing them to become active members of ISME. The SIG will work closely with local INAs for World Conferences in connecting with local World Conference attendees, inviting them to participate in the SIGs online forum in advance of World Conferences.


  • Alex Ruthman, USA
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  • Benon Kigozi, Uganda
  • Dafu Lai, China

SIG #7 PRIME: Practice and Research in Integrated Music Education


Music is an essential integrated part of education for all students. SIG PRIME promotes the idea that music, and musical culture, should be studied both for its own sake and as accompanying element of other subjects with which it shares strong connections. This approach allows to tap the educational potential as well as the richness of music. Integrated Music Education supports learners in “using” and understanding music and sonic phenomena in this comprehensive all-encompassing manner. It enables both teachers and students to bring their emotional, cognitive and social needs into play, thus promoting a harmonious development of these aspects as well as sound learning. SIG PRIME will build on the expertise of both researchers and practitioners in order to work towards the development and application of Integrated Music Education.


In order to promote an integrated music education for all students PRIME seeks:

  • to develop a clear understanding of music as a system of expression and communication;
  • to clarify the interaction of and correlation between music and other subjects (i.e. language, mathematics, the arts, physical education, social studies and sciences);
  • to offer an international forum for the exchange and discussion of various cultural traditions, ideas and approaches as to how integration is implemented;
  • to boost the acknowledgement and adoption of quality research and successful teaching strategies in the field of integrated music education worldwide;
  • to stimulate new research and innovative practices in order to better understand the integrative potential of music.


  • Markus Cslovjecsek, Switzerland
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  • Joyce Beetuan Koh, Singapore
  • Maria Argyriou, Greece

SIG #8 SAME: Spirituality in Music Education

The Spirituality and Music Education (SAME) SIG at the ISME conference was set up in response to the growing interest and research in the area of music education and spirituality. It seeks to provide a space where researchers, theoreticians and practitioners can discuss this special interest, directed to enrich music education with spiritual dimension, appropriate tools and research outcomes.


Spirituality and Music Education (SAME), as a Special Interest Group within ISME, seeks to establish a framework within which the interrelationships of music education and spirituality can be explored and developed holistically on a practical, theoretical and research level. In so doing the SAME group functions as a strand where disciplinary knowledge in relation to the spiritual aspects of music education professional practices are shared and advanced.


  • to establish and maintain an international community of music education academics, researchers and practitioners with a particular interest in the role of spirituality;
  • to provide music educators with specific tools and methods to integrate spirituality into everyday music education practice;
  • to foster intercultural and inter-spiritual dialogue, understanding and collaboration among practitioners and researchers in the field of music education and other relevant fields of music practices;
  • to promote a spiritually-sensitive and informed culture in music education practice and research.


  • Giorgos Tsiris, Greece/UK
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  • Arvydas Girdzijauskas, Lithuania
  • Diana Harris, UK

SIG #9 Music Technology


At a time when technology is ubiquitous throughout the world, serves as a fundamental engine now driving the worldwide music industry, and is readily assimilated by young learners wherever it is available, The Technology SIG believes that it is time to establish this discipline as an integral part of ISME. It will serve not only as a gathering place for the members who share interests in this field, but also to disseminate research and knowledge to all ISME members who wish to incorporate music technology in their teaching and their students' learning. The Technology SIG is a network of proactive leaders, practitioners, researchers, and thinkers in the fields of music and music education technology who recognise the importance of this discipline to the greater music education community. The Technology SIG will support developments of technology in music education. Furthermore, it will provide mutual support for projects in music technology.

A key component to recognising the purpose of the SIG is to understand technology. If colleagues have often felt skeptical of or intimated by the impact of the digital world on the music classroom, it may be because the focus of its practitioners has been primarily on computer-based resources and digital musical devices. This is a narrow albeit obvious area with which most of the members of this Group work. However, its domain is greater. Technology refers to a field of study (-ology) of a skill, craft or art (techne). The tools and skills that get developed are not necessarily pieces of hardware, such as cars or cell phones. They can be embedded as linguistic, mathematical, philosophical, or scientific tools and techniques. Common to all areas of human endeavour is development of tools and resources that, when employed, produce expected results under the conditions for which they have designed.

For us in music, these can vary from developing music instruments, teaching techniques, and music theory methods to computer-based hardware and software. Music technology should be understood as the study of music in relation to its tools and techniques, and by extension, the application of this study in music education to music teaching, learning, and production. Music technology is an academic field of study. In this capacity, it incorporates research and scholarship, innovation, integration of tools and resources in practice that are relevant to the field of music that we incorporate and disseminate in our work.


  1. To reflect, analyze, evaluate, and discuss current practices, issues, problems, trends and possibilities related to the application and impact of technology in music and music education.
  2. To find and explore novel ways to extend, enable and transform music teaching pedagogies and music learning, approaches through the application and integration of technology (including continuous professional support for music teachers)
  3. To consider how technology mediates traditional musical practices/activities and contemporary educational issues such as pedagogy, culture and policies.
  4. To re-define the essence of music, teaching and learning in the light of converging and emerging technologies.
  5. To facilitate regional and global interactions and collaborations in research, teaching and development, software development; and thus making global interaction into a resource for local action.
  6. To develop theoretical innovations and new practical approaches into good practices, including the dissemination of them.


  • Samuel Leong, Hong Kong/Australia
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  • Matti Ruippo, Finland
  • Fred Rees, USA
Tours and Excursions PDF Print E-mail

During your stay in Thessaloniki we invite you to experience the culture, history and nature of Greece.

The tours agent for ISME 2012 is SYMVOLI Conference & Cultural Management.

The complete list of tours is available here.
All information regarding different options, booking, cancellation policy, changes are included in the above mentioned link.


You may contact SYMVOLI for any travelling and touring queries at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (for inquiries regarding the tours).


ISME will not be responsible for changes or charges incurred in connection with tours. Please contact SYMVOLI direct regarding any changes.


If you have any questions concerning your tour/s request, please contact SYMVOLI directly.

Tours Desk at the Conference

A tours desk will be operated throughout the ISME Conference week. Bookings prior to the Conference are encouraged, to avoid disappointment, should tours be full or become unavailable.

Accommodation PDF Print E-mail

Accommodation for the 30th ISME World Conference on Music Education

The company working with ISME in providing accommodation for the conference participants is SYMVOLI.

The direct link to SYMVOLI's website, where you can find information and perform your booking is available here.

All hotels indicated on SYMVOLI's page are located either within the city centre region and at a reasonable distance from the conference venue, or in a walking distance from the conference venue and also fairly near to several major sites and the shopping district. All hotels have easy access to public transportation.

Click on hotel names for more information.

All prices include breakfast, as well as all taxes.

All prices are shown in euros (€).

Booking through SYMVOLI means:

  • Prices listed are special discounted rates for ISME delegates
  • Non-smoking rooms can be requested
  • Some hotels will offer a shuttle service to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall
  • You can combine your stay in Thessaloniki with one or more of SYMVOLI's travelling and touring options

Cancellation policy will be provided by Symvoli with your booking.
ISME will not be responsible for changes or charges incurred in connection with hotels and accommodation.
Please contact Symvoli direct regarding any changes. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Accommodation for performing groups

MKI, the company appointed by ISME, will be assisting Performing Groups with all information they require regarding, travel, visas, accommodation, tours and transport. For further information please contact: Don Harper ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

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