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Past Forum committee members (2010-2012) PDF Print E-mail

All information provided in this page was accurate during the time of service 2010-2012. Please note that forum committee members' biographical notes will have changed since.

The Committee for the Forum balances the needs of geographic location and instrument, and includes both experienced and more recent ISME members. There are six members and three special advisors. No more than two individuals are elected to each of the instructional areas, and staggered terms ensure that each instructional area is represented in any one biennium.

Current Committee Members

*forum Chair. All following Forum committee members are presented in alphabetical order.

Helena Gaunt*

United Kingdom

Helena Gaunt

Dr Helena Gaunt is the Assistant Principal (Research and Academic Development) at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and a National Teaching Fellow (2009). Her current research focuses on one-to-one and small group tuition in conservatoires, orchestral musicians in the twenty first century, and the role of improvisation (verbal and musical) in developing professional expertise. She has published widely, and is an Associate of the Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Alongside research, she is a professional oboist, has been a member of the Britten Sinfonia and Haffner Wind Ensemble. With an oboe and harp duo, she commissioned many works and premiered a piece of her own composition for the Park Lane Group at the South Bank Centre. Helena's interest in education took root when she set up the education department for the London Symphony Orchestra in 1989-90. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Music Education, and chairs the Innovative Conservatoire (ICON) group. She also chaired the Research Working Group of the Polifonia project for the Association of European Conservatoires (AEC) from 2007-2010. Helena lives in London and has five children, including two sets of twins.

Ezra Abate


My name is Ezra Abate, born in 1961, studied piano at the famous Ethiopian music school which is named after the famous 6th century Ethiopian church music composer saint Yared. My first piano teacher and mentor was the Bulgarian pianist Mrs Vasileva, after four years training went to Bulgaria studied piano and composition under the famous Bulgarian composer Professor Ivan Spassov, and acquired an M.A degree in music pedagogy. After returning back from Bulgaria, I have engaged in teaching music, especially piano, polyphony(counterpoint),advanced harmony and Ethiopian Folklore. Also perform concerts, currently I am the Director of the Yared School of Music-Addis Ababa University. I have also two more M.A degrees in curriculum studies and development studies.

Dawn Bennett


Dawn Bennett

Associate Professor Dawn Bennett is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Creative Workforce initiative at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Her research focus is the working lives and economic circumstances of creative artists. The research portfolio incorporates Australian and international studies on undergraduate and graduate students; practising artists; artist academics; and students and faculty more generally. Dawn holds postgraduate degrees in education and performance (viola) and has worked as a musician and academic in the UK, Australia and Canada. She has authored over 50 publications in the areas of music education, careers and the creative workforce, including four monographs and edited collections. She received the Callaway Doctoral Award for her PhD, which was rewritten and revised into a book titled: Understanding the Classical Music Profession: The Past, the Present and Strategies for the Future, published by Ashgate in 2008 and translated into Spanish in 2010. Dawn is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Music Education and the Australian Journal of Music Education. She is a member of the Music Council of Australia, a commissioner for the ISME Teaching and Learning Forum, and editor of the Society's newsletter. Dawn's work has been regularly recognised with awards for teaching and learning, research, and for community arts initiatives.

Gail Berenson

United States of America

Gail Berenson

Gail Berenson, Professor of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, is a dedicated teacher, active performer, passionate chamber music collaborator, and noted expert on musician wellness issues. Past President of Music Teachers National Association, an association of over 23,000 members, she has performed and lectured in over thirty states and eight countries. A presenter at the European Piano Teachers Conference in Manchester, England in 2005 and in Funchal, Madeira in 2006, she also presented at the International Society of Music Education's World Conference in Beijing, China in 2010. Ms. Berenson is a co-author of A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop Mind and Body for Optimal Performance, and as a member of the Lorenz Advisory Board, contributed to the innovative piano method, Piano Discoveries. She is a co-author of Ask the Professor and authored several chapters for the fourth edition of James Lyke's book, Creative Piano Teaching. In recognition of her significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession, she was awarded an MTNA Foundation Fellow Award in 2007. Her students are performing and teaching in independent studios and on college faculties throughout the world. More information can be found at www.gailberenson.com.

Vaike Kiik-Salupere


Vaike Kiik-Salupere

Vaike Kiik-Salupere is a lecturer at the Tallinn University. She is the head of the BA program and the voice teacher at the Music Department of the Institute of Fine Arts.. From 2009 she is a member of the Council of the Institute of Fine Arts. She obtained MA in opera and recital singing and voice teaching from the Estonian Academy of Music. After debut in 1981 she performed in operas, operettas and musicals at the Estonian National Opera (ENO). She was a full time soloist (mezzo-soprano) at the ENO in 1999–2005. Her repertoire includes: Flora in La traviata, Olga in Eugen Onégin, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Daisy Darlington in Ball im Savoy, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Mercedes in Carmen, Miss Baggott in The Little Sweep etc. She has also performed in numerous chamber and organ concerts. In 2005 she obtained MA in Social Sciences from the Tallinn University. Currently she is finishing her PhD studies at the Institute of Educational Sciences in Tallinn University. Her research interests include performance anxiety and voice, perception of voice, optimal preparation for performance, sources of stress for students during lessons and performances, pre-performance routines used by classical singers.

Gareth Dylan Smith

United Kingdom

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith is a drummer based in the UK. He plays drums with London-based punk band the Eruptors, Irish folk/punk band Neck, blues/folk singer Gillian Glover, and singer/songwriters Mark Ruebery and Stephen Wheel. He also likes plays for musical theatre productions in and around London, and likes to play bodhran in Celtic folk sessions. Gareth is Programme Leader for Further Education at London's Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, UK where he also teaches drum kit, Harmony & Theory and History of Popular Music. Prior to this Gareth taught drums and general music at schools in England and South Wales. Gareth's research interests include popular music, identity, curriculum, assessment and gender. With one publication to date (RSME, June 2006), he is currently writing book chapters on percussion teaching in US middle schools and popular music performance in higher education, both due for publication in 2011. He hopes to publish several further other papers in the next few months, and Gareth has just completed his doctoral thesis on the identity, practices and learning of kit drummers; his supervisor is Lucy Green. Gareth chairs the UK Musicians' Union Teaching Committee and is on the organising committee for the June 2011 Sociology of Music Education Symposium at Michigan State University.

Special Advisors

  • Graham Bartle
  • Gary Ingle
  • Sylvia Schwarzenbach
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