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The International Society for Music Education (ISME) believes that lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people. ISME's mission is to enhance those experiences by:

  • Building and maintaining a worldwide community of music educators characterised by mutual respect and support
  • Fostering global intercultural understanding and cooperation among the world's music educators
  • Promoting music education for people of all ages in all relevant situations throughout the world

ISME Core Values

To build and maintain a worldwide community of music educators, ISME affirms that:

  • There is a need for music education in all cultures
  • Effective music education depends on suitably qualified teachers who are respected and compensated properly for their work
  • All teacher education curricula should provide skills in and understandings of a selection of both local and international musics
  • Formal and informal music education programs should serve the individual needs of all learners, including those with special needs and exceptional competencies
  • Music education programs should take as a point of departure the existence of a wide variety of musics, all of which are worthy of understanding and study

With respect to international and intercultural understandings and cooperation, ISME believes that:

  • The richness and diversity of the world's music provides opportunities for intercultural learning and international understanding, co-operation and peace
  • In music education everywhere, respect for all kinds of music should be emphasised

In its promotion of music education worldwide, ISME maintains that:

  • Access for all people to music learning opportunities and to participate actively in various aspects of music is essential for the wellbeing of the individual and Society
  • In teaching the musics of the world, the integrity of each music and its value criteria should be fully respected
  • Access to music, information about music, and opportunities to develop musical and related skills can occur in a range of ways, that are essential in satisfying peoples' diverse musical needs, interests, and capacities

Strategic plan

ISME has a 6-year strategic plan which is updated on a regular basis.


ISME is incorporated as a US 501(c)(3) and qualifies for non-tax exemption under the IRS Federal Exempt Code.

6 Year Strategic plan Download