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 characterized by mutual respect and support;
- fostering global intercultural understanding and cooperation among the world's music educators; and
- 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 the 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; and
- 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, the ISME believes that:
- the richness and diversity of the world's music provides opportunities for intercultural learning and international understanding, co-operation and peace; and
- in music education everywhere, respect for all kinds of music should be emphasized.
In its promotion of music education worldwide, the 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; and
- 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.