Identifying the need for a better representation of Indian music educators in ISME, and a deeper understanding of music advocacy in India, the Chair of the Advocacy Committee and ISME board member Sandra Oberoi invited ISME President Professor Emily Akuno to meet with Indian music visionaries involved in primary, secondary and higher education in India, after school/independent music programs, music organisations, music exam board and music publications.
Professor Akuno shared briefly on her vision for ISME, ‘A Visible Voice’ particularly highlighting the need to have more representation from India, promoting the idea that every voice needs to be heard, and that every individual has a right to music education. Each attendee also shared a little about the work they were presently involved in - some talking about how they have been able to impact over 400,000 young children through their tireless pursuits in music education. Many shared about the challenges and struggles they face in their different fields as well and shared about how ISME can be involved in India.
- The possibility of collaborating and cross promotion - using each other’s musics in the classroom and outside (Indian and Western).
- Need for a strong pedagogical foundation in higher education to equip more music educators who are sensitive to the needs of today’s generation.
- Professional development for the existing teaching force and how ISME can connect with music conservatories to offer mentoring programs.
- Equipping more young students to become music educators.
- Efficacy in music teaching. What is the value that parents and stakeholders can see?
- Looking at collaborating with the East and not just the West of India eg. China, Japan etc.
- Importance of changing people’s mindsets - how is/can music be perceived differently?
- Involve media to promote advocacy in India.
- Need to create a public system where music teaching can be assessed.
- Including more folk music in the curriculum. Following the model laid out by the Nagaland Education Board.
- Importance of publishing articles to state facts and figures. To advocate for music education, the gap in the literature must be addressed. In doing so, we can obtain more support from the Indian government.
- Need for creative strategies to involve corporate sponsors.
- Have more public events specifically focusing on music education and its value.
- Possibility of the next regional conference in India and one of the World Conferences in the future. ISME was assured of the support from the Indian government as well.
Final remarks from Professor Akuno:
- ISME can offer an opportunity to publish with Routledge - Possibly put together a book on the different aspects of music education in Indian with each attendee present contributing a chapter.
- Connecting with the ISME network allows people to collaborate on research together.
- India must submit articles to be published in scholarly journals. Much has been spoken about and discussed. This has to be documented.
- 2022 World Conference Keynote Speaker from India - suggestions needed.