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From Lee Higgins, President, ISME.

Consultation period: 1 October 2017 to 31 January 2018


The Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Manual Review Committee (CBPMRC) is pleased to share with the ISME membership their proposal for changes to ISME's Constitution and Bylaws. As you will be aware, this committee was established following the 2014 General Assembly (Porto Alegre, Brazil) with the responsibility to review and renew the governance documentation for the Society. The 10 person committee chaired by Gary McPherson includes a wealth of experience within ISME (its members comprise 4 previous ISME presidents, a number of Board members, 4 Honorary Life members, Commission chairs, and standing committee members).


ISME’s Constitution and Bylaws date back to the inception of our Society in 1953. Both documents have seen only minimal revision over those 64 years, so were long overdue for a detailed review of how they may equip the Society into the future. This revision process has sought to ensure that ISME, a Society of individual members from across the globe, is renewed in our highly globalised and dynamic world. Through this modernisation of governance language, ISME will remain poised to support music education research, teaching and learning for decades to come.

The 2016 General Assembly (Glasgow, UK) adopted a change to the Bylaws, affirming that ISME is a Society of individuals rather than nations. This change to a ‘one member one vote’ policy retired the practice of each represented nation whose members attended the Conference of having one vote, allowing instead for each member in attendance to vote on matters before the General Assembly.

As a consequence of the 2016 GA decision, the CBPMRC have now recommended the use of the terms “membership’ to refer to individuals who pay dues to join the Society, and ‘partnership’ which would be available for music education professional associations, institutions and corporations from around the world. Bylaw III provides information on membership (Individual, Student, Honorary Life) and Partnerships (Professional, Institutional, Corporate).

The CBPMRC’s proposals will be disseminated among the Commissions, Standing Committees and members of the Society for a period of up to 4 months, after which feedback will be considered by the CBPMRC and a final set of recommendations proposed for acceptance by the 2018 General Assembly.

I encourage you to read the CBPMRC’s proposed changes (attached to this page) and to watch the video from Gary McPherson (below) about the changes to the Constitution and Bylaws and we look forward to any feedback you would like to share.

Lee Higgins
President, ISME

Explanation of the changes by Gary McPherson, Chair of the Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Manual Review Committee


How to provide feedback on the proposals

ISME members are invited to provide feedback by emailing: consultation@isme.org

The ISME Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Manual Review Committee will review all feedback, and collate a response that will be shared with members. The committee will also take member feedback into consideration as it finalises the full set of proposals that will be presented to the General Assembly in July 2018. Only feedback from current members will be considered. Consultation closes at midnight GMT on 31 January 2018.

FAQs for the constitution consultation Download
Constitution consultation overview of proposed changes Download