The Community Music Activity (CMA) Commission demonstrates strong leadership in the music education field with its longstanding commitment to the principles of inclusivity, equity and hospitality, and their application in practice. Members are critically conscious music facilitators and researchers, frequently working in complex social settings and often at the forefront of discussions around inclusive musical practices and equitable access. The priority is given to culturally and psychologically safe music-making sites that allow marginalised communities to authentically respond to their artistic, social, political and cultural concerns.
The commission was established in 1982, with Einar Solbu from Norway as the chair. Previously it had been Education of the Amateur Commission (1974), with Magdalena Stokowska (Poland) as the chair. The name changed on 1976 to the Out of School Activities Commission with André Ameller (France) as the chair from 1976-1982. The first independent seminar was held in 1988.
CMA believes that everyone has the right and ability to make, create and enjoy their own music and that active music-making should be encouraged and supported at all ages and at all levels of society. A core concept is that community music activities do more than involve participants in music-making; they provide opportunities to construct personal and communal expressions of artistic, social, political and cultural concerns. Community music activities do more than pursue musical excellence and innovation; they can contribute to the development of economic regeneration and can enhance the quality of life for communities and contribute to economic regeneration.
The mission of CMA is to:
- Facilitate the exchange of information on areas relevant to the field of community music
- Encourage debate and dialogue on different international perspectives on community music and on current issues within the field
- Encourage international cooperation
- Where possible enter into dialogue with musicians and music educators in related fields
- Disseminate research and other information
CMA accomplishes its mission through holding symposia and regional conferences, often in partnership with organisations outside ISME. It also organises a seminar immediately before each world conference.
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