AEC is delighted to announce that our commitment to address power relations in higher music education has made a decisive step forward, with the award of €400,000 from the Erasmus+ Programme.

It has become known in recent decades that systemic power relations inequities are embedded in most high music education institutions (HMEIs). This issue was highlighted in the AEC Annual Congress in Graz, and in Turin. To address this systemic issue in a thorough, safe, and equitable way, a consortium of 10 conservatoires led by the Royal Irish Academy of Music and with AEC as project manager, applied for Erasmus funding. 

PRIhME will use the Citizen's Assembly model based on common values and civic engagement. PRIhME’s 10 partners will create a series of Stakeholder Assemblies, modelled on similar formats of deliberative democracy in Ireland and the Netherlands. The 50-member assemblies (8 in all) will examine the issue of power relations in HME through in-person and online forums, supported by expert papers and resulting in intellectual outputs that include a publication and suite of policy documents, sectoral recommendations and training resources. Participants will include HME students, faculty, administrators, and arts professionals.

The AEC, as project manager of PRIhME, has dissemination tools that will reach our 300 conservatoire members and the means of ensuring that all members can engage with the themes and have their say during the project.

A key initial result of PRIhME is to give HMEIs a true understanding of the traditions and norms we perpetuate that can create power imbalance. Based on this analysis, (and supported by sectoral advocacy and training), the longer term result of PRIhME will be a more diverse and socially integrated HME sector with increased levels of confidence and satisfaction in its stakeholders, offering the world creative and socially engaged performing artists who were trained in healthy and sustainable communities of learning.

Partner Organisations