Music Education in a multicultural European Society

The AEC successfully realised a project named ‘Music Education in a multicultural European Society’ from February 2000 to July 2001. The project, which was supported by the CONNECT Initiative of the European Commission, considered the increasingly multi-cultural aspects of our society, relevant to music education and music performance practice. More specifically, it studied the following points:

  1. How do conservatoires recruit and react to students from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds?
  2. How does the multi-cultural society affect developments in the music profession?
  3. Can conservatoires offer education and training in the performance of music for all sectors of society and the widest range of musical genres?
  4. What influence will students from different cultural backgrounds have on existing curricula? Will curricula need to be rewritten to respond to different approaches to music (e.g. music theory, notations), musicality and creativity?
  5. How will the cultural and musical diversity of society be absorbed into curricula, and how will conservatoires prepare students for professional work within a multicultural society?
  6. How will conservatoires initiate programmes for training professionals and outreach programmes in the community?

Project outcomes

3 innovative pilot projects/seminars:

  • The pilot project ‘Collaborative Approaches to Music Making’ challenged some of the traditional assumptions about the creation of music by devising alternative strategies and taking ensembles into the wider multi-cultural community.
  • ‘Transferable skills gained from studying World music Modules or Courses’: this project identified that assessment and evaluation systems which currently operate within European conservatoires might be more suited to Western Classical Music than to many kinds of music which are normally grouped under the title World Music. The pilot project therefore studied how transferable skills gained from the study of world music could be identified and assessed in the performance by students of western classical instruments and voice.
  • ‘The World Music Experience – practical work as a path to multicultural music education’: this pilot project involved music schools, primary schools, artists from the community and performing groups in three different European countries. The purpose was to introduce a conservatory with a limited experience with cultural diversity in terms of content to world music, with a focus on practical application of world music in educational settings.

Project products

  • Two project newsletters in English (newsletter I, newsletter II)
  • An Interim Project Publication, containing 11 articles about cultural diversity in music education written by experts in this field in English with French and German summaries
  • A Final Project Publication, which includes all research results obtained from questionnaires and interviews, examples of good practice, articles from working group members and detailed reports of the pilot projects. This report is accompanied by a Project Video (to be ordered from the AEC Office) that clearly documents the processes and work achieved by pilot projects.
  • A report entitled ‘Professional Jazz and Pop Music Training in Europe‘ (in English), which describes professional jazz and pop training courses in European conservatoires.