Aims and objectives

ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ III

Since its launch in 2004, the ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ has proactively addressed European higher education policy issues from the perspective of higher music education (HME). Through a consistent output of high quality products, it has been able to raise the awareness of these issues throughout the sector which, in turn, has supported the concrete implementation of these outputs at national and institutional levels. From a general higher education point of view, ‘Polifonia’ has often been cited as a good example of what can be achieved through a subject-specific and European-level approach to the European higher education developments. The first cycle of ‘Polifonia’ (2004-2007) was even designated by the European Commission as an ERASMUS success story in 2007.

The project had the following objectives:

To contribute to the Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education in Europe through:

  • Curriculum reform by
a) promoting competence-based learning with the use of learning outcomes for the 3 cycles in higher music education with a specific focus on how such outcomes should be assessed;
b) deepening the implementation of the 3-cycle structure through a reflection on the content and structure of the 2nd cycle, based on the principles laid down in the European Qualifications Framework for Higher Education;
c) addressing research as a new component in study programmes in higher music education through the creation of a new European Platform for Artistic Research (EPARM), linking institutions and individuals engaged in the development of Artistic Doctorates and giving music students from all study cycles the possibility to exchange information on research activities, methodologies and progression routes to Artistic Doctoral study.
  • Governance reform by

a) taking the existing European-level and subject-specific approach to quality assurance to the next stage through the further development of expertise in this area and exploration of the feasibility for a European-level quality assurance agency for the sector;
b) developing a guide for international institutional benchmarking specifically designed for institutions in the sector as a quality enhancement tool.

To promote closer cooperation between higher music education institutions and organisations in the music profession through activities that benefit from strong involvement of organisations in the music profession by identifying
a) the relevance of the current study programmes for the changing labour market, in line with the EU debate on ‘New Skills for New Jobs’;
b) continuing professional development needs of professionals in the workplace;
c) examples of research partnerships between educational institutions and organisations which can serve as models for the further development of expertise in the cultural sector.

To promote mobility in the higher music education sector through the development of expertise and tools for the full recognition of student achievement gained through exchanges and multi-site learning in joint degrees.

To enhance the quality and international attractiveness of the European higher music education sector by involving as participants in the project experts from key institutions in third countries.

Previous cycles:

ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ I

The first 3-year cycle of the ERASMUS Network for Music “Polifonia” was conducted from 2004 – 2007 and jointly coordinated by the Malmö Academy of Music – Lund University and AEC. It was declared a “success story” by the Commission. Polifonia I had the following objectives:To study issues connected to the Bologna Declaration Process, such as the development of learning outcomes for 1st (Bachelor), 2nd (Master) and 3rd cycle studies through the “Tuning” methodology, the use of credit point systems, curriculum development, mobility of students and teachers, and internal quality assurance in the field of music in higher education.
  • To collect information on levels in music education other than the 1st and the 2nd study cycles, in particular pre-college training and 3rd cycle (Doctorate/PhD) studies in the field of music.
  • To explore international trends and changes in the music profession and their implications for professional music training.

ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ II

To build on the successful cycle of Polifonia I, a second 3-year project cycle for the period from 2007 – 2010 was approved by the European Commission in September 2007. This cycle was coordinated jointly by the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the AEC. With more than 60 organisations in professional music training and the music profession in 30 European countries, the project worked on three strands:
  • The “Bologna” strand continued the work on various issues related to the “Bologna Declaration”, such as curriculum development and design, internal and external quality assurance and accreditation.
  • The “Lisbon” strand was concerned with continuing professional development for conservatoire management and the further investigation of instrumental/vocal teacher training.
  • The “Research” Strand aimed at studying the role of research in conservatoires, as well as setting up continuing professional development activities for conservatoire teachers.ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ I