The working group for Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Training

The work contexts and professional roles of instrumental/vocal teachers are rapidly changing. Not only are pupils drawn from a multitude of musical, cultural and social backgrounds, but also the actual teaching environment and content have changed (e.g. combining individual and group teaching, coping with a wider spectrum of musical genres and learning styles). These changes challenge the existing educational framework, content and structure of courses, as does the “Bologna” process, bringing the importance of international collaboration between institutions and a dialogue within the professional field to the forefront.

This working group was concerned with the training of instrumental and vocal music teachers in Europe. It developed a set of competences for instrumental/vocal teacher training that supplemented the existing AEC learning outcomes, as well as national descriptions of systems for instrumental/vocal teacher training in Europe. Moreover, the group reflected on current trends and challenges regarding the changing role of instrumental/vocal music teachers and organised 2 conferences to disseminate and discuss their findings with a broader audience.


The outcomes of the working group’s work were:

  • Eight working group meetings
  • The handbook Instrumental and Vocal Teacher Education: European Perspectives was published, which describes the variety of ways in which students are prepared for the profession of instrumental or vocal teacher was published
  • The document National Music Education Systems – Descriptions of National Systems for Music in Higher Education, Pre-college Music Education, Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Training and Training of Music Teachers in General Education in 31 European Countries was also published
  • Six site visits were completed (in Glasgow, Plovdiv, Istanbul, Prague, Karlsruhe and Essen), which enabled the working group to collect information on music teacher training systems in these venues
  • The organisation of 2 conferences addressing instrumental/vocal music teacher training in Europe


The members of the Polifonia working group for Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Training were:

  • Kaarlo Hilden (Chair – Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki)
  • Natalia Ardila-Mantilla (University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna)
  • Thomas Bolliger (Conservatoire de musique de Genève, Geneve)
  • Jean-Charles Francois (Cefedem Rhône-Alpes, Lyon)
  • Mary Lennon (Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin)
  • Geoffrey Reed (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester)
  • Tine Stolte (Prince Claus Conservatoire, Groningen)
  • Terrell Stone (Conservatory of Vicenza, Vicenza)