Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Kalimera! Kalispera! Yassou! - Greetings from Greece!

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Kalimera! Kalispera! Yassou! - Greetings from Greece!

Article excerpt

This past summer I was among the more than one hundred Canadians who journeyed to Thessaloniki, Greece to participate in the International Society for Music Education (ISME) 30th Biennial World Conference. Canadians attending represented a cross-section of post-secondary, secondary, elementary, and studio music educators as well as graduate students and student performers.

This was my fifth ISME World Conference; however, this time I had the pleasure of attending in an additional capacity. Hopefully, readers are aware that CMEA is Canada's ISME National Affiliate (INA). As such, CMEA is Canada's official representative to the world organization and votes on behalf of our nation at the ISME General Assembly. One of my responsibilities as CMEA Immediate Past President is to serve as the Canadian Representative to ISME, which involves attending the Biennial World Conference. I know, 'it's dirty work, but somebody's got to do it!'

In preparation for the ISME General Assembly, the INAs hold national meetings to provide direction to the INA Representative regarding voting on motions at the upcoming General Assembly. Our national meeting was well attended with approximately forty Canadian music educators present. The motions were essentially ISME 'housekeeping' items so it was very easy to gain consensus - something for which, as Chair, I was most grateful!

The national meetings are also opportunities to discuss issues of national concern. One of the points raised that generated some discussion was the number of INAs allotted for Canada. Lorna Wanzel, President of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association (CFMTA) raised this point, as she had done previously in other meetings. Hopefully, this discussion clarified that all countries can have only one INA and, at this time, the ISME Board of Directors has seen fit to grant that status to CMEA.

As usual, seven ISME Commissions Seminars in Athens, Corfu, Komotini and Thessaloniki preceded the World Conference. Also noteworthy were the Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching and a pilot initiative involving nine Special Interest Groups (SIGs) during the main conference. The SIG sessions focused on several themes and areas of academic and professional concern: New Professionals; Active Music Making; Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation; El Sistema; Jazz; Spirituality and Music Education; Technology; Musicians Health and Wellness; and Practice and Research in Integrated Music Education.

Fittingly, the conference theme was "Music Paedeia: From Ancient Greek Philosophers Toward Global Music Communities." The term Paedeia refers to education that aims at the development of enlightened minds. A highlight for me was attending the Plenary Session Friday July 20, which was a philosophy panel entitled: Reflections on the Theme of the Conference. Panel participants included some well-known personalities in the field of the philosophy of music education, including Wayne Bowman from Brandon University and David Elliott, professor at NYU and formerly on faculty at the University of Toronto.

As usual, the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies, keynote addresses, plenary sessions, performances, research presentations, workshop sessions, and countless conversations with friends and colleagues from around the world were sources of knowledge, inspiration, and renewal. The Thessaloniki Concert Hall and surrounding grounds provided wonderful venues for the presentations and performances. Overall, the conference was well organized, ran smoothly, and was a great success. My wife Katherine and I also enjoyed two of the additional excursions offered by the conference organizers, one to Vergina, a UNESCO World Heritage site that includes an ancient burial ground featuring the Royal Tumulus of Philip II. …

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