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Conference Schedule

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Conference Theme

Making music education sustainable is crucial for ensuring that future generations have access to the many benefits that music can provide. To achieve this sustainability, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Firstly, it's vital to integrate music programs into the core curriculum of schools, thereby making it an integral part of a student's education. This helps ensure that music is not viewed as an expendable extra but as a fundamental component of a well-rounded education. Additionally, collaborations between schools, community organizations, and music institutions can help share resources and expertise, making music education more accessible to a wider audience.

Furthermore, leveraging technology can democratize music education, making it available to a broader demographic. Online platforms, interactive apps, and virtual music lessons allow individuals to learn and practice music in a flexible and cost-effective manner. These digital resources can also help bridge the gap between underserved communities and quality music education.

To ensure sustainability, advocating for adequate funding and support for music education programs at all levels is essential. This requires the involvement of policymakers, educators, parents, and the community to prioritize music education as an essential part of a child's development.

Lastly, fostering a culture that values and celebrates music is integral to sustaining music education. This can be achieved through promoting local music scenes, organizing concerts, and encouraging active participation in music-making. By nurturing a society that appreciates and supports music, we can secure the future of music education, ensuring it remains a cornerstone of well-rounded, holistic learning for generations to come. MusEd’24 welcomes your thoughts on these and other approaches on the sustainability of music education.


Our Logo

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The stylised 'M' in the logo features fluid and wavy lines, symbolising the adaptability and flexibility of educators. Just as the 'M' in the logo adapts its form, educators adjust their teaching methods to meet the unique needs of each student. Every student deserves quality music education that is customised for their individual circumstances.

The continuous line flowing through the 'M' in music education symbolises the unwavering pulse and heartbeat of music in our lives. Music education, as well as music's presence in life, plays an integral role in fostering personal development, cognitive growth, and emotional well-being. The rhythm of music underpins the heartbeat of our existence, while its melodies encapsulate the very essence and spirit of our souls.

In MusEd, the highlighted 'us' represents unity and collaboration. The journey of music education is a two-way street. When we work together, our collective efforts enhance our understanding of music. Through collaboration, we can strive for greater musical excellence.

Sustainability is one of the main goals of the modern age. The blue and green colour palette is chosen specifically to symbolise sustainable music education. Blue symbolises the continuous evolution and improvement of music pedagogy methods while green represents the nurturing and support of students' growth, both musically and personally.

Keynote Speakers

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Professor Dr. André de Quadros

André de Quadros has been described as “one of the most inspiring human rights educators of our time” by the Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights. He is a human rights activist, conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, and writer whose work has taken him to the most diverse settings in 40 countries including professional ensembles, projects with prisons, psychosocial rehabilitation, refugees, and victims of sexual violence, torture, and trauma. He focuses on race and mass incarceration, peacebuilding, forced migration, public health, and Islamic culture. He uses music for peacebuilding, reconciliation, and empowerment. Dr de Quadros directs three international choirs – in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the US. He also directs a peacebuilding project, Common Ground Voices (Israel, Palestine) and a forced migration project Common Ground Voices / La Frontera (Mexico-US border). Dr de Quadros is a professor of music at Boston University where he holds affiliate faculty positions in African, African American & Black Diaspora, American and New England, Asian, Jewish, and Muslim studies, as well as the Center for Antiracist Research, Center on Forced Displacement, and the Prison Education Program. His work with rival prison gangs and divided communities has served as a model for reconciliation work. In addition to hundreds of international workshops, seminars, and performances, he has numerous publications to his record, including ten books, several book chapters and articles, at least 50 choral editions, together with several research grants. He directs The Choral Commons, a justice-focused media platform, that produces podcasts, webinars, and creative work. In 2019, he held a distinguished faculty position at the University of Cambridge, and in 2024, the Miegunyah Distinguished Fellowship at the University of Melbourne.

Keynote Abstract

Moving beyond Sound – Music Education and a Compassionate, New Sustainability

Over the last two generations or so, the music education field has been engaged in a conversation about responsiveness and in-context pedagogies, whether they be child-centered or culturally sensitive. This presentation presents pedagogical material that continues to discuss ways in which music education might take on the challenging questions of cultural responsiveness in the context of sustainability. Drawing from histories and data on a broad spectrum of theoretical material and a range of practices, the presentation aims to lay the theoretical groundwork for a new pedagogical practice. Part of the presentation will deal with work in some of the most marginalized and justice-deprived settings. Even though sustainability, justice, social change, and equity have entered the mainstream of the field, there is still a basic canon, and a preoccupation, perhaps disproportionate, on sonic outcomes. Nevertheless, as the conversation on culturally sustaining pedagogy advances, music educators continue to be deeply troubled by the reality of their own situations, the current political and social situation, and the extent to which music education can respond to cultural shifts. I will present the Empowering Song approach as a pioneering pedagogy. This approach weaves together subversive and transgressive pedagogy, theories of resistance, with community music education to provoke and inspire professionals to revisit and interrogate their practices. My unique perspective and insight into the most deprived contexts worldwide situate this presentation in the dynamic realm of both leadership and practice.

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Associate Professor Dr. Clare Chan Suet Ching

Clare Chan Suet Ching is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Music Department of the Faculty of Human Ecology at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Prior to this she taught at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris from 2002-2022 and held appointments as the Deputy Dean (research and graduate studies)(2011—2017) and Chief Editor (2015-2021) of the Malaysian Journal of Music. Clare served as the International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM) national liaison officer from 2018-2019. She was an executive committee member of the Southeast Asian Directors of Music (SEADOM) from 2020-2023. Clare graduated with a PhD in Music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa (2010); Master of Arts (Ethnomusicology) in 2002 and Bachelor of Arts (Music) in 1998 from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship (2005-2007), the Asia–Pacific Graduate Fellowship in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa (2005-2007), the East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship (2008-2010) and the Sumi Makey Scholars Award for Arts and Humanities (2008) for her PhD studies. Her research interests include applied ethnomusicology, culturally responsive methodology, participant action research sustainability, heritage advocacy, tourism, modernization and globalization of music.

Keynote Abstract

Sustainability of Music Education in Malaysia: Cultural Inclusion, Social Relevance, Economic Viability, and Technological Competency

A culturally diverse Music Education has the potential to cultivate children with a broader sense of the world and an appreciation of human diversity. Malaysia’s diverse musical heritage provides rich grounds for a Music Education curriculum that promotes cultural appreciation, subsequently nurturing harmony among its multi-ethnic communities. However, issues ranging from religious constraints, cultural distrusts, ethnocentrism, discrimination, economic viability, music career misperceptions, and western music imperialism have impeded the celebration of musical diversity in Malaysia's Music Education. Currently, the Music Education curriculum in national primary, secondary, and tertiary level demonstrates bias emphasis on western music literacy, notation, tuning system, and repertoire. In postcolonial Malaysia, some parents from myriad ethnic backgrounds resist this hegemony, discouraging their children from pursuing a colonized form of Music Education. Consequently, Malaysian children engage in specific musical activities segregated within an ethnic based setting, such as cultural associations, churches, temples, rural villages, and homegrown popular music bands. There is little attempt to interculturally engage with each other in celebrating interculturalism. Through literature review and insights as a Malaysian music academician, I argue that sustainability of Music Education in Malaysia requires achieving a balance between cultural inclusion, social relevance, technological competency, and economic viability. These aspects will enrich the educational experience and contribute to the harmonious coexistence of Malaysia’ diverse musical traditions.

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