ECMA - Next Step
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Chamber music training is increasingly becoming a crucial component of performance degree curricula in higher music education institutions all over the world because of the following important reasons:
1. Evidence from various sources clearly shows a shift from permanent forms of employment with fixed contracts to an employment situation in which musicians are self-employed and combine different professional activities in the form of a portfolio careers. As employment opportunities in the traditional areas of employment (orchestras, opera houses, etc.) are diminishing, chamber music is seeing a heightened significance on the international concert stage.
2. Furthermore, chamber music is increasingly seen as a vital pedagogical tool for the training of transversal skills vital for the musician in the 21st century: team working, peer-learning and reflective practice are essential basic principles for chamber music practice, which will support musicians to prepare themselves to be reflective practitioners in their future portfolio careers.
Higher music education institutions have been slow in adapting their curricula to these new realities so far. This consortium sees chamber music as a tool to modernise higher education in classical music and intends to initiate this process through the following innovative activities:
1. A series of working group meetings meeting several times a year to develop new intellectual outputs in the areas of innovative teaching and learning (including online) methodologies and new approaches to assessment.
2. The organisation of two intensive study programmes a year where students and teachers can meet around specific themes. The role of these intensive study programmes will be central to the developmental function of the project, as they will further develop and test the intellectual outputs developed in the working groups. Partners from the music profession will have an important role in these intensive study programme by providing valuable expertise on professional integration issues.
3. Joint staff training events for teachers taking place twice with different groups of teachers that will develop new approaches to assessment as developed in one of the working groups and to comparing international standards of educational and artistic outcomes. During these events teaching staff will be trained to become international external examiners for final recitals and other moments of assessment in chamber music.
4. The development of a joint European Master’s programme in chamber music through a series of working group meetings. This joint European programme will ensure that the expertise available in the partner institutions will be pooled into a programme of the highest educational and artistic quality, and provide future sustainability to its activities through the recognition by national and European quality assurance frameworks and a more structured future use of ERASMUS+ funding for joint Master’s programmes.
5. The activities and outcomes of this partnership will be evaluated through various evaluation tools so that evidence is created that the cross-border approach of the consortium is truly providing an added-value. Cross-border approach will be shown as more effective than the development of the institutions at national level only. The outcomes of the project will be widely disseminated through the network and activities of the AEC, and demonstrate the principle of cross-border cooperation as an effective tool for curricular innovation to the European sector of higher music education as a whole.
These activities will lead to improved curricula in the partner institutions that are informed by the latest teaching and learning approaches and the expertise from professional partners, and are therefore better tailored to the current reality of the music profession. Teaching staff will be updated or re-trained with information on innovative teaching and learning methods, leading to higher quality teaching. Institutions will also be able to develop a strong international profile in the field of chamber music, which will increase attractiveness of European higher music education worldwide.
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