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The Culture Capital Exchange Developing International Networks and Collaborations in Higher Education

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  • The Culture Capital ExchangeDeveloping International Networks and Collaborations in Higher Education

  • Collaboration between conservatoires: the Polifonia project of the Association Europenne des Conservatoires

  • Supported by the European Union. Framework of the ERASMUS Programme, the chapter for higher education of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme: on issues related to professional music training at the European level.Led by the Association Europenne des Conservatoires (AEC), and coordinated jointly with Royal College of Music in Stockholm(as lead HEI).Two cycles of funding already complete: (2004-2007), (2007-2010). A third cycle will begin in 2012.The network is the biggest European project on professional music training to date. The first two cycles involved more than 60 institutions in the field of music training and the music profession in 30 European countries.The first cycle was designated as an Erasmus success story by the European Commission in 2007.


  • The 2nd cycle built on the first and included three strandsThe "Bologna" strand worked on issues related to the "Bologna Declaration: curriculum developmentand design,internal and external quality assurance and accreditation.The "Lisbon" strandfocused on continuing professional development for conservatoire management and the further investigation of instrumental/vocal teacher training.The "Research strand studied the role of research in conservatoires, and set up continuing professional development activities for conservatoire teachers.Clustering of projects has been a feature of its funding success and impact.

  • Publications from Polifonia IIHandbook - Admissions and Assessment in Higher Music EducationTuning Publication - Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in MusicHandbook - How to Prepare for an Institutional or Programme Review in Higher Music EducationFramework Document - Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Music Education: Characteristics, Criteria and ProceduresHandbook - Instrumental and Vocal Teacher Education: European PerspectivesPocketbook - Researching ConservatoiresHandbook for Work Placements in Higher Music Education Studies in EuropeNational Music Education Systems - Descriptions of National Systems for Music in Higher Education, Pre-college Music Education and Teacher Training in 31 European Countries

  • People and leadershipBuilt on existing network through the AEC.Wide range of senior managers and some early career researchers drawn into the project.Incorporated emerging projects such as the InnovativeConservatoire seminars.Catalysed international collaboration across the sector.

  • Polifonia II Research Working GroupOne of 6 working groupsTasked with: Mapping research (particularly practice-based research) across the sectorDelivering 3 InnovativeConservatoire seminars for conservatoire teachers.Main output: Researching Conservatoires: Enquiry, Innovation and the Development of Artistic Practice in Higher Music Education. (Included evaluation of the seminars.)

  • InnovativeConservatoire SeminarsFocus on developing reflective practice and a culture of research and innovation for teachers in conservatoiresThemes include improvisation, collaborative learning, artist in society, one-to-one tuition, masterclasses, assessment and feedbackMoving beyond standard seminar formats to incorporate practical activities and intensive knowledge exchange (to reflect practical orientation of musicians and, in particular develop improvisation skills)Designed to benefit a wide range of senior and early career teaching staff Offered a framework for further development in conservatoires12 institutions; 25 teachers

  • Legacy sustainable developmentInnovativeConservatoire seminars continuing to run as a stand alone project funded by participant fees.23 institutions now involved, with growing numbers of participants per seminar.Smaller spin-off seminars in single institutions or small clusters.Collaborative projects developing eg. in relation to improvisation; approaches to practising; coaching techniques in teaching.Growing network at individual and institutional levels. Website planned for early 2012.

  • European Commission: Erasmus FrameworkLifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013[email protected]

    Will talk about a project in the field of music, bringing together specialist institutions in the performing arts*Scale of the funding: each of 2 phases, several million euros.

    Proactive leadership from the AEC had growing knowledge of its membership, areas of expertise, talent and interest.

    Large project with lots of participants

    Has been instrumental in raising the profile of professional music training, and advocating for it at the European level.*Significant number of publications

    Translations in French and German

    *The project had an important role in modellling a wider ecology of research and development, by including senior and younger colleagues, and by supporting some new and innovative projects.This was how I came to be involved in the project. New to the research sceneInvolved in a smaller network, ICON, and the idea of the seminars had just started. 1 pilot seminar had been done.InnovCon seminars built into the bid for the 2nd cycle of Polifonia, and I was asked to chair the Research working group.

    *Mapping research because a very new area of work in this field, and growing exponentially.

    *The story of the ash cloud. NoPolifonia money left to support the 3rd seminar, but participants wanted it to run. So we ran it as a stand alone event, with participants paying again.Indicated a momentum, and decision to continue. Guildhall as lead school.Spin offs mention Vilnius; BalkansCollaborative projects include using Staff exchanges etc.**