Sessions at the 2014 SMEI Annual Conference included: Access and Participation; Early Years Music Education; Informal Learning Practices; Inclusivity and Enabling Technologies; Assessment and Quality; Creativity; Post-Primary Music Education; Pedagogies and Social Change.
On Saturday 8th November, the SMEI presentated Honorary Life Membership to Dr Ita Beausang, followed by a wine reception at CIT Cork School of Music foyer.
Dr Beausang is Lecturer Emeritus in Musicology at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Her main research interests are concentrated on contextual studies of music in Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is active in research in the areas of music education, piano pedagogy, music therapy and music criticism, and has acted as supervisor for a wide range of postgraduate research projects. She was research assistant to Professor Aloys Fleischmann for his contribution to A New History of Ireland vol. 6 (OUP, 1966), and was elected an honorary life member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. She is Advisory Editor for The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland and is currently engaged in research on the life and works of the Irish composer, Ina Boyle.
The conference also featured a Music Generation: Making Music Education Happen symposium, addressing the recent developments in the Irish music education landscape. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. The Music Generation symposium focussed on the themes of quality in performance music education, within a developing and evolving local and national infrastructure.
Symposium speakers included Rosaleen Molloy, National Director, Music Generation; Martin Drury, Strategic Development Director, The Arts Council; Margaret O’Sullivan, Co-ordinator, Music Generation Cork City; and Eamon Sweeney, Musician and Music Educator.
Some of the topics which will be covered during the symposium included:
• The Implications for Music Generation’s thinking about the quality agenda within the context of:
– Music Network Feasibility Study Model
– Thought leadership of the Philanthropic Donors
– A developing infrastructure that is locally provided within a national framework, that responds to local need and context and that is built upon the principles of diversity
• An Arts Council Perspective on quality within an arts in education context
• Cork City Music Education Partnership’s considerations about quality within the context of meaningfully addressing social inclusion
• What quality can mean for the musician and educator in practice, within a Music Generation programme
Additional presentations about the work of Music Generation featured during the conference including:
• What’s the point of partnership? An ecological model of partnership in Music Generation Dr. Thomas Johnston, Music Generation Research Fellow
• Reflecting on the conceptualisation of quality amongst musician-educators within Music Generation Cork City – An Ethnographic Study, Margaret O’Sullivan, Co-ordinator, Music Generation Cork City
• Music as a tool for social change: A Case Study, Andrew Jordan, Music Generation Limerick City Mary Immaculate College Limerick
• A community approach to Music Education Partnership in Music Generation Cork City, Mags O’Sullivan, Jessica Cawley, Shauna McCullough, Gráinne McHale