ISME World Conference set for Brisbane in 2022

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

The prestigious biennial ISME (International Society for Music Education) World Conference will be held in Australia for the first time in 32 years. Brisbane has been announced host city for the 35th event, which will take place in July, 2022. Venues will be in and around the Southbank precinct, centring on the Brisbane Convention Centre.

The last time the World Conference was held in Australia was way back in 1988, in Canberra. This year, the event was scheduled for Helsinki, Finland, but had to be cancelled due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s premiere international organisation for music education, ISME is present in over 80 countries. The society is also publisher of the International Journal for Music Education. It is presently headquartered in Malvern, Victoria.

Music Australia caught up with Ian Harvey, ISME Chief Executive, who kindly offered the following background on Australia’s successful bid for 2022 and an update about how plans are going.

“Brisbane won the right to the conference back in 2018. It will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and for some sessions at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. It was an open competition though ISME does have what might be called prioritised areas it looks at specifically each biennium. When this process started a southern hemisphere event was favoured by the ISME Board though bids from other cities were considered Cape Town and Brisbane were the final two locations. Brisbane in so many ways is the perfect location for a winter southern hemisphere event.

Dates are July 17-22, 2022. There will be an additional series of events (called Pre-conference Seminars) that will be held across Australia and perhaps in New Zealand in the week prior.

Typically, we would expect 1,500 – 2,000 attendees – the majority of which will be internationals (two-thirds or so). It is the largest conference of its type in the sector and covers all aspects of music education/music making from early childhood through to music making/therapy in aged care or palliative settings. Most of the attendees are from the University sector, but we hope to have a good number of local teachers attend too. The program consists of spoken papers, symposia and workshops. There is also a performance program that will include local and overseas groups.

It’s a biennial conference but unfortunately 2020 has had to be cancelled.

It is just over 30 years since ISME was last in Australia though it has been in the Asia Pacific region twice since then – Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and Beijing in 2010.

The conference website will be operational by the end of September (it’s new so the URL hasn’t been activated yet), the call for papers opens around March/April 2021, and Registration opens late 2021.”

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