2019 National Music Education Conference Encourages “Happy Music Education”

Elizabeth Dale

NAMM works with partners around the world to support the development of music education initiatives. For many years, the association has also supported the development of the music education sector in China, and continued this cooperation at last month’s National Music Education Conference in Beijing.

  • NMEC 2019
  • NMEC 2019
  • Betty Heywood

The conference gathered, both national and international partners centered around the theme of “Make Happy Music Education – Music Makes Life Better,” with the mission to “accomplish a gradual goal of bringing the playing of music instruments as ‘a common possession for Chinese families and daily necessity for general public.’” Two outcome goals were identified by participants: for each Chinese citizen to learn to play a music instrument and to have every family enjoy at least one concert each year.  

The conference featured “eight keynote speeches and presentations by well-known Chinese and international music education professionals.” Each of the keynote speakers expressed their unique viewpoints, ideas, and research outcomes in the fields of music education policy, music development trends, and the creative mindset. After the conclusion of the keynotes, a panel met, moderated by Mr. Wu Bin, former President of the People’s Publishing House, and discussed the concept of ‘happy music’ learning and teaching methods. The second and third days of the conference presented 123 workshops, sessions, presentations, roundtable meetings, and workshop programs based on music specialty and learners’ ages.

One of the presenters, NAMM Director of International Affairs, Betty Heywood, described participation in the program: “It was an honour to be invited to be a speaker at the conference. We’ve been working with the organisers in China on various events and projects for many years – and ever since the Music Education Policy Summit in Beijing in 2006, NAMM has been involved in supporting the music education sector in China. It was heartening to see the emphasis of this conference so firmly focused on getting more people involved in making music as that aligns with NAMM’s ultimate goal of getting more people to start playing and fewer to quit.”

The National Music Education Conference was organized by the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), China Musical Instrument Association (CMIA), China Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles (CASBE), Music Education Service Alliance (MESA), and Intex Shanghai. International partners for conference included NAMM, the International Society of Music Education (ISME), and the Confederation of European Music Industries (CAFIM).