International Society for Music Education

The International Society for Music Education (ISME) is a professional organization of persons involved with music education. It was founded in Brussels in 1953[1] during the UNESCO-sponsored conference on "The Role and Place of Music in the Education of Youth and Adults".[2] ISME's mission is to build a worldwide network of music educators, to advocate music education globally and across the lifespan, and to foster intercultural understanding and cooperation.[3]

International Society for Music Education
MottoWe believe that lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people
FormationJuly 7, 1953; 67 years ago (1953-07-07)
TypeLearned society
Legal statusSociety
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
Region served
music education professionals
Official language
Lee Higgins
Immediate Past President
Sheila Woodward
President Elect
Susan O'Neill
Main organ
General Assembly
AffiliationsInternational Music Council, UNESCO


ISME holds conferences every two years in a different part of the world and include workshops, paper presentations, keynote addresses, symposia, and performances.[4][5][6] In addition, ISME supports regional conferences in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, and has a range of specialist interest groups to nurture particular areas of music education. These specialist groups include seven long-established commissions[7] that are focused on: research; community music activity; early childhood music education; education of the professional musician; policy: culture, education and media; music in schools and teacher education; and music in special education, music therapy and music medicine. Each commission holds a biennial seminar, usually immediately prior to the main conference. In addition, the world conference includes a forum for instrumental and vocal teachers.

The society is present in over 90 countries and in January 2012 there were nearly 1,700 ISME individual members, with 21 ISME National Affiliates, as well as 59 ISME Group Members comprising around 100,000 ISME Associate Members.[citation needed]

ISME's main sponsors are the Gibson[8] and the NAMM Foundations.[9]


The International Journal of Music Education is the official journal of the ISME and is published four times a year by SAGE Publications.

Co-ordination and advisory workEdit

The ISME International Office co-ordinates all communication related to the work of the society. ISME acts in an advisory capacity to UNESCO and is a member of and closely affiliated to the International Music Council.[10]


  1. ^ Callaway, Frank (1979). "ISME—The First Twenty-Five Years". College Music Symposium. 19 (Spring): 239–242. JSTOR 40351773.
  2. ^ McCarthy, Marie (2004). Toward a Global Community: The International Society for Music Education 1953-2003. Perth, WA: International Society for Music Education.
  3. ^ "ISME Vision and Mission". ISME official website. International Society for Music Education. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  4. ^ Callaway, Frank (Jan 1967). "The Seventh International Conference of ISME". Music Educators Journal. 53 (5): 39–43. doi:10.2307/3390872. JSTOR 3390872.
  5. ^ Callaway, Frank (Oct 1968). "The 1968 ISME Conference Reviewed". Music Educators Journal. 55 (2): 79–83. doi:10.2307/3392326. JSTOR 3392326.
  6. ^ "Conferences". ISME official website. International Society for Music Education. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  7. ^ "ISME Commissions and Forum". ISME official website. International Society for Music Education. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  8. ^ Miller, Nina. "The Gibson Foundation Supports ISME with Music Education and Community Awards". The Gibson Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  9. ^ "NAMM Sponsors International Society of Music Education's World Conference in Beijing". NAMM foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  10. ^ "IMC members report on their activities". International Music Council Official Website. IMC. Retrieved 2012-02-05.

External linksEdit