June 8, 2022

Global Conservatoire delegates gather for discussions and planning in London

Global Conservatoire delegates met for two days on March 31 and April 2 for the second Global Conservatoire transnational meeting

Representatives from the Royal College of Music, London (RCM), Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM), Manhattan School of Music (MSM), and the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna (MDW) met at the second Global Conservatoire transnational meeting, hosted by the RCM on its South Kensington campus in London on 31 March and 1 April, 2022.

The Global Conservatoire was founded in 2021 as new digital learning environment presented by Manhattan School of Music, the Royal College of Music (London), the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. This “global classroom” brings together faculty and students from the four partner institutions into asynchronous online studies.

The excitement of the Global Conservatoire, said RCM Director Colin Lawson in his opening remarks, is that “We don’t yet know what the [project] can be,” noting the tremendous possibilities of collaboration between four conservatoires on two continents, both for curricular innovation and building transnational communities.

The gathering was an opportunity for delegates to meet face-to-face and share experiences from different institutions, trading tips and exchanging perspectives.

Delegates, including teachers and administrators involved in the Global Conservatoire’s new courses, convened to discuss topics around the theme, “Enhancing Online Conservatoire Ecologies,” including accessibility, effective course design and assessment, teaching at a distance across different time zones, institutional and national cultures, and keeping in step with a constantly evolving technological landscape.

Dr. Stefan Gies and Dr. Philipp Ahner were also on hand to provide perspective from the Global conservatoire’s fifth partner organisation, the European Association of Conservatoires/ Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC). With approximately 300 member institutions, the AEC is a cultural and educational network for professional music training in 57 countries.

The recent transnational meeting also offered an opportunity to share early findings from the Global Conservatoire research project, running concurrently with the ongoing series of course offerings. RCM Director of Undergraduate Programmes Dr. Christina Guillaumier presented on her experience of co-teaching the pilot course module, “Music and Words,” while Dr. Tania Lisboa, Research Fellow in Performance Science, shared findings from data collected during initial interviews with students and course tutors. The research will help contribute to ongoing course refinements as the Global Conservatoire project progresses, as well as contribute to the larger scholarly discourse around digital and distance learning.

The Global Conservatoire will hold its next transnational meeting in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music in September 2022, while MDW will host delegates on their campus in Vienna in April 2023.