Global Compact

on Music Education

Get to know some of our experts!

Gary E. McPherson studied music education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, before completing a master of music education at Indiana University, a doctorate of philosophy at the University of Sydney and a Licentiate and Fellowship in trumpet performance through Trinity College, London. In 2021, he was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate - Artium Doctorem Honoris Causa - from Lund University Sweden. Gary is the Ormond Professor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and has served as National President of the Australian Society for Music Education and President of the International Society for Music Education. His research interests are broad and his approach interdisciplinary. His most important research examines the acquisition and development of musical competence, and motivation to engage and participate in music from novice to expert levels. With a particular interest in the acquisition of visual, aural and creative performance skills, he has attempted to understand more precisely how music students become sufficiently motivated and self-regulated to achieve at the highest level.

Nasim Niknafs is Associate Professor of Music Education at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto where she also serves as the Associate Dean, Research and Coordinator of Music Education. Nasim’s interdisciplinary research concerning social justice, activism, and politics of contemporary music education, cultural politics, and popular music has been widely published in international journals and edited volumes of music education. Concluding a longitudinal research on the music education of rock musicians in Iran, Nasim is conducting a SSHRC-funded research titled, Sanctuary City: Cultural Programs, Music Education, and the Dignified Lives of Refugee Newcomers in Toronto where she examines the cultural programs and music education practices developed for refugee newcomers by the municipal government, and arts organizations in Toronto. Nasim is also a co-PI of an arts-based participatory research project funded by the School of Cities, University of Toronto where they bring together the cultural and academic sectors to jointly imagine strategies for thriving in a post-pandemic reality. Nasim is also active in her field by serving at multiple editorial, steering, and conference committees. Currently, Nasim is guest editing Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education’s special issue on Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Discrimination in and through Music Education. Nasim holds degrees from Northwestern University, New York University, Kingston University, London, and University of Art, Tehran.

Professor Graham Welch PhD has held the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (formerly University of London) Established Chair of Music Education since 2001. He is a Past President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) (2008-2014) and elected Chair of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE). He holds Visiting Professorships at universities in the UK and overseas, and is a former member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Review College for Music (2007-2015). Publications number approximately four hundred. These include lead editorship of a large Routledge music book series, an updated Oxford Handbook of Music Education (2018, five volumes, with Gary MacPherson), the Oxford Handbook of Singing (2019, with David Howard and John Nix), a new OUP Handbook on early years and music in 2022 (with Margaret Barrett), and four books for Routledge with colleagues, including three in 2020 and 2021. Key research themes embrace musical development, music education, teacher education, the psychology of music, singing and voice science, and music in special education and disability.

Emily Achieng’ Akuno is Professor of Music at the Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi Kenya, and outgoing president of ISME as well as past president of the International Music Council (IMC). Trained as a performer-educator, her teaching and research lean towards cultural relevance in music teaching, developing learner’s creative capacities and the application of music for the wholesome development of children. Her recent publications include contributing to and editing Music Education in Africa (Routledge).

Stefan Gies is heading the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) as its Chief Executive since September 2015. His work focuses on networking with other organisations active in the fields of music, art and higher education at European and international level, as well as on lobbying the institutions of the European Commission and the European Parliament. Stefan was born and grew up in South-West Germany. He studied viola, composition, musicology and music education at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, but also performed in the fields of rock and jazz music. He worked as a classroom and instrumental teacher and got his doctorate degree in music pedagogy. Stefan does research and publishes on theories of musical bildung and the history and constitution of the institutions. Stefan looks back on a wide range of professional experience as a performing musician, music teacher, humanities scholar and researcher. For almost 25 years, he has been active as professor, dean and principal at Higher Music Education Institution in Germany. Stefan is a member of boards and committees at national and international level, including being a board member of Culture Action Europe.

Maria Helena Vieira is a Music Education Professor at the Institute of Education of Minho University in Braga, Portugal. She is the Director of the Master´s Degree in Music Education (which encompasses Teacher Training in the areas of Performance, Music Sciences and Choral Conducting) and she is the Director of the Arts Education sector of the PhD Program in Child Studies. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Music, Piano Performance, and a PhD in Music Education (focus on Curricular Policies). She earned the Louise T. Woods Memorial Scholarship Fund and was invested as a Member of Phi Beta Delta – Honour Society for International Scholars (both in the USA). Before teaching at Minho University, she taught at Porto and Braga Conservatories and at Aveiro University. She belongs to the editorial committees of several international journals, and she has supervised more than 40 Master Theses and 9 PhD theses. She has published extensively in the areas of Music Education, Music Curriculum and Educational Policies, organizing books, such as Pensar a Música I (celebrating the City of Guimarães as European Capital of Culture), II and III. She has written articles in numerous national and international specialized journals and conferences.

Donald A. Hodges served as Covington Distinguished Professor of Music Education and Director of the Music Research Institute (2003-2013) and is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His degrees are from the University of Kansas (BME) and the University of Texas (MM and PhD). Hodges is the author of Music in the Human Experience: An Introduction to Music Psychology (2011, 2020), A Concise Survey of Music Philosophy (2017), co-author with P. Hash, P. Miksza, J. Shaw, and L. Richerme of Music Education Research: An Introduction (in press), editor of the Handbook of Music Psychology (1980, 1996), co-editor with M. Thaut of The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain (2019), co-editor with A. Creech and S. Hallam of Routledge Handbook of Music Psychology in Education and the Community (2021), and author of nearly 40 book chapters and numerous papers in music psychology and music education. Primary research efforts include a series of brain imaging studies of musicians and music listeners, using PET and fMRI. His biographical sketch is in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music.

Bridget Whyte was appointed CEO of Music Mark, the UK Association for Music Education, in 2017. She started her career at Arts Council England before going freelance, working with over 50 music and music education organisations. Key clients included Youth Music, the Department for Education (DfE), and she was a Strategic Advisor to the British Council, setting up and managing their World Voice Programme which supported the use of singing as a tool for learning in over 20 countries. As Music Mark’s CEO, Bridget Whyte is in demand as a keynote speaker, advocate and advisor at a national and international level. Most recently she supported the Welsh Government on writing their National Plan for Music Education which was published in May 2022 and was part of the DfE’s English National Plan for Music Education ‘refresh’ Expert Panel, prior to its publication in June 2022.