There are few forces which have influenced the profile of culture over the past century as much as modern music. The widespread acceptance of jazz, blues, rock, pop, latin and other musical genres born out of the popular culture of this era has resulted in an international artistic and economic phenomena with few parallels.
However, despite its wide acceptance, popular music has not yet realised, in a European context, its full cultural, social and commercial potential. This shortcoming is attributable to a series of factors which include:
- Insufficient levels of public support for industry development.
- Narrowly focused cultural policies which are not sufficiently inclusive of popular culture or popular music.
- Insufficient public support for education and training in the field of popular music.
- Low levels of integration between education, training and enterprise.
Education and training for the Popular Music Sector:
Given the broad cultural and economic dimension of popular music within the EU, it is surprising that the levels of available support, educational and vocational recognition and public expenditure designated for music activities and training continue to remain woefully inadequate to attend to the real needs and demands of this sector. This institutional bias has left many musical and educational initiatives aspiring to advance the practice, knowledge and teaching of contemporary popular music at a severe disadvantage, affecting vital areas including:
- Equality of student access to programmes of study which meet their vocational and recreational needs.
- Proportional access to finance and infrastructure for students and training centres dedicated to popular music.
- Certification of programs of study.
- Teacher training.
- Mobility of staff and students.
- The development and sharing of curricular content and teaching practices.
- The pan-European development of popular music as a medium for cultural and social integration.
- The quality and level of vocational and artistic preparation achieved by those students who aspire to enter the industry professionally.
- The competitive position of the EU Music Industry.
Concerned about these issues, a founding body of music and arts training institutions has, through several years of preparatory work, investment and development, formed the European Modern Music Education Network (EMMEN). EMMEN is born out of the collective commitment of its founding members to:
- Advance the education and practices of popular music throughout the European Union.
- Develop and share European educational and curricular resources for the teaching of popular music.
- Serve the artistic and developmental needs of recreational and professional musicians.
- Serve the on-going training needs of teachers.
- Promote the mobility of artists, teachers and students.
- Contribute to developing the potential of popular music as an integrating social and cultural force.
- Contribute to the economic and commercial development of the European music industry and achieve a greater integration with that industry.
- Serve as an interlocutor for the music education and training sector.
- Provide an advocacy platform for its member institutions, its teachers and students.