Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bridging the gap: Informal learning practices as a pedagogy of integration

Music Education Special Interest Group Research Seminar Announcement Bridging the gap: Informal learning practices as a pedagogy of integration

Dr. Heloisa Feichas, School of Music, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Date: Tuesday 17th February Time: 12.00 Room: 944, Institute of Education

Further details from Lucy Green, All are welcome


Music courses at universities in Brazil have to deal with a huge amount of diversity in terms of students' backgrounds. The number of students with backgrounds and experience in popular musics has been increasing, which also means diversity in musical genres and styles. Consequently students have different expectations and motivations in their learning processes. The problem is how to deal with such diversity at the institution. How is the inclusion and integration of students with different backgrounds in the Music School system possible? Are the students, as well as the skills and knowledge embodied in their previous learning processes, respected and valued? To what extent does the Music School control what is to be taught and how to teach it, thus shaping all the students in the same mould? This presentation is about pedagogical strategies in Brazilian Higher Education, in which informal music learning practices help the integration of students with different backgrounds. These strategies encourage students' diversity and inclusion, and help to bridge the gap between the students' own musical practices and what they are expected to learn at the institution. This forms a pedagogy of diversity, inclusion, creativity and integration. Students have more autonomy and the teacher is a facilitator of the process so that the idea of partnership prevails. The pedagogical strategies will be illustrated through examples of aural training classes, which are compulsory for all the students at Music School.


Heloisa Feichas completed her PhD in Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2006. Her thesis is entitled 'Formal and Informal Music Learning in Brazilian Higher Education'. She was awarded her Masters degree in Music Education at the same institution in 2000. She has a Bachelors in Piano from the School of Music of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, where she is currently a lecturer. She has presented papers in conferences, and given workshops about Brazilian popular music in Brazil and many other countries, including Canada, Germany, Cyprus, England, Holland and Norway. She has worked in cooperation with the Music School of Pitea from Lulea University in Sweden in 2004/2005. Currently she is starting partnerships with the Connect Project from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Boomtown project in Sweden. Heloisa has been working with music education for nearly 20 years in Brazil, teaching children, adolescents and undergraduate students, and exploring new teaching methods in which creativity, improvisation and popular music are key words.

Monday, January 5, 2009

4th MERYC Conference

Bologna, Piazza Maggiore

The 4th MERYC Conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Education, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna.

The Meryc 2009 Conference will be sponsored by: Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Department of Music and Performing Arts-University of Bologna, European Society for the Cognitive Science of Music (ESCOM), Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE).

The focus of MERYC 2009 is interdisciplinary discussion and dissemination of new, unpublished research relating to the field of music and childhood (0-8 years), in education (school and extracurricular contexts) and everyday life, both in theoretical research and innovative approaches to practice. MERYC2009 aims to promote the participation of researchers and educators from the East European countries, by network relationships and economic support. The main aim of MERYC is to improve European research and practice with young children and music. For this reason, only European people will act as presenters at the MERYC Conference. Educators and researchers from other continents can attend the Conference as participant not presenting.

conference website: