Monday, July 25, 2011

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools

The White House has recently released a report from the President's
Committee on the Arts and Humanities:
Re-investing in Arts Education: Winning America's Future through
Creative School.

These reports may be found at:

The Whitehouse summary is at

The full report is at

photo credit:
President Barack Obama drops by the President's Committee on Arts and
Humanities meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 11,
2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

1st Annual Conference of the Society for Music Education in Ireland

1st Annual Conference of the Society for Music Education in Ireland
An Chéad Chomhdháil Bhliantúil de chuid Cumainn Ceoil Oideachas na hÉireann

The Society for Music Education in Ireland (SMEI) will host its first annual
conference at the School of Music, University College Cork 11-13 November

Keynote Speaker: Phil Mullen, Goldsmiths University London
The conference organisers invite paper, poster or workshop proposals that
address one or more of the following general areas:

* Music learning and teaching
* Music development
* Music, community, culture
* Music education policy
* Music, education, society
* Music education and theory

Proposals should include:

a) a cover page with presenter name(s), institutional affiliation(s), an
email address for correspondence and a biography for each presenter of no
more than 50 words; this page should also indicate clearly whether the proposal
is to be considered for inclusion as 'Paper only', 'Paper or Poster', 'Poster
only' or 'Workshop';

b) an abstract of 250-300 words for papers or posters; submissions for
workshops should include a detailed proposal of up to 500 words

The conference organisers welcome individual, joint and group submissions.

Proposals should be submitted electronically on or before 15 September 2011
to Michelle Finnerty at

All proposals will be subject to a blind review process. Notification of
the status of paper/poster/ workshop proposals will be made by 30 September

Papers will normally be allocated twenty minutes for presentation followed
by 10 minutes for questions. Workshops will be normally be one hour in duration.

Posters will be allocated a maximum space of 3? x 4? (90cm x 120cm)

SMEI Conference Organising Committee:
Michelle Finnerty, Mairéad Berrill, Daithí Kearney, Gráinne McHale, Gwen
Moore, John O'Flynn

Further details on the conference will be uploaded later on

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New book

Communication in Theatre Directing and Performance: From Rehearsal to Production By Jennifer Lanipekun


For those wishing to develop their professional voice in theatre, it is common to draw on practical training and experiences as their main foci. Observational undertakings, apprenticeships, and personal endeavours are also customary ways to further this development of their persona as director or performer. There has been little in the way of academic research or study of general principles to open the door to formal discussion of the theatrical processes involved in creating a production. Common approaches are personal (mainly autobiographical or context-specific) assessments that recount individual episodes and milestones within the careers of well-known and respected individuals. Although such methods are informative and often interesting, formal analytical tools to undertake production analyses and intellectual comparisons are still needed.

This is the first study that attempts to apply a systematic process to the mysteries of directorial communication within a theatrical setting. Categories created using this methodology make comprehensive breakdown and analysis possible of those elusive interpersonal interactions, the communication flow, during the period of rehearsal leading to a production. As such, the case studies make available some of the inner individual experiences from each company's endeavour, the artistic journey, successes and pitfalls, viewpoints and reflections of those involved, the changing styles of communication, and thus, many important lessons that would be otherwise completely unavailable to a wider audience. Whilst centring specifically on opera as a medium, the examination unpicks general processes of theatrical rehearsal, profiling individuals at work in a systematic way that begins to uncover and identify patterns of behaviour. The study, thus, draws important lessons from observation of that process which can then be applied to future experience, assisting the novice especially, whose previous recourse was mainly limited to trial-and-error approaches within their own personal production experience.

Communication in Theatre Directing and Performance is an important addition to the general study of theatrical performance communication and its analysis. The case studies and interviews are especially helpful because the reader will not only be able to read directly the views and experiences of professionals at work but also to unpick and analyse those processes taking place over a period of rehearsal.

Its ability to bring into relief the practices of theatrical professionals makes this study an invaluable option for university drama departments, colleges of drama training, as well as for individuals at a more advanced point in their professional existence who are looking to evolve their understanding and artistic style.

Job vacancies, University of York

Department of Electronics, University of York

The Department's recent successes have enabled it to embark on an
ambitious research-led growth plan. The addition of five academic
staff members this year is the first major step.

You will undertake research of the highest international standards,
contributing to the research standing and culture of the Department
and contribute to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching and research
supervision. We encourage applications from outstanding candidates
with expertise in any aspect of Electronic Engineering *including
audio and music technology*. You should be ambitious, with a proven
track record of high-quality research and strong evidence of the
capacity for excellent teaching.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Psychology of Music Impact Factor

Pyschology of Music Impact Factor: 1.182
Ranked: 22 out of 50 in Psychology, Educational.
Source: 2010 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Nicola Blackwood MP and British Council Welcome the New Afghanistan National Institute of Music to the Centrepiece Event of their Visit to Britain

On 27th June, from 4-6 pm in the Jubilee Room of the Houses of Parliament, visitors from the new Afghanistan National Institute of Music will perform for MPs and members of the public. The event is hosted by Nicola Blackwood MP, Member for Oxford West and Abingdon, by kind permission of the Speaker.

In its first year in Kabul, the Institute has set aside fifty per cent of its new pupil spaces each year for war orphans and street children, who receive bursaries to cover their musical education.

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music is founded and directed by Dr Ahmad Sarmast, son of Ustad Salim Sarmast, a well-known late Afghan composer and conductor. It exists, under the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan's jurisdiction, to promote both western classical and traditional Afghan music, and is at the moment the only conservatory in Afghanistan.

Professor John Baily, leading British expert on the music of Afghanistan, will offer historical context on the destruction of the Kabul musicians' quarter, in 1992, and the subsequent journey of many traditional Afghan musicians to Peshawar; and he himself will perform with the visitors.

The parliamentary concert will be followed by a charity dinner in the ballroom of the Lansdowne Club, at which a collection will be taken to fund the Institute's bursaries. Travel costs for the Afghanistan National Institute of Music are met by the British Council, and the costs of their accommodation in London by a private donor.

Miss Robin Ryczek, 'cello instructor at the Institute (who has formerly toured with Jethro Tull) will perform several original arrangements of traditional Afghan melodies for 'cello.

Paul Cheater, senior master of Summer Fields School in Oxford, assisted in devising the Institute's curriculum based on the UK national curriculum and music grade examinations, and will share the story of his involvement.

Shaharzad Akbar, the first female Afghan student at the University of Oxford, will describe her own visits to the Institute.

Cathy Graham, director of music for the British Council, will describe links between Britain and the new Kabul conservatory.

In the remainder of their British tour, the members of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music will perform in the Chapel of Trinity College, Oxford (12.30, Sunday the 26th) and for the British Afghan Women's Society and Afghanaid (7 pm, Wednesday the 29th). They will also meet with the heads of music at Harrow and Dulwich College, the head of music at the South Bank Centre, the deputy principals of the Royal Academy of Music, musical staff from the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music, and the principal and director of music from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Together with other lasting institutional collaborations with the UK, the Institute's staff will discuss a gap-year programme in which British school-leavers and music graduates may spend time assisting with music instruction in Kabul.

The British magazine Classical Music covered the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in its 20 November, 2010 issue (offprints available on request). The visit is organised by that article's author, journalist Pádraig Belton, who concluded his last interview by inviting the Institute to visit Britain.

Dr Sarmast is happy to give interviews in Dari, Pashto or English. The organisers are able to give interviews in Urdu and Hindi. Footage and rushes are available if helpful from previous BBC and ABC Australia visits to Kabul.