Announcing the first Keynote speaker: Professor Gary E. McPherson

Prepare to be inspired to improve and move music education!

Gary E. McPherson

Have your ever heard a keynote speaker who:

  • causes a harp-like reverberation in your every nerve
  • makes you want to stand-up and shout out ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’
  • gives you hope for music education and for creating possible futures
  • you just need to personally meet and thank after
  • inspires you to change, create impact and take positive, practical actions?

We have! Every time we have had the pleasure of hearing Professor Gary E. McPherson speak.

We are so excited that Gary has accepted our invitation to be one of the keynote speakers at the EAS conference in Malmö 2019. Gary has inspired the field of music education in many ways through his vast contributions. He has a broad research interest with an interdisciplinary approach and his most important research examines, for example:

  • Young people’s beliefs and everyday life experience with music and their motivation to learn music and grow to love music in their lives
  • The developmental assets, both personal and social, that are acquired from learning music and the positive consequences for music learners’ emotional wellbeing and social development
  • The family, peer group, teacher and other personal and social dynamics that best promote music learning
  • The types of enabling conditions offered in schools that can maximize student commitment to, engagement with, and flourishing in, music related learning opportunities
  • The reason why music is important in the education of all children.

Gary is currently the Ormond Professor and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, and a former President of the International Society for Music Education. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and served as editor or co-editor for some of the most prominent publications in music education, including important volumes for Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Music Education (2012, 2108), the Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development (2006, 2016) and Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology and Ethnomusicology (2016). These are just a few highlights from his inspiring career.

Gary’s keynote – “The Music Education I’d Like” – will show how teachers can better meet the needs of all music learners. He will talk about the most basic psychological needs that all children need fulfilled in order to thrive, and how teachers can satisfy these needs when teaching music. These include feeling autonomous and in control of one’s learning, feeling connected with others, and feeling competent and confident within oneself when singing, playing, and making music. Included also will be examples of the types of teacher-student-peer interactions and learning environments that encourage learners to develop a growth mindset and a passion for learning music. Gary will also highlight why music is important in schools by drawing parallels between the development of language literacy and musical literacy, how creative and social skills are developed through and in music, and the types of skills, knowledge and understandings that are wonderfully and uniquely developed through exposure to a music education. All of this information will help us understand how to make music learning visible to everyone involved in, or observers of, the educational process.