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International Music Conference 2018


soundLINCS is thrilled to have been selected to attend and present at the 33rd World Conference of The International Society for Music Education (ISME).

Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE (CEO) and Nicola Stanton (Programme Development Officer) are both in attendance at the Community Music Activity Pre-Conference Seminar in Georgia and the ISME Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Nikki-Kate Heyes is also presenting at both conferences and will engage international music practitioners and scholars with community music and music partnership discussions.

International Society for Music Education 2018 

The theme for the 2018 ISME conference is Life’s Journey Through Music. This theme reflects the lifelong learning, lifespan development and life-changing nature of music in people’s lives around the world.

Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Dates: 15th to 20th July 2018

Friday 20th July, 11:30am

Title: The impact and outcomes of research upon inclusive practice in music and non-music organisations through grant funded programmes.


Presentation Summary

To find out more about the conference read our press release here.

Day 1 

In Baku, Azerbaijan we are in attendance at the 33rd World ISME Conference! We have been reunited with familiar faces and it is great to meet more like-minded people! We began the week with an introduction from ISME President Lee Higgins who worked with us on our Fusion research project. We have also been inspired by some music performances from The Listeners, Kaboom Percussion and Ann Singer Concert.


Day 2

We participate in a day of workshops, activities, presentations and discussions around a variety of music topics including Music in Special Education, Jazz music and Community Music Activity in reflection of the CMA Pre-Conference Seminar last week.

In the afternoon we were delighted to be invited by the Royal College Music London to participate in their Music and Social Intervention Research Network symposium. We talked about musical excellence and inclusion and introduced our PRESENT Framework which we use to ensure we achieve excellence in our practices.


soundLINCS PRESENT Framework, achieving musical excellence in music practice:


Later in the evening we attended the ISME Official Opening Ceremony which showcased a vibrant and diverse variety of music and dance performances.

Performances included the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble, Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, Ballet artists of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre and other national award winning music artists. It was a truly spectacular welcoming to the beginning of the ISME conference! Read Nicola’s blog post about the day here.


Day 3

Today Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE, CEO of soundLINCS, delivered a presentation in Research and Practice. We shared the wonderful work we have done with Higher Education institutes in the UK and explained how we investigate the impact and outcomes of research upon inclusive practice in music and non-music organisations through grant funded programmes.

One example of our inclusive music practice is our Frequency project using music technology. The aim of the project was to narrow the attainment gap for Pupil Premium children. Frequency was used as part of the national case study of good practice by Inspire Music.

Day 4

More thought-provoking discussions continue! With only a few days left in Baku we are looking to enjoy and make the most of our time by continuing to connect with people and have valuable conversations. Today saw us talk about music technology, what community music can do for the soul and spirit with reuniting Syrian refugees. We also discussed practice and research and how the arts create social change!


Day 5

The day started with the General Assembly. The ISME Board were thanked and praised for bringing us all together and we congratulated the next elected Board and looked ahead to ISME 2020 in Finland and Brisbane, Australia in 2022. In the afternoon, soundLINCS CEO Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE is chairing the community music activity presentation. Community music in Japan is being explored as a centre for community music and Ruth Currie is delivering ‘From problem to progression: reframing youth programmes in a community music organisation in the UK’.

Day 6

On the final day of ISME we are delivering our second presentation on research and practice to develop and sustain musically inclusive practice. We are very delighted to have received responses and discussion from all presentations we have delivered whilst on the conference. We have also given out plenty USBs featuring our toolkits, research and other free content and we hope everyone enjoys using it!

There have been many highlights to the ISME conference. We are proud to have been invited and delighted to have met so many amazing people. We share with you some of these highlights in our final ISME 2018 blog post.

See the full showcase of ISME 2018 on the ISME website.

ISME, Community Music Activity – Pre-Conférence Seminar

Inspiring Curiosity: Celebrating Diverse Voices of Community Music.

Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Dates: 10th to 14th July 2018

Thursday 12th July, 14:15pm – 15:45pm

Title: Community Music supporting change in Musical Inclusion through partnerships, research, practice, and an Inquiring Mind



Day 1 

Arriving in Tbilisi, Georgia there is a real sense of community spirit and a creative and open culture. Here to engage in a Community Music Activity conference, the city is looking to be a vibrant and inspirational place for it!

On the first night the Art Gene Festival showcased a diverse range of music involving people of all ages.

Read more about the spectacular city, Tbilisi, in Nicola’s blog post sharing how the history and culture of the city is an inspirational place to share community music practices and experiences.


Day 2

The Community Music Activity – Pre-Conférence Seminar (CMA) has begun with a vocal workshop taking place lead by CMA vocal leaders, ‘Celebrating Diverse Voices of Community Music’. An international community are gathering to sing traditional Georgian songs and perform traditional dances.

It’s great to meet so many amazing people who are just as enthusiastic about community music ourselves! Read more about this day in our blog post.


Day 3

The sessions have begun! Community music is discussed including some world case studies relating to how community music can help and impact people’s lives around the world.

We’ve heard some amazing music whilst here including singing by a Georgian Choir. Listen here:

Later in the evening we listened to the Ketevan’s Boy Choir, an excellent performance!


Day 4

The day begun with a singing warm up before starting another day of community music themed sessions. A range of topics being shared and discussed including research and academia, community music partnerships and social change!








Listen to part of our warm up here:

Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE is also delivering the presentation in the session Partnerships and Social Change, sharing how people and organisations can come together to drive social change.

Presentation: Community Music supporting change in Musical Inclusion through partnerships, research, practice, and an Inquiring Mind


Day 5

The final sessions of the conference today included hip hop music! We discussed how it might be a health resource and a catalyst for social change. We questioned whether community music-making can help develop employability skills and looked at a bio-cultural approach to partnerships and community cohesion through community music.

Performance by Rustavi Vocal Group, incredible!


Day 6

Our final day in Tbilisi, Georgia at the community music pre-conference seminar. We have had an incredible time experiencing all new types of music from traditional Georgian choir singing through to hip hop. We have enjoyed being with an amazing group of people from around the world and we are looking forward to our next destination Baku for the main ISME music conference!

Together we boarded a train for 15 hours to arrive at Baku for more music activities, workshops and discussions with more people from around the world.

Our reflections on our time at the CMA Pre-conference Seminar can be read here.