Strengthening Music in Society provides musicians, music students and those working in the music education sector with resources and tools. We want to help you and Higher Music Education Institutions to strengthen the social relevance of music education and improve access to music education, but also strengthen the impact of music, art, culture and cultural education on society.

The material published on this website are outcomes of the project Strengthening Music in Society (SMS), conducted by the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) and supported by the Creative Europe programme.

The material provided on this website is divided into different themes and can be used for different purposes:

  • to raise the social responsibility of artists and to advocate for the arts at different government levels
  • to open the HMEIs’ educational offer towards more diversity
  • to embed entrepreneurial skills in the education of the music students for their future as professional musicians
  • to help students and teachers internationalise their careers
  • to explore and discuss new Learning and Teaching models
  • to encourage the use of digital media and digital-based learning tools in music teaching
  • to increase the quality of early childhood music education, and thus extend the audience of tomorrow.

Meet the people behind the Strengthening Music in Society project! All material on this website is written and provided by seven thematic Working Groups (WGs).

They are supported by the SMS Steering Committee and the SMS Content Coordination group. The Steering Committee is in charge of strategic planning, while the Content Coordination group focuses on the content and synergies between the different groups and themes.

The project is coordinated by the Project Team, which is composed by the coordinators of the WGs.

Steering Committee Members Content Committee Members Project Team Members
Eirik Birkeland – AEC President
Deborah Kelleher – ExCom member
Stefan Gies – AEC CEO
Linda Messas – AEC General Manager
Paulina Gut – Project Manager
Helena Gaunt – chair of Music in Society WG


Helena Gaunt – chair of Music in Society WG
David-Emil Wickström – chair of Diversity, Identity, Inclusiveness WG
Renee Jonker – chair of Entrepreneurship WG
Camilla Overgaard – co-chair of Entrepreneurship WG
Christofer Fredriksson – chair of Internationalisation WG
Jon Helge Sætre – chair of Learning and Teaching WG
Stefan Gies – co-chair of Learning and Teaching WG
Luc Nijs – chair of Digitisation WG
Eline Accoe – co-chair of Students WG
Miranda Harmer – co-chair of Students WG
Paulina Gut – Project Manager
Paulina Gut – Project Team Coordinator, Entrepreneurship WG coordinator
Linda Messas – Music in Society WG coordinator
Alfonso Guerra – Diversity, Identity, Inclusiveness WG coordinator
Sara Primiterra – Internationalisation WG coordinator
Ellen Stabell – Learning and Teaching WG coordinator
Till Skoruppa – Digitisation WG coordinator
Barbara Lalic – Students Working Group coordinator
Chiara Conciatori – Communication coordinator

External Evaluator – Dame Janet Ritterman

Quality is very important to us. Dame Janet Ritterman, who has worked to raise the profile of music and education , evaluates the project and helps us improve the quality and relevance of our work.

The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) is a European network, established in 1953. It represents Higher Music Education Institutions all across Europe and beyond.

AEC works for the advancement of European Higher Music Education and, more generally, of music, arts and culture. It does so by providing support to Higher Music Education Institutions (HMEIs), engaging in advocacy at international level and through measures to raise understanding and enhance standards of Higher Music Education.

The membership of AEC is represented in a Council consisting of up to 12 elected senior managers. All interested parties can contact the AEC office to know more about the way AEC can cooperate with them and help establishing new ties and project partnerships across Higher Music Education Institutions.

AEC is co-funded by Creative Europe, the only programme of the European Union dedicated to the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors. While AEC is the main responsible for this project, this is a collaborative initiative with our partners EMU, EAS, CEMPE and Pearle.