Music educators from around the world gather in Helsinki in August 2024 

Uniarts Helsinki will host the 36th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education ISME in Helsinki from 28 July to 2 August 2024.

The ISME world conference is organised every second year, and globally, it is one of the most major events focusing on education and research in the arts. The theme for the conference in Helsinki in 2024 is advocacy for sustainability in music education. The event is expected to attract nearly 1,500 music education professionals, students and researchers from all over the world. 

The conference provides a platform to have discussions, ask questions, imagine ways forward, create new partnerships and share thoughts on the meaning of music and arts education in the lives of people of all ages. 

“Surrounded by rapid changes, crises, and uncertainty, testing people’s agency, optimism about the future, and their ability to find meaning in their lives. Therefore, music and art education play an increasingly important role in the cultural transformation that enables a hopeful future. The conference provides experts from around the world with a significant opportunity to discuss how this role can be practically strengthened,” states Kaarlo Hildén, the rector of the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Focus on visions and opportunities for music education 

Music education has a crucial role in advancing the wellbeing of the individual, community and society. The recent uncertain times further highlight the importance of envisioning, exploring and advocating for the many opportunities that music education can offer for enhancing equity, a sense of belonging and inclusion as well as ecological sustainability. Making this change requires the efforts of all educators working in the field of music and other artistic disciplines. ISME offers an opportunity to engage in a dialogue to develop ideas and measures in a situation where the world is shaken up by several serious crises. In the ISME world conference, people will come together to reflect on the role of music education in advancing the wellbeing of the individual, community and society. 

– The need for art and education in the arts is perhaps more crucial than ever before. Their contexts offer opportunities for empathic interactions and a sense of togetherness as well as tools for developing creativity and new kind of thinking patterns. I believe that the event will inspire and stimulate international discussions and network-building, said Heidi Partti, the local academic chair of the conference. 

The International Society for Music Education ISME was founded on the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Brussels in 1953. The organisation has members from about 80 countries around the world, and its guiding principle is that lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people. 

Learn more about the conference and registration details at


More information 

Professor of music education Heidi Partti  

Organizing Chair Terhi Luukkonen