Welcome to the webpages of the National Association for Music in Higher Education (NAMHE).
NAMHE is the UK’s subject association for institutions, departments and individuals dedicated to training and educating the next generation of musicians through higher education. We represent a diverse range of institutions offering music degrees of all kinds. We promote the creative, cultural and economic benefits of studying for a music degree – whether in a conservatoire, college or university – and we champion musical research, scholarship and practice at the highest level to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for our discipline.
Our projects are varied and many. Over the last few years we’ve been focusing work in key areas and we are committed to continuing this work in the coming year:
We have commissioned a range of videos that promote the value of a music degree. These videos represent a range of voices from students currently studying for their degree, to graduates working in a range of positions, from politics, to outreach, to charity work, and to music industry professionals. We are expanding this collection in hope that colleagues might utilise these videos at open days, or other events where potential students and partners and current students are seeking advice concerning the employment potential and personal gain of studying for a music degree.
Our latest video interviews composer, Adrian Sutton, about his degree experiences and the application of the skills he gained within his work within the music industry.
During an average year we are sent a variety of consultation documents to which we respond and represent our wider national community. As outlined at the recent AGM, we have led on responses to the TEF green paper, discussion on changes to the REF, debates on the EBacc, Edexcel A Level reform, gender in the curriculum, and the current QAA benchmark consultation. New activity will be found in the Announcements below.
Throughout the year we constantly collaborate with our cognate subject association, committees, institutions and activities.
Regular, critical dialogue is held with:
- Royal Musical Association,
- Arts and Humanities Alliance,
- Standing Committee for University Drama Departments,
- DANCE HE,
- Music Mark (the UK Association for Music Education),
- Institute of Musical Research (IMR),
- Music Education Council (MEC), and
- Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)
We also work with other learned societies and subject associations in other fields where our interests and priorities overlap. We are keen to continue to expand this collaborative work.
Our recent annual conference was held at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) in May 2016 on the theme of ‘Practice-Led Research’. Our annual conference moves around the country: recent events have been held at:
- 2015 – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- 2014 – Bathspa University
- 2013 – University of Birmingham
- 2012 – Manchester Metropolitan University (Crewe Campus)
- 2011 – Kingston University, London
- 2010 – Cardiff University, Wales
A video of our 2014 conference can be seen here. The 2017 conference will be held at Cambridge University on 2nd May. Details forthcoming.
Research and paper delivery
More recently we have been commissioning and conducting research into issues concerning music in HEIs in the present climate.
We commissioned Dr Danijela Bogdanovic to research and write a report on the Gender and Equality Mark. This project included consultation with a range of staff within UK music departments.
We regularly commission specific committee members to lead on responses to consultation documents, eg: TEF.
We have moved to a more active and personal role in presenting the work we do at conferences and events. NAMHE colleagues presented on ‘Current Issues in HE’ at the RMA Research Students’ Conference at Bangor University in January 2016. The panel included Drs Helen Julia Minors, Chris Collins and Laura Hamer, Prof. Rachel Cowgill and student representation Zaina Shihabi. The transcript of this panel can be found here:
- Part 1 – Recruitment Context
- Part 2 – Gender and equality
- Part 3 – Teaching Excellence Framework
- Part 4 – Research
- Part 5 – Questions and Answers
A panel paper will be presented at the International Society for Music in Education (ISME) conference in Glasgow in July 2016. This will tackle the challenges facing music in HEIs. Drs Helen Julia Minors, Charles Wiffen, Prof. Pamela Burnard, with student representative Zaina Shihabi, will present on Tuesday 26th July. This panel discussion is preparation for publications; details forthcoming.
Find us on Facebook, Twitter or register with our members’ JISCMail forum and mailing list for updates and discussion, or why not attend our annual one-day conference which we host every May. For details please contact our administrator, Alison.
Each year the NAMHE conference explores a theme of relevance to the music HE community, allowing members to develop new ideas, exchange good practice and interact with colleagues from institutions across the UK. You can get a flavour from this video of the 2014 conference, which focused on communities of creative practice. If you would like to raise an issue for the conference, for committee meetings or for other activity you think we should be involved with, please send us an email.
Our committee is run by elected volunteers. We seek new committee members annually but we are always keen for those interested to help with our work to contact us. If you would like to offer your support please contact us.
Meanwhile feel free to browse this website and our other online presences and get in touch.
Helen Julia Minors
The next scheduled NAMHE conference is to be held at Cambridge University on 2 May 2017.