The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) is a European cultural and educational network, which was established in 1953 (see AEC History). It represents the interests of institutions that are concerned with training for the music profession. Today, the AEC includes over 300 member institutions in 55 countries.
The AEC works for the advancement of European Higher Music Education and, more generally, of music, the arts and culture in contemporary society and for future generations. It does this through providing support, information and expert advice to the specialist institutions offering Higher Music Education, through engaging in advocacy and partnership-building at European and international levels and through measures to raise understanding and enhance standards of Higher Music Education across the European Higher Education Area and beyond.
Whilst Music is the primary focus of the AEC, Dance and Drama are often taught alongside Music in the specialist institutions represented by the Association and, under those circumstances, its mission actively embraces these disciplines. The statements made here, and in the Aims, Objectives and Values of the AEC, should therefore be regarded as also applying, where relevant, to these sister performing arts.
a) Support and Information for Members:
- Addressing the needs, wishes and priorities of its member institutions while providing informed advice that helps to shape those priorities in the direction of advancing European Higher Music Education as a whole
b) Events and Networking:
- Providing a range of platforms for the exchange of experiences and ideas between member institutions and for the identification and sharing of best practice in European Higher Music Education
c) External Links:
- Connecting member institutions with other organisations and individuals in Europe and internationally who are active in areas relevant to the advancement of European Higher Music Education
- Representing and advancing the interests of the Higher Music Education sector at national, European and international levels (see policy papers and recommendations)
Objectives of the Association
a) Support and Information for Members:
- To function as an effective and efficient member association, with clear governance, strong communication links to and from members and a well-run, proficient and dedicated office team
- To be an ‘observatory’ for member institutions, tracking and reporting on developments, trends and implications affecting the sustainability of Higher Music Education, whether as threats or as opportunities for further advancement
- To bring together member institutions as a General Assembly on an annual basis and to complement this with a range of events, meetings, platforms and seminars for special interest groups within the Association, ensuring that, overall, a good balance is maintained between these special interests and those of the membership as a whole
- To connect member institutions with one another, enabling them to identify potential partners for the exchange of students, staff and ideas and facilitating the identification and sharing of good practice
- To maintain good links with other organisation working in the field of music, higher education, the arts, culture and the creative industries, finding common ground wherever possible
- To develop and maintain links with institutions and organisations internationally which share a concern with music and higher music education, projecting to them a clear vision of the European perspective, but also joining with them in a wider debate about how to optimise the quality, effectiveness and future sustainability of the sector on a global level
- To connect member institutions into the wider web of information exchange and advocacy concerning music and music education taking place across higher education, the music profession and the cultural and political organisations of Europe
- To be a pro-active part of this network of advocacy, using the numerical weight and geographical reach of the AEC membership to act as a powerful and coherent voice for higher music education and as an energetic and engaged partner in wider advocacy for music, for the arts in general and for the value of a cultural dimension in society