Goal 3: Social and Cultural Challenges

Apply arts education principles and practices to contribute to resolving the social and culturalchallenges facing today’s world

Under goal 3, the Bonn Declaration reflects the interdependence of the individual and society. It focuses on the intrinsic and extrinsic values of music and music education and re-emphasises the potential of music for social responsibility and intercultural dialogue.
Cultural diversity is a reality in all European countries. The promotion of diversity and dialogue between cultures needs the recognition and the consideration of all musical cultures without hegemony. The intrinsic value of music needs to be respected: Music is a powerful tool for the inclusion of people that are excluded for whatever reason (gender, age, socially, economically, culturally, etc.), and it may serve as a tool for building bridges and for meeting the social and cultural challenges of European societies. Therefore:

  • Music education must be context-driven and take into account the changes in society.
  • Intercultural and socio-cultural training (including personal development and group work)should be integrated into the training of all musicians and music education practitionersat all levels. Likewise workers from other disciplines should receive training in music in order to facilitate cross-over between sectors. They must be exposed to music so as to fully understand its value.
  • Social and cultural challenges must be addressed by a variety of disciplines, and cooperation between the cultural, educational and other sectors must be strengthened.
  • The debate about the dichotomy of inclusion and quality has to be opened up; it is important to define the goals of a music project with reference to its social implications and address its aims and desired outcomes.
  • Music education institutions in the formal sector and organisations offering non-formal music education should offer more activities which are aimed at addressing and resolving social and cultural challenges.
  • In order to be able to react to latest trends and to be up-to-date, music education institutions in formal, non-formal and informal settings should have appropriate facilities at hand including digital and music technology equipment.
  • Research and good practice examples need to be made available to demonstrate the important role of music education in helping to address personal, social and cultural challenges.


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