MDG Colloquium 31 Call For Proposals

The MayDay Group Colloquium 31, 19-22 June 2019
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland

Music Education as Social, Cultural, and Political Action

Colloquium website


As continuation of our engagement with the vital and challenging questions that make up our revised Action Ideals, The MayDay Group invites scholars, music makers, educators, and innovators from around the globe to consider and problematize music not just as meaningful sound, but as socially, culturally, and politically embedded action. This year’s Colloquium centers on Action Ideal II.[1]

II. Since social, cultural, and political contexts of musical actions are integrally tied to the nature and values of all human activity, a secure theoretical foundation that unites the actions of music with the various contexts and meanings of those actions is essential to music education in both research and practice.

We must account for the fullest range of meanings inherent in individual and collective musical actions. This will require robust rationales that encompass the widest range of musical experiences in school and community contexts. As teachers of music we are participants and collaborators in a living cultural praxis; therefore discussions of music’s meanings and educative values must concern not just the sounds themselves, but encompass all of music’s humanizing and concrete functions.

 Questions that presenters might consider: 

  • How can specific musical values be understood in relation to the nature of human needs and the social and cultural contexts that bring them forth? How might we work toward more inclusive and globally-informed definitions of musicianship and musicking, while at the same time teaching and promoting culturally relevant musical practices locally in our schools and communities?
  • How can various approaches to creating, performing, and understanding music grow alongside and interact with established school musical practices associated with western classical music? How can we enlist exemplars and knowledgeable culture-bearers from various musical traditions among our schools and communities? What are potential risks and gains that might flow from such experiences?
  • How can we develop awareness of the ways in which our own musical identities inevitably intersect with, and adapt to, the broad range of musics and musical situations with which we engage? How do these intersections and adaptations affect our teaching and our students’ learning?
  • Accounting for the personal, social, cultural, and political situatedness of musics, how might specific tangible socially embedded qualities of musical processes, products, and contextualized actions constitute the basis for ethical music teaching, learning, and assessment?
  • How does the notion of authenticity shape students’ engagement with musical traditions; how do notions of authenticity affect curriculum not common to the school or community locale?


Proposals and Provocations

Proposals are invited to address and/or problematize ideas of artistic citizenship, musical democracies, “world music,” multicultural curricula, sociology of music, cultural and institutional biases, non-notated musics, theories of social music learning, music and identity formation, social class and other points of interest on local, national, and international levels that can broaden the range of our professional general knowledge base. Over the past 25 years we have seen a myriad of research and philosophical contributions surrounding music learning and teaching that intersect with the fields of ethnomusicology, arts-based therapy, neuroscience, sociology, gender-sexuality studies, critical race theory, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and cultural psychology. It is expected that scholarship from these fields and others will inform accepted proposals.

Presenters are encouraged to address issues and events by taking an  interdisciplinary, theoretical, or philosophical approach in their analyses of trends and perceived problems, speaking as much to the wider university community and to the public as to our own specialty, and to recommend Action Plans that can broaden our thinking and support a more inclusive, socially aware, and informed practice of teaching and learning music in an increasingly pluralistic and diverse world community and classroom.



Presentations — better understood at MayDay Group Colloquia as provocations — are designed to stimulate discussion and debate. Therefore, each presenter will be allocated 45 minutes, to include no more than 30 minutes for the presentation and no fewer than 15 minutes for discussion.

Proposals that go outside the conventional scope of a provocation, such as a collaborative panel presentation, or a set of lightning talks including artists, school teachers, and/or policy makers, are also strongly encouraged. Musical engagements will also be considered and pianos will be available.

Presenters must be registered and in attendance at the colloquium. Presentations by other means (Skype, substitute presentation readers, etc.) cannot be accommodated. Projectors, speakers, and screens will be available, but it is completely acceptable to use no supporting technology.



  • Please submit both: a proposal of no more than 800 words (references included in word count) and an abstract of no more than 100 words as word.doc email attachments. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • State your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and other contact information in the body of the email only. There should be no identifiers on proposals or abstracts.
  • Submit no later than midnight, January 18, 2019 to: Dr Gwen Moore, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
  • Proposals will be blind reviewed by the MayDay steering committee and evaluated according to the following criteria: clarity of ideas, contribution to/interest for the profession, relevance and contribution to theory, and connection to the action ideal and surrounding questions.
  • Notification will occur by email no later than February 8, 2019.
  • If accepted, the primary presenter and any co-presenters must register for the conference no later than March 8, 2019 or forfeit their acceptance.
  • Registration information will be posted on the MDG 31 Colloquium website at
  • Accepted abstracts will be posted to the Colloquium website by April 8, 2019 and cannot be changed after that date.



The venue for the conference will be Mary Immaculate College (MIC) located on the South Circular Road, Limerick. MIC is a University College academically affiliated with the University of Limerick. It is one of Ireland’s leading centres for teacher education, and has been in existence since 1898. The College offers many undergraduate programmes in education and the humanities, and over thirty graduate level programmes, up to and including at doctoral level. Currently, the College is home to some 5,000 students and nearly 300 staff.

Music education is a core part of all initial teacher education programmes in the College. As well as enjoying a strong relationship with the Department of Music, music education resides within the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education. The department is now home to the first taught MA in Music Education in Ireland and an MA in Education and The Arts.

Mary Immaculate College is situated on a city-centre campus one kilometre from the historical City of Limerick. Founded by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago, the City of Limerick is magnificently sited on one of Europe’s finest rivers, the Shannon. Limerick is an ideal base from which to explore both the South and the West Coast of Ireland. The breathtaking Atlantic Coast, the Cliffs of Moher, the botanically important Burren region, the mountains of Galway, the Aran Islands, Bunratty Castle, the Lakes of Killarney and the spectacular Rings of Kerry and of Beara are all within driving distance.


Travel Information

Shannon is the closest airport to Limerick (20 mins) and would be preferable to fly into. Cork, Dublin, Knock, and Galway airports are also conveniently located and have regular travel connections to Limerick.

Does the conference have special room rates for conference delegates?

All of the recognised conference accommodations have special room rates for conference delegates. For more information on this please see the Colloquium website at where you will find the most up-to-date information.

QUESTIONS? Please contact us at:

        [1] For the full set of ideals go to: 


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