The International Society for Music Education (ISME) is a professional organization of persons involved with music education. It was founded in Brussels in 1953 during the UNESCO-sponsored conference on "The Role and Place of Music in the Education of Youth and Adults". ISME's mission is to build a worldwide network of music educators, to advocate music education globally and across the lifespan, and to foster intercultural understanding and cooperation.
ISME holds conferences every two years in a different part of the world and include workshops, paper presentations, keynote addresses, symposia, and performances. In addition, ISME supports regional conferences in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, and has a range of specialist interest groups to nurture particular areas of music education. These specialist groups include seven long-established commissions that are focused on: research; community music activity; early childhood music education; education of the professional musician; music policy: cultural, educational and mass media; music in schools and teacher education; and music in special education, music therapy and music medicine. Each commission holds a biennial seminar, usually immediately prior to the main conference. In addition, the world conference includes an "Instrumental Forum" that supports the work of instrumental teachers with themed sessions.
The society is present in over 90 countries and in January 2012 there were nearly 1,700 ISME individual members, with 21 ISME National Affiliates, as well as 59 ISME Group Members comprising around 100,000 ISME Associate Members.
ISME's main sponsors are the Gibson and the NAMM Foundations.
The International Journal of Music Education is the official journal of the ISME and is published four times a year by SAGE Publications.
Co-ordination and advisory work
The ISME International Office in Perth, Australia, co-ordinates all communication related to the work of the society. ISME acts in an advisory capacity to UNESCO and is a member of and closely affiliated to the International Music Council.
ISME Archives - Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland