How can the exchange and collaboration between the vocal and instrumental teacher training courses of European conservatoires be improved? This is the question the INVITE working group adresses, based on the results of a questionnaire of the European Association of Conservatoires related to the training course for instrumental teachers. INVITE stands for ‘International Network for Vocal and Instrumental Teacher Education’ and during the period 2007-2010 it functioned as a working group within the Polifonia project of the AEC. Tine Stolte, member of the group of researchers of the Research Group Lifelong Learning in Music & the Arts, is a member of the working group and represents the Prince Claus Conservatoire.
By making site visits INVITE strives to improve the exchange and collaboration and to gain insight into the various systems and curricula-opportunities for training instrumental teachers in Europe. The working group’s assignment was the following:
• Producing a handbook which deals with current developments and subjects important to the profession of instrumental teachers. The handbook will describe the changing context in which instrumental teachers function and the diversity of their role. Teacher competences will also be described and the handbook will closely examine the challenges institutions face in the curriculum development.
• Updating national descriptions of educational systems in Europe as an overview for students who would like to spend a period studying abroad.
• Making eight site-visits to European conservatoires in order to gain insight into how the curriculum for the instrumental teacher training course is set up.
• Organizing two conferences during which the work of the working group will be presented and discussed with colleagues. These conferences will also provide an opportunity for those involved to present their own work and research.
The first INVITE conference took place in March 2008 in Helsinki, and was called “Changing Professional Roles and Contexts”. The second conference took place in Dublin, in April 2010 under the name “The Education of Instrumental and Vocal Teachers – Developing Professional Competences”.
The handbook 'Instrumental and Vocal Teacher Education: European Perspectives' was published by the AEC in November 2010. The handbook was presented during the yearly AEC conference in Warsau. AEC Handbook - Instrumental Vocal Teacher Education - European perspectives EN.
The INVITE-group presented the handbook at a special conference for the professional practice at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in April 2011.