Future Songwriting was presented at the Creative Transformations Conference, held in Helsinki as one of the event series celebrating Finland’s presidency of the Commission of the European Union. Organized by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, the conference saw inspiring talks on the key role of culture in sustainable development, and how policies can buttress democracy and tackle present and future challenges with a focus on culture and education. Participants mostly consisted of culture policy officials from national governments and international organisations like UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the OECD.

The conference was opened by Finland’s Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko and EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics. Future Songwriting was presented as one of many forward-looking European projects in the fields of arts and education.

The project’s coordinator, Heini Eskelinen-Räsänen from Teosto, and Kari Saarilahti, CEO of INTO SCHOOL, the Finnish team to be credited for the basic concept, introduced Future Songwriting to attendees.

The songs composed by children during the Future Songwriting pilots in Helsinki French-Finnish School (HRSK) and Santamäki School in Kempele ran on a loop at the closing event of the prestigious conference.

As Comissioner Navracsics said in his opening speech: “to ensure that culture can fully play its part in building strong, united communities, we need to create the best possible conditions for the cultural and creative sectors.”. He pointed to The New European Agenda for Culture providing the policy framework, and the extended budget of the Creative Europe programme as the two principal tools in achieving this. He also highlighted the role of creativity: “We all know that culture and the arts foster imagination. Critical thinking and dealing confidently with media sources are particularly important in today’s increasingly digital world.”

One of the key principles of the Future Songwriting project, creativity in the classroom will also receive support at policy level in the EU. “We look forward to launching the CREASSESS project during the Finnish Presidency. The objective is to further improve the assessment of creative and critical thinking skills in schools and to provide new tools to support teachers and students in this.”– as Mr. Navracsics confirmed.

After closing two very successful pilots in Finland, the project will move to Germany and France, while continuing in new schools in Finland. Stay tuned for news on how Future Songwriting attempts to reform music education.

Future Songwriting introduces a new model to music education. Using creativity and digital tools to activate children’s innate potential; the project aims to pave the way for the future of teaching music. The two-year project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.

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