Korff School's Nierman was one of 10 selected to deliver Presidential Session at international music education conference

Glenn Nierman
Glenn Nierman

Glenn Nierman, associate director, professor of music education and Glenn Korff Chair of Music in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music, delivered a Presidential Session during the 34th World Conference of the International Society of Music Education (ISME) in August.

Only 10 Presidential Sessions were selected by ISME President Susan O’Neill from among 1,500 submissions worldwide for the conference, which originally was to be held in Helsinki, Finland, in early August. The conference was held virtually instead due to the coronavirus pandemic on the theme “Visions of Equity and Diversity.”

“I was honored to have my paper competitively selected to be published in the ISME World Congress proceedings, but to have it selected by the ISME President as a featured presentation for the 34th World Conference (held virtually this year) was a treasured confirmation that there are some colleagues out there who are still interested in what I have to say about assessment’s role in 21st century music education settings,” Nierman said.

Nierman’s paper was titled “Using Assessment to Enable Young Musicians’ Musical Growth—An Issue of Equity.” All children have the capability to grow and become musical, Nierman said. In the United States, however, an issue of equal access to music-making and learning opportunities in schools exists.

“The purpose of this paper is to suggest that assessment can take on an enabling function if it loses some of its negative connotations rooted in the nature-nurture/aptitude-achievement conceptualizations of the past and moves toward a more diagnostic-enabling conceptualization that will promote musical growth in all students. Research grounded in this conceptualization could form a powerful policy framework that could lead to enactment of real changes in access to music instruction,” Nierman wrote in the abstract for his paper.

Nierman’s presentation was made available to virtual attendees on Aug. 4. It is archived on the ISME YouTube Channel and available to view at https://go.unl.edu/38to.

Nierman has heard from colleagues around the world since his presentation. Alda de Jesus Oliveira, an honorary life member of ISME and honorary president of the Brazilian Association of Music Education said, “I liked your ISME presentation. I congratulate you for this positive view of assessment. Very relevant for everybody that believes music is important for a well-rounded education.”

Nierman is a past president of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and a recent member of the Board of Directors of ISME. He has authored numerous journal articles, made presentations at NAfME national conferences, and given addresses at ISME World Conferences on five continents. He also served on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Council of Research in Music Education for 17 years. His research interests are in the areas of assessment, teacher education and instructional strategies.

For more information on Nierman, visit https://go.unl.edu/gkhi.