First students of the new master study programs graduated from the Faculty of Music in Belgrade (P1)

On 12 November 2021, the first students graduated from the innovative, entrepreneurially oriented master study program Applied Research in Music (PRIMA) introduced at the Faculty of Music University of Arts in Belgrade in the framework of the DEMUSIS project in 2020/21. During their studies, the students successfully integrated application of knowledge, concepts and methods in music research from the perspective of new technologies, entrepreneurship and work with audiences within the wider social contexts, resulting in the design of original music projects addressed to specific social groups as new audiences.

The final works at the PRIMA master characterize unique methodological approach bringing together design of a project idea, its theoretical explication based on the contemporary academic literature, followed by its practical application by placement of actual music outputs into the specific contemporary media, educational and/or public cultural space(s).

The PRIMA master theses are furthermore oriented toward affirmation of chosen examples of art music in the specific social context outside of concert venues as traditional institutionalized spaces for the promotion of classical music, with an emphasis on participatory audience involvement and of transmedia storytelling application. As such, the master theses publicly defended at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade include projects such as Art and music summer workshop for preschool children “Sing and play with the carnival” by Tara Gajić, Radio FMU by Ivana Ćurčić, Presentation and promotion of the Guard-Representative Orchestra by trans-media storytelling method by Bojan Cvetinov, and Programme Preslišavanje [Revision]. Design and placement of the broadcast oriented toward popular music research using the transmedia storytelling techniques by Mario Dimitrijević, as the most recent contribution (defended on 18 March 2022).

The Applied Research in Music (PRIMA), introduced in the framework of the DEMUSIS project in 2020/21, is the first study program in Serbia and in the region oriented towards entrepreneurial approach to music, socially engaged artistic/music practices and growing and more complex possibilities of digital technologies. Witnessing its popularity in the region is the fact that almost 25% of students come from the countries of the former Yugoslavia (North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina).

To learn more about the study program, visit the Faculty of Music in Belgrade website. Additionally, the structure of the study program in English is available here, and the complete curriculum (in Serbian) here.

First student placements in Mad Head Games

The first group of 6 students from national academic partner institutions in Belgrade (P1) and Kragujevac (P3) completed their practical placements in gaming company Mad Head Games (P10) in September 6–20, 2021. Four students of new master study program Applied Research of Music (PRIMA) at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade (P1) and two students of master study program Music in Media, updated with new course Digital portfolio introduced in academic year 2020/21, had an opportunity to test and broaden their knowledge on gaming industry, particularly in the field of music and sound production for video games.

The main aim of the practical placement was to introduce students to as many aspects of video games production, in order to better understand this growing industry and explore the possibilities it offers to music professionals. During their practical placements, the music students learned about the specific characteristics of video games as an interactive media, the technical aspects of its production, including the organizational structure of development studies and production technology. In addition, the students were introduced to aesthetic principles of games dramaturgy, particularly on Mad Head Games projects.

A special attention was, of course, been given to sound design and production, which included not only music but also sound effects and dialogues.

At the end of placement period, the students were given tasks of creating concepts for game music direction, based on a game segment. This task was met with great enthusiasm among students, who engaged their creativity, knowledge and skills to match the chosen music to visual narrative game aesthetic, to edit it so that music and sound follow the dynamics and events in the game. Some of their works are available on project’s YouTube channel.

In accordance with ongoing measures to control the spread of disease COVID-19 in Serbia, the student practice was carried out completely online.

The partners and collaborators from Mad Head Games are eager to welcome the second group of students from P1-P2 on practical placements in November 2021.

Student placements in Mad Head Games: Agenda

MHG Studentska praksa screenshot 15092021

DEMUSIS project eligibility period extended for 12 months

The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) approved the request for the extension of the DEMUSIS project eligibility period by twelve months, until 14 January 2023. The extension of the project eligibility period will allow smooth implementation of project activities, modified or postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Serbia and EU.
The decision to submit the request for the extension of project eligibility period was made unanimously by the Project Management Board on the annual meeting in December 2021.

The most important reasons for the project eligibility extension include the following:

  • Accreditation, preparation and realization of LLL courses (WP5) after previous decision from October 2020 by National Institute for the Promotion of Education to postpone the national accreditation of LLL courses for one year, to October 2021. Having in mind that the accreditation process at the National Institute for the Promotion of Education lasts one year, the postponement of LLL accreditation means that implementation of LLL courses (WP 5.3) could start in October 2022 at the earliest. The preparation of LLL courses is underway.
    The accreditation of LLL (life-long learning) courses in the areas of music entrepreneurship, music in digital environment and social engagement of musicians by the National Institute for the Promotion of Education is one of key project milestones, pertaining to the project’s specific objective B: continuing professional development for music professionals, aiming at improvement and enhancement of their digital and entrepreneurial skills. The realization of LLL courses would therefore have a huge impact on project results, as it covers to the greatest extent one of the three main project objectives. At least 10 LLL courses in areas of music entrepreneurship and music in digital environment were planned, to be developed within WPs 1, 3 and 4, and adapted for LLL usage.
  • Live dissemination events, the culminating one being Public debate in Novi Sad EU Capital of Culture in the fall 2022, after the decision of the European Parliament and the Council to move the title year of Novi Sad (Serbia) as EU Capital of Culture from 2021 to 2022. The Public debate in the framework of EU Capital of Culture program will include public presentation of student projects and participation of all national academic, non-academic partner institutions and stakeholders, significantly contributing in that way, to the project impact and visibility, along with promotion of more engaged and culturally responsible musicians committed to the civil society.
    Moreover, according to the Project Dissemination and Exploitation Plan, in the last phase of the project dissemination, the focus lies at live dissemination events, with relevant stakeholders. Live dissemination events aiming at enhancement of dialogue between academic and civil sector, with communication of project outcomes to the representatives from academia, culture, media, governmental and non-governmental organizations and general public, would ensure better visibility of project outcomes, along with further exploitation of project ideas and results. In 2020 and first half of 2021, almost all dissemination activities were realized completely or mostly online, given the significant limitations in audience presence due to COVID19 imposed restrictions on social gathering and live events.
  • Live practical student placements in non-academic partner institutions (WP 4.5), in media (P7) and IT/gaming industry (P10), in academic year 2021/22. Previously in 2020 and first half of 2021, they were cancelled due to complete or partial lockdown in Serbia, with severe restrictions of the number of people allowed at the premises, along with changes of type of activities and work conditions in the state of pandemic. Owing to the specific nature of work at P10 – Mad Head Games offered online student placements, which will take place in September 2021 for the first group of students of new and modernized study programs at P1-P3. However, in the partnership meetings with the national broadcasting service Radio-Television of Serbia (P7) it was concluded that better results could be achieved with student placements live and dispersed over one year, namely, both in the fall and spring semester of academic year 2021/22.
  • Live teaching visits from EU academic partners (P4-P6) to national ones (P1-P3) within the WP4.3, offering intensive teaching within the modernized and new study programs. The unanimous conclusion of the Project Management Board is that, having in mind specific requirements and importance of individual contact between teacher and student in music education, live teaching visits would have a substantially higher impact on project results and sustainability. Furthermore, live visits of EU teaching staff to Serbian academic partner institutions will include a particular follow-up to teacher training (WP 3.1), realized in academic year 2020/21 in an online format due to the coronavirus outbreak, at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (P6), New Bulgarian University (P5) and Royal Conservatoire The Hague (P4). The members of the project consortium are of the opinion that live teaching, training and learning, namely live contact between Serbian and EU teachers and students, would yield better results in opposition to online ones, having stronger relevance for national HMEIs teaching staff and students as the main project target groups.
  • In the bilateral meetings between EU academic partner institution and project coordinator in Spring 2021, it was agreed to realize two teaching visits to Serbia by teachers of each EU academic partner institutions (P4-P6) to each of Serbian HMEIs (P1-P3) in academic years 2021/22 and fall semester of 2022/23.
    In addition, following the first entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Serbia Music – Here and Now, successfully realized in hybrid form on 10-24 May 2021 by P1-P4, it was concluded by partner institutions involved that even greater visibility and impact both in activities 4.3 (implementation of modernized and new study programs), as an innovative approach to teaching and learning in the field of music entrepreneurship and social engagement of academic musicians, and 7.5 (student project presented publicly), would be produced by live entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Novi Sad in the fall of 2022, as part of the activities within WP7 and program Novi Sad as EU Capital of Culture.
  • All partners have agreed that having one more Project Management Board (PMB) live meeting in Serbia during the project lifetime would provide better networking, stronger analysis of project implementation in COVID-19 and post-Covid environment, active exchange of insights on lessons learnt and higher quality discussion on the sustainability of the project and its outcomes in the (post-)Covid times. It was established therefore, that 3rd annual PMB meeting will be held in Kragujevac, hosted by the University of Kragujevac (P3) in December 2021 and the final one in November 2022 in Belgrade, hosted by the project coordinator University of Arts in Belgrade (P1).

Outcomes of the Entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students Music – Here and Now presented at the 24th International Pedagogical Forum for Performing Arts 1-3 October 2021

Outcomes of the DEMUSIS entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students “Music – Here and Now” were presented at the 24th International Pedagogical Forum for Performing Arts held in Belgrade, Serbia, on 1-3 October 2021 in a hybrid format. The paper "Cross-curricular Learning in Higher Music Education: Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Music Students Music – Here and Now”, co-written by Ivana Perković, Ivana Vuksanović, Milica Petrović and Dušanka Jelenković Vidović, aimed at presenting the experience from the first bootcamp for music students held in Serbia with the objective to draw conclusions conclusions relevant for the building of key skills important for the professional musician in the third decade of the 21st century.

The starting point of the study was understanding of the changing nature of job market for academically trained musicians in last decades, requiring development of cross-curricular skills, such as capability to integrate and synthetize the acquired knowledge from different areas, ability to work in a team, high interpersonal sensitivity, ability to suggest improvements based on a critical appraisal, and other. However, so far, the development of such knowledge and skills have not been substantially recognized in higher music education curriculum in Serbia. Therefore, the entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students of three higher music institutions in Serbia, held in May 2021 under the title “Music – Here and Now” in hybrid (online and live) form as an activity within the DEMUSIS project, was used as an example of how cross curricular approach can enhance the learning practice of music students.

The research methods included qualitative research of data gathered through semi-structured interviews (with teachers), online surveys (for students) and content analysis to compare current research with the authors’ findings. In addition, a case study on student projects using traditional music was introduced, particularly one realized by a group of students from the Faculty of Music in Belgrade (Zvezdara Forest Invaders).

The results showed that cross-curricular approach in the format of the entrepreneurial bootcamp, is innovative, intensive, and beneficial in applying the academic knowledge of music to real-world problems or situations.
The International Pedagogical Forum for Performing Arts is organized annually by the Department of Solfeggio and Music Pedagogy of the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and Serbian Forum for Research in Music Education. The topic of 24th Forum was Folklore in Music Education, presenting recent finds not only in the music pedagogy as the main discipline of the conference, but also from the perspective of ethnomusicology, musicology, music theory, as well as that of psychology, aesthetic and philosophy of music, and other related interdisciplinary cognitive sciences. The proceedings from 24th International Pedagogical Forum for Performing Arts will be published by the Faculty of Music in Belgrade in 2022.


Entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students Music – Here and Now to be held in May

Students and teachers from 3 national academic partner institutions – The Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade (P1), Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad (P2) and the Faculty of Philology and Arts, University of Kragujevac (P3), will gather with teachers from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague (P4), to explore new playgrounds for their music projects for the first time in Serbia, within a blended music entrepreneurial bootcamp starting from May 10th.

The entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students Music – Here and Now was prepared in the online teacher training held from 19th to 23rd of April 2021.
Calls for students for participation in the bootcamp Music – Here and Now will be opened in the following days at each individual national academic institution, with students of all new and modernized bachelor and master study programs invited to apply.
All students will get together online with Serbian and Dutch teachers for the first two days of the bootcamp and the final feedback and evaluation sessions. In between, students will visit and choose the playground for their projects, develop and prepare them in a live environment. Rehearsals and show time will also be played live, while the project outcomes as documented in video clips made by students will be shared among all institutions participating in the bootcamp.

The entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students is an intensive period of artistic development and professional integration. In it, students will learn to apply their creativity and artistic practice in a new environment, to develop their collaborative and communicative skills and rethink their role and position as musicians in society. By thinking out, implementing and publicly presenting their projects in social contexts outside the walls of their educational institutions, students will explore different aspects of their artistic identity, making the music, and themselves as musicians, more visible and engaged in society. Through meeting new audiences and new people, learning their stories and being inspired by them in their own projects, the students will be able to make the difference and create new values. Also, for the first time during their studies, music students will learn to think in categories of products, short-term and long-term goals, and discover the whole gamut of different kinds of values to be made.

This kind of innovative pedagogical approach to learning and exploring the role and position of music and musicians in our contemporary society is implemented with the bootcamp Music – Here and Now, for the first time into the curriculum in higher music education in Serbia.

The entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Serbia is part of the project activity 4.3 – Implementation of new and modernized study programs and teaching visits from EU partner institutions, as well as the activity 7.5 with show time in chosen playgrounds also being the public presentation of student projects.

Entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Serbia "Music - Here and Now" – Draft agenda

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