The GENUS consortium consists of the University of Agder, Malmoe Academy of Music, and Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg. However the consortium wants the project to benefit all of the member institutions in the NordPULS network. This means that potentially 31 institutions will be involved. Students, staff and leaders. This construction gives a unique platform for sharing experiences all over the Nordic/ Baltic region.
The overall goal of Genus project is to raise the awareness of gender and equality perspectives in music education. We want to equip students, teachers and leaders in music education with practical tools to make the gender balance more equal in the future. In music education today there is still a huge imbalance when it comes to gender. The imbalance varies from instruments/singing and genre depending on the context. For example female musicians are renowned for having made a great impact in vocal pop and jazz while instrumentalists has been historically primarily male dominated. Even though nowadays the number of women joining the music scene both as instrumentalists and as composers/arrangers is increasing, the gender ratio among students, pedagogues and active performers is still strongly inclined towards the male side. We see a decreasing level of applicants for music/culture schools and an imbalance in gender that leads to a lack of a broad recruitment base for HME (Higher Music Education). The general tendency of imbalances is too few guys singing, too few girls playing instruments.
The question of gender balance in Pop and Jazz has been addressed on a few of the AEC PJP (Association of European Conservatories, Pop and Jazz Platform) annually meetings and this GENUS project is an action taken by three institutions coming together at these conferences and discussing possible action to help changing the gender balance in Higher Music Education (HME). The three institutions have all dealt with the gender aspects in different ways. Malmoe Academy of Music (MAM) has had a gender project since 2007 in order to affect the gender balance primarily in jazz education and has gender goals in their curriculum. Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg (RAMA) in Aarhus has had a Nordplus project "Girl Power in Jazz" and University of Agder (UiA) has recently started a gender project. Within these institutions there has been analysis made embracing issues i.e admission tests, ensemble teaching and the role of the teacher as an advocate for change related to gender issues.