top of page
Skærmbillede 2020-12-14 kl. 21.56.40.png


Three Nordic institutions have united to focus on gender balance and equity. With support from NordPlus they have developed a three-year plan for conferences in major, nordic cities. In 2019 in Kristiansand, the focus was on the unequal gender balance in higher music education. In 2021 we will - quite literally - be "zooming" in on the years before possibly reaching a higher music education. From different takes on preschool education to culture schools, music camps and role models. Welcome! 

The 2021 Genus conference will be online only! The conference was supposed to take place in Aalborg, Denmark, but due to the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic, everything will be presented and discussed online. Though this may require a little patience and understanding from everyone involved, we are also very excited about the opportunity to welcome even more participants from even more countries.  


The programme is made up of inputs from a lot of different people and perspectives, leading to structured discussions in mixed breakout rooms. The conference will start with a keynote from professor Cecilia Ferm Almqvist who will also be present throughout the rest of the days to give her perspective on all the important matters we discuss. 


GENUS is a meeting-place for institutions who want to make a change. By creating an online toolbox together, and discussing our best/worst practices, failures and successes we hope to see a change in the gender balance in the future. The toolbox already contains concrete measures for institutions to use, based on the findings of the 2019 conference. In 2021 we will no doubt be adding a lot to it. 


We challenge the participating institutions to register at least 3 persons to the conference and we are hoping for a diverse mix of headmasters, students, musicians, teachers, administrative staff etc. You will all have an important part to play during the conference.

We are looking forward to "seeing" you on the 1st and 2nd of March 2021. The GENUS-conference is arranged by University of Agder (Norway), The Royal Academy of Music (Denmark) and Malmö Academy of Music (Sweden) and supported by Nordplus. 


Moderated by Suzanne Moll
Curated by Maria Dybbroe and Nikolaj Bugge

MONDAY 1st of March 2021

10:00-10:25 Introductions by Hilde Norbakken (University Of Agder), Lars Andersson (Malmö Academy) and Keld Hosbond (The Royal Academy Of Music, Aarhus)


10:25-11:00 THE FACTS.
PhD Cecilia Ferm Almqvist presents the bigger picture: What do we know from research regarding diversity in music amongst children? What influences the learning situation, the classroom experience and the overall musical upbringing?

PhD Cecilia Ferm Almqvist is a Professor of Education and Music education, at Södertörn University, Stockholm Institute of Music education, and Luleå university of Technology. She graduated in 2004 on a phenomenological thesis about teaching and learning interaction in music classrooms. Her philosophical and empirical research focuses upon democracy and inclusion in diverse music educational settings, and special educational contexts.

11:15-11:40 Discussion in groups based on THE FACTS. 

Three short presentations leading to a broad discussion on different takes on the first encounter with music. Why is music important for everyone, even if you're not aiming for a career in music? What should we be aware of when teaching music to someone for the very first time? How can we improve education for music teachers? Are we aware of reproduction of gender stereotypes when creating our learning environments?
Lovis Bechmann (Singer and former student at RMC. Studies to be a school teacher, focusing on music education)

Erik Lyhne (Teacher at Kucheza - a music community for children that focuses on a playful and autonomous approach to music learning- and music teacher at VIA University College in Aarhus. See for research, articles etc.)

- Julie Heebøll (Head of Kulturskolen Skanderborg - a culture school that has recently taken serious action in trying to attract more female musicians)

12:20-13:00 Lunch break



Two representatives from different parts of the culture school system discuss their experiences and thoughts. The overall focus will be on conducive learning environments. How do we create and maintain them? How do we make them even more inclusive? 
- Thomas Winther (Chairman of the Association of Danish Music- and Culture Schools and head of Køge Music School and MGK Sjælland. Previously headmaster at The Royal Academy Of Music in Aarhus)
Gunnar Halle (Musician and teacher at the band school "Kråkstad Jazz" close to Oslo)

13:35-13:55 Discussions in groups based on Culture School Education

13:55-14:10 CONCERT & REFLECTIONS - “Green Curtains”
Four teenage girls present their band, “Green Curtains”, and share some thoughts on being young, female musicians in Aalborg in 2021. 

Panel discussion about the relevance and the effects of female-only music-camps and music camps in general. (Why) is the separation important? How does the experiences from one week transfer into “reality”? Can we measure the effect? Are camps focusing on creation/creativity important in a gender perspective? Which unique competencies do you get attending a music camp?
The panel will consist of: 

- Anna Lidell (Violinist, producer and composer. Chairwoman of DJBFA - the largest association for Composers and Songwriters in Denmark -, vice-chairwoman of KODA and a board member of CIAM – The International council of music creators)

- Sunna Ingólfsdóttir (Co-founder of Stelpur rokka! (Girls rock Iceland!) a music camp for girls, trans youth, gender expansive and intersex people)

- Martha Lindström (Participant at Pigebeat and currently a student at Grobund Bandakademi)

Kristoffer Juel (Founder of the project "Instrumentalpiger" in Faxe Music School and the summer camp "Jazzdalen" in association with JazzDanmark among others).


15:00-15:20 Reflections by Cecilia Ferm Almqvist and the Genus-group + reflection-assignment.

TUESDAY the 2nd of March 2021

10:00-10:10 Welcome back.

10:10-10:40 ROLE MODELS
Two leading musicians from the Danish music scene; Kresten Osgood (drummer) and Lotte Anker (saxophonist) discuss the importance of role models. What does it mean to be a role model? Is it important to have role models? Are Kresten and Lotte aware of being role models? If so - how does it influence their way of teaching and meeting younger musicians? Moderated by Laura Toxværd (saxophonist and researcher). ​

10:40-11:10 Discussions in groups based on Role Models

11:20-11.55 AUDITIONS

Hilde Norbakken (University Of Agder) and Lars Andersson (Malmö Academy) share their experiences of trying to improve the auditions at their institutions to become more diverse and fair. Are there any general issues to be aware of regarding equality and gender when making auditions for higher music education? What is the connection between the way you make the auditions, and which students you admit? How can we make the audition process and the admission requirements as transparent as possible?

12:00-12:25 Discussions in groups based on Auditions. 

12:30-13:10 Lunch break

13:10-13:40 Case: Band Ane

Ane Østergaard (Band Ane) shares her personal story. 


13:45-14:10 WHERE ARE WE? 

Kasper Staub, pianist and composer, shares his thoughts on the importance of the settings; physical frames, how you instruct a task, and the exercise itself, to create an inclusive and diverse learning environment. Kasper teaches at both MGK Aarhus (pre-conservatory school) and the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus.

14:10-14:30 Discussion in groups: How do we create an inclusive, equal, diverse and conducive learning environment? Is there any difference when teaching students at pre-conservatory schools and in higher music education? If so, why?  


14:30-14:45 Cecilia Ferm Almquist presents her summary of the conference while the GENUS group looks ahead to next years conference in Malmö.

14:45-15:30 Each delegation from each institution meet and sum up the conference. What ideas/overall topics did you find particularly interesting and what would you like to see implemented in your own environment? 

bottom of page