|dc.description.abstract||Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a year that many of us around the world will never forget. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 imposed challenges at all levels of our personal and professional lives. Under these circumstances, the ISME Research Commission embraced the challenge of organizing its Seminar in a virtual mode, which took place from 27th to 31st July 2020. This was possible thanks to the encouragement and institutional support from ISME President, Susan O’Neill, and ISME Chief Executive, Ian Harvey; the great collaboration with Suvi Saarikallio, Markku Pöyhönen, and Mikko Leimu; the financial support from EduFutura Jyväskylä and the University of Jyväskylä, and its technological facilities; as well as the continuous support from SEMPRE, the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research.
In order to remain trustful to its mission to promote research expertise and bring together early career and experienced researchers worldwide, the ISME Research Commission provided a space for virtual communication, in which all participants were able to dialogue, reflect, and advance current knowledge in music education research. It was also an opportunity to share our lived experiences in times of lockdown, while we were highly dependent on technology to make music and music education available beyond our family spaces. In order to accomplish this, we decided to organize and conduct the online seminar through synchronous Zoom meetings. Although the format of the Research Seminar has been fully residential since its inception in 1968, it was evident that, because of time zone constraints, it was not possible for everyone to attend all presentations. For this reason, the seminar schedule was organized in two blocks, one to facilitate participation from people in Asia/ Oceania/Europe/Africa, and the second one for people in the Americas/Africa/ Europe.
This configuration not only allowed us to have the 24 full papers previously selected for presentation, but also to provide a space for other colleagues interested in research methodologies who were not able to present their contributions at the ISME World Conference, as it was cancelled due to the pandemic. It is not our intent to change the historically successful format of the Research Commission Seminar, however, we are proud of this decision given this situation as it allowed us to achieve ISME’s aims of inclusion and equity, to enrich everyone’s experiences during the Seminar, and to respond effectively to the challenging global circumstances.||fi