On behalf of the C.C.R.S.M. Cyprus Centre for the Research and Study of Music of I would like to welcome you to the 1st International Conference of the Mediterranean Forum of Early Childhood Music Education and Musical Childhoods which is hosted by the European University of Cyprus. This Conference marks the establishment of the Mediterranean Forum of Early Childhood Music Education and Musical Childhoods, a pioneering and much needed music and music education initiative in the Mediterranean region. The Forum aims to build inclusivity, sustainability, value and excellence in the field of music and child learning and teaching, creative collaboration among different sections of society and music education and relevant stakeholders connected to children’s music learning and development. It aims in supporting music education in different regions of the Mediterranean basin and beyond and creating wider access to more relevant, higher quality music education and musical enculturation. It stresses the importance of an inclusive music education and teacher music training around the region and invites international research and informed practice dialogue, exchange, comparative thinking and collaboration. 

         The Forum constitutes an act of leadership in music and music education since it aims to establish and cultivate influence. It seeks to create points of reference in music and music education for the benefit of music, children, teachers and trainers, in research and practice, for transforming the musical and cultural lives of children, parents, musicians and educators. The Forum is constituted of high quality actions and synergies being a journey of transformation, positive change and growth. It promotes integrity and quality from multiple perspectives fundamentally musical and humanistic.

         The Forum’s first Conference brings together distinguished and devoted presenters and participants and renowned invited speakers such as Susan Young and Lily Chen-Hafteck. I thank them all for their contribution of invaluable knowledge and interesting topics for discussion and reflection. Special thanks are devoted to the Forum’s Academic Chair and Keynote speaker 2018 Professor Donna Brink Fox Senior Associated Dean of Academic and Student Affairs of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester whose contribution has been motivational and inspiring.

          I would like to thank our Organizing Committee, the Cyprus Association of Private Preschool Education and the Pancyprian Association of Private Music Teachers for making this Conference possible. Last I would like to thank our Hostess Dr Georgia Petroudi Chair of the Department of Arts of the European University Cyprus for her contribution and support towards bringing this special gathering into life.

Avra Pieridou Skoutella

C.C.R.S.M. Cyprus Centre for the Research and Study of Music