President of the Board of Directors Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella, PhD

avra1Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella is music educator, early childhood music education expert and trainer, anthropologist of musical childhoods, and academic researcher, writer and presenter. She is the Founder of the nonprofit academic organization C.C.R.S.M. Cyprus Centre for the Research and Study of Music and the Cyprus Music Leadership Institute. She is the author of the academic book Small Musical Worlds in the Mediterranean; Ethnicity, Globalization and Greek Cypriot Children’s Musical Identities (2015) London: Routledge Press, the only book-length research on children, music and learning in Mediterranean region and Europe. She sits on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Music Education: Research of ISME.

She has led and participated in many European funded projects. She designed and coordinated the Erasmus+ KA 2 Strategic Partnership Early Childhood Music Education in the Mediterranean; raising children’s musicality, evaluating music learning and enabling teachers’ preparation (2014-2017). Presently she is scientific partner in the Erasmus+ KA2 Project STAMP Shared Music Activities for Music Professionals coordinated by the European Music Council with the participation of large music professional networks of Europe. Within this project she leads the design, development and coordination of the first international series of training live webinars on music and entrepreneurship and the development of a handbook for disadvantage youth in music and social inclusion. She also contributes to the development of the project’s audience development handbook.

Concurrently she leads the establishment and development of the Mediterranean Forum of Musical Childhoods, education and culture an international initiative which aims to bring together music education, anthropology, musical psychology and ethnomusicology academics and music professionals in the fields of musical childhood and music education and relevant stakeholders from all countries bordering the Mediterranean basin, along with internationally acclaimed academics and researchers. The Forum’s first International Conference is taking place in April 2018 in Nicosia Cyprus hosted by the European University of Cyprus and organized by CCRSM. Keynote is the Associate Dean of the Eastman School of Music Prf Donna Brink Fox.

She authored and co-produced the publication Cypriot Traditional Songs for Children; through Music Education Practices (2008) which includes a series of Songbooks, a music learning manual and a CD with children traditional singing. The publication has been accredited and included by the Ministry of Cyprus in the public educational system of the Republic of Cyprus. The publication led the revival of Cypriot traditional music for children, since Cypriot traditional songs for children were lost in the centuries, replaced by imported songs instead.

She designed, co-authored and produced the online manual Early Childhood Music Education in the Mediterranean for music educators as well as the corresponding academic multi-authored ebook Early Childhood Music education in the Mediterranean, both being publications of CCRSM with Erasmus+ funding. These two publications along with the research, training and implementation activities of the project Early Childhood Music education in the Mediterranean led to the updating of musical traditions of Euro-Mediterranean countries with contemporary research findings, and through university coursework, training, educational and social processes and to the cultivation of musical joyful lives, creativity and intercultural communication of thousands of children and families in Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

She has been Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at IoE-UCL University of London in music education and anthropology of musical childhood, and a Fulbright-CASP Scholarship recipient at the Eastman School of Music- University of Rochester USA. She holds degrees of the Pedagogical Academy of Cyprus, the Eastman School of Music-University of Rochester USA (B.M. Dean’s list), Reading University UK (MA) and Institute of Education- University of London (PhD 2006). With additional US governmental scholarships she studied at the School of International Training in Vermont and with the Multi-Track Diplomacy Group in Boston topics on multicultural communication and confidence building, negotiation and conflict resolution techniques. She went on to study the Zóltan Kódaly approach at the Zóltan Kódaly Pedagogical Institute in Hungary. She attended graduate studies in early childhood music education and Dalcroze approach at the Eastman School of Music and training sessions and workshops with the animator of the London Symphony Orchestra educational programme. She is a certified trainer of the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus for Professional Qualifications and Lifelong Learning.

Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella has taught for a number of years the music subject in public elementary schools. In 2002 she designed and established the registered early childhood music education programmes Preludio™ which include classes for babies, parents, toddlers and young children, music educational workshops and family concerts. They were connected with Arte Music Academy for the years 2002-2008. Avra was the co-developer of the Bachelors of Music Programme of Arte Music Academy, the first institution of tertiary music studies in Cyprus, where she lectured in music education, Cypriot musical tradition, multiculturalism in music education, ethnomusicology and music leadership (2002-2008).

She has designed and led many interactive educational and family and elders concerts on European art music, Cypriot musical tradition and world music collaborating with musicians and musical ensembles. Notably she was the designer, educator and presenter of the educational programmes of the Foundation of Cyprus Symphony Orchestra during the seasons 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. These were comprised of workshops for the teachers, workshops with the children, educational concerts with the orchestra and family concerts.

Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella has presented research papers in local, regional and international conferences around the world and she has published research articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals and publications in education, music education and ethnomusicology. Her research interests include early childhood music education, children’s contextual musical practices and musical play, musical identities, ethnomusicology of musical childhoods, music listening, in-service training in music education, multicultural and intercultural approaches in music education, Cypriot musical tradition in education and evaluation in music education. She has given workshops on early childhood music education and interculturality in Australia (Brisbane, Sidney), Spain (Madrid, Granada), Italy (Rome), Greece (Athens, Corfu) and Cyprus.

Dr. Avra Pieridou Skoutella regularly presents invited and keynote research papers and workshops in local, regional and international academic conferences and training sessions for educationalists, musicians and parents in Europe, USA, Middle East and Australia. She was keynote speaker at the IMS International Musicological Society Conference for the Balkans and the Mediterranean (September 2017), at the International Convention of Music education of the Arab Academy of Music (Arab League) Lebanon (April 2016), invited speaker at Calouste Gulbekian Foundation Portugal (October 2016), the Euro-Arab Youth Forum Conference Cyprus (October 2015), etc.