A New Change—for the better!


A few years ago, we were all faced with an irreversible and cruel change. Life as we knew it was forever different: snatched by the advent of the deadly Corona virus. The once filled music schools and conservatories brimming with musical cacophony and diligent students laid barren in dystopian like silence. A lot had changed and we had to adapt to a new world: confined to a screen surrounded by four walls. How did we survive this drastic change in our reality—deep in our hearts we held on to the hope of change, a change for the better. Humanity had yet again proved its robustness by adapting to the changes in time. A change that the music education industry survived; and to some, thrived.

The SEADOM Congress was held in person after a three-year hiatus, after a time of great change and upheaval brought on by the pandemic. The theme of the Congress, "Managing Change," was a call to action for music directors, educators, and industry experts to share their insights on how to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of music education in Southeast Asia. The Congress was held at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand from March 9th to March 11th, 2023. The event was graced by the presence of Thailand’s Minister of Education, Dr, Anek Laothamatas, on Day 1 of the Congress; and the Minister of Culture of Thailand, Mr. Itthiphol Khunpluem,
on Day 2 of the Congress.

Over the 3 days of the Congress we went through many sessions like the four keynote sessions that challenged our perspective on what change meant. Dr. Robert Cuteitta taught us the profound idea of "Orchestrating Key Changes" instead of merely managing change. Dr. Narong Prangcharoen showed us the changes of tomorrow in the "Future of Creativity" keynote. And Dr. Peter Tornquist summarized the previous keynotes by showing us the need to identify change, and being the change ourselves through his keynote “Change, What Change?”. Our members were deeply impacted by these sessions.

One of the highlights of the Congress was the new SEADOM Awards Ceremony, which recognized outstanding music leaders and industry professionals who have made significant contributions to music education in Southeast Asia. Prof. Bernard Lansky is the first recipient of our SEADOM Honorary Award in Music Leadership.

The Congress was packed with informative sessions, discussions, and presentations on various aspects of music education. Some of the topics covered included music technology, curriculum design, music entrepreneurship, and community outreach. The Congress also featured performances by renowned musicians and ensembles from Southeast Asia such as the ASIA 7 band who gave a stellar concert on the Day 1 of our congress. The Congress also provided ample opportunities for networking and building relationships among music professionals. Participants had the chance to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

The SEADOM Congress also had the privilege of hosting important deans and directors from various music institutions across Southeast Asia and the Globe. Their presence and active participation added to the richness of the discussions and made the Congress a true representation of the Southeast Asian music education community. Many of the deans, directors and senior music educators also took part in our panel discussion sessions where they discussed vital topics for our times. In this congress, we also held our first dean’s and director’s roundtable discussion session moderated by Prof. Bernard Lanskey. Thanks to the overwhelming attendance of these delegates, and their expertise and insights on managing change in music education, these sessions were a great success.

We were also pleasantly surprised to see the astonishing and unexpected performance of the SEADOM 30 under 30 group. Through their dramatic and innovative session, we came to know exactly what the younger generation of Southeast Asia requires of us. Our music leaders were certainly relieved to see that the future of our institutions will be passed on to good hands.

SEADOM's 12th Congress was a truly successful event, and it showcased our organization's commitment to promoting excellence in music education in Southeast Asia. The Congress provided a platform for music professionals to share their knowledge and experiences, learn from each other, and build meaningful connections. It was a great opportunity for the Southeast Asian music community to come together, and it's an event that would have impacted change in our education system for the better.

Message from the President


Welcome to this edition of the SEADOM newsletter. As always, it is wonderful to see such significant contributions from members in SEADOM newsletters. Congratulations to all who have been leading and organizing these events in your respective countries and thank you for sharing the information and outcomes of these events in this edition of SEADOM CONNECTIONS.

SEADOM continues to gain traction in visibility beyond the ASEAN. After the pandemic, we were finally able to have the 12th SEADOM congress in March 2023 at the College of Music, Mahidol University which saw many new members from within and beyond Southeast Asia. Sessions revolved around this year’s congress theme which was ManagingChange and we were excited to havewith us our keynote speakers, directors of music, members and theme chairs sharing and discussing issues related to the theme. SEADOM also organized the inaugural Southeast Music Leadership Initiative which was a three-day certificate training program leadership and was attended by 50 young and upcoming leaders in music. We are also pleased to announce that SEADOM recently signed an MoU with the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) which is the leading voice for higher music education in Europe. This will extend networking opportunities between the two associations.

We hope you enjoy the material contained here and do continue to spread the word of developments in music across Southeast Asia.

Best wishes


SEADOM President

Message from the Executive Director

We are 2 months removed from the SEADOM Congress, which injected such positive energy into our Association. The feedback from the event was incredible and we will move forward with the Association development over the next decade with strong ideas of the value and strengths the group possesses, and the areas we can work to improve.

The next work of the SEADOM office is to facilitate the Executive Council Elections, followed by a transition to the next ExCo who take office on October 1, 2023. We will also be working with the existing ExCo on organizational development plans to help the group create more formal processes and policies for SEADOM.

Reflecting on the Congress this past March, it has become clear that the SEADOM Association is a valued and important link in bringing music leaders in the region together, and for those international partners to connect into the region. Evidence of this is the recently signed MOU agreement between SEADOM and the Association of European Conservatories (AEC). This agreement will commit both groups to learning and sharing more between the two organizations as we work to ensure that music education is vibrant and growing now and in the future.

Finally – we can announce that next year’s Congress will take place on 7-9 March, 2024 at Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend – but please do more than that – please encourage your peer schools and music education organizations and interested partners to also attend. SEADOM succeeds when we all work to advocation for the association’s value to us, so others will feel there is benefit and want to join. SEADOM should be THE place to connect for music education leadership in Southeast Asia.

As always, we here in the SEADOM office are committed to making the association stable. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to let us know!

Yours in music,

Joe Bowman

Executive Director


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Upcoming Events
23rd Kodaly Certificate Course at the Philippine Women's University School of Music