Berklee Abu Dhabi Convenes Community Leaders for Creative Arts Educators' Symposium

The two-day event connects educators from the region with academic innovators from across the college and features a performance from Berklee Abu Dhabi students.

September 29, 2023

Berklee Abu Dhabi is excited to host its first Creative Arts Educators’ Symposium, a professional development intensive program designed for creative arts teachers, counselors, and academic leaders in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East–North Africa (MENA) region. The two-day event will take place October 11–12 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time, and will offer workshops with some of the most prominent educators from across the global Berklee community as well as a performance from current Berklee Abu Dhabi students.

The goal of the symposium is to expand student creative capacities and accelerate learning through cultural contexts in music. It will focus on empowering the region’s educators to develop more engaging learning environments and teaching techniques, leverage applied technologies and innovations, enhance spaces for music-making and performance, and improve understanding of music business and career advancement.

Speakers and facilitators include Dr. Krystal Banfield, vice president of education outreach and social entrepreneurship; Tonya Butler, chair of music business/management; Misael Martinez, assistant vice president for social entrepreneurship and creative youth development; Lucas Martín, associate professor, Berklee Valencia; Viktorija Pilatovic, assistant professor, Berklee Valencia; Enrique Gonzalez Müller, associate professor of music production and engineering; and Sean Hagon, dean of pre-college, online, and professional programs.

Flyer for Berklee Abu Dhabi Creative Arts Educators' Symposium

Dr. Krystal Banfield, Tonya Butler, and other Berklee educators will participate in the first-ever Berklee Abu Dhabi Creative Arts Educators' Symposium.

“With creativity being one of the most sought-after skills by companies and organizations, holistic learning through music, the arts, technologies, and entrepreneurship expands a young person’s creative capacities, and Berklee has decades of success in teaching and learning, building the creative capacities in students and their teachers,” said Banfield, who will deliver the plenary lecture on teaching popular music within the context of the culturally rich communities in the MENA region. “Berklee’s approach is authentic, purposeful, and prepares students for careers in burgeoning industries that require strong leadership skills, collaborative abilities, and ingenuity—achieved by fully engaging every participant in the learning community.”

The event offers regional educational leaders access to meaningful conversations and innovative teaching approaches from Berklee's accomplished music professionals. Attendees will also take part in focus groups to research current practices, resources, and needs of the UAE teaching community.

“The goal of the symposium is to empower creative arts educators and career counselors in the MENA region so that they can in turn empower and inspire the students they work with,” said Mayssa Karaa, artistic director of Berklee Abu Dhabi. “The support of the larger Berklee community has helped elevate this event into a one-of-a-kind opportunity for teachers to gain world-class insights as to how they can advance the skills of their students, enhance the overall classroom environment, and offer better guidance to them if they decide to pursue a career in the creative industry."

For more information, a detailed schedule, and symposium registration, visit the event page.

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