September 2017 – August 2020

MusicXchain is a project and a network of six (6) education providers from five (5) member states (Finland, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands and Slovenia) all offering upper secondary VET education in music. Based on the identified needs for development in the sector, which are also clearly defined in ‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe’ (June 2016), there is a shortage of basic, digital, transversal, and entrepreneurial skills. The agenda is based on the evidence of the existence of skills gap and mismatch across and within member states. Also a common understanding of key competences on the job is missing. Overall, skills intelligence allowing for more informed choices is indispensable for skills policies to make a difference in addressing the extent of mismatch of supplied competences and the occurrence of gaps. All these aspects are relevant at the territorial level. In fact, the outlining of policies and/or interventions in the domains of education and training is not solely a prerogative of national governments. It also occurs at the local and regional level. Furthermore, it is at this same level that labour market needs meet the skills supply and that future trends of job opportunities as well as cooperative approaches among different stakeholders of the labour market are shaped.

This project focuses on enhancing the following key competences of learners in the music sector by creating new and innovative ways for cooperating and learning and thus

• enhancing their networking and digital skills
• fostering an entrepreneurial mindset necessary for a successful career in the creative industries.

The MusicXchain project aims to yield tangible results on completion of the project such as

• a structured platform for managing and coordinating the network activities including a calendar and enrolment function of mobility modules and other events offered within the network;
• a structured model for organizing learning mobility in the music sector taking into consideration the strengths and expertise of each participating college;
• a facility (within the platform) for virtual music lab activities where masterclasses, validated technique videos and e.g. career stories of alumni can be shared or music productions can be planned.

On the participating VET providers level the expected results are

• an exchange of knowledge, skills and experience between organizations;
• a significant increase in the number of learners in the music sector gaining an international experience through virtual communication initiatives and physical learning mobility;
• a stronger focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset within the staff and the learners
• European pathways for learners – Erasmus+ provides opportunities for learners to do more than one physical mobility during their VET education which (if they so choose) will provide an opportunity for them to follow an international pathway already during their studies and with the help of the structured activities provided by the MusicXchain project.

On both European and national level the expected intangible results are as follows:

• Sustainable network of VET providers and industry stakeholders in the music sector – the project involves international cooperation between VET colleges in five (5) EU member states whilst creating learning mobility opportunities, (virtual and physical) this project aims to further create a strong and sustainable EU partnership for learning mobility. In the 2nd year of the project it is the aim of the core partners to start expanding, hopefully attracting 3-5 suitable new partners by the end of the project;
• ECVET will be used to describe the knowledge, skills and competences learners can attain whilst doing a module abroad or virtual music lab activities at home, thus developing recognition, transparency and certification and to realize the latter, it is important to have the developed products embedded in the partners’ curricula;
• Embedment – project activities and results will help to create an awareness that internationalization provides an attractive, modern and functional context for VET curricula;
• Upskilling teachers – the project will also induce the need for changes in teaching (CLILL, flipped classroom etc.) and need for professionalization of staff e.g. in the area of using digital tools.