Colourfull game figures.


Blog text by Mirja Juvonen & Elina Lehikoinen June 16, 2023

A fresh view of ALIISA in its final symposium

Mirja & Elina: “We had the unique chance to take part in the ALIISA final symposium in Vienna. As music teachers, we both have a lot of experience of working with students with special needs, and it was great to meet people who totally put ALL IN in their work with inclusion.”

E: “It was heart-warming to meet people who are so dedicated to their vision. I felt privileged to be a part of this society for even one day. Before the meeting started, I read the English abstract of best practice experiences from the ALIISA project (made by our hosts in Austria), and from the first sentence I felt like finally I’m meeting people, who think the same way about these things!”

M: “Yes! It was inspiring to see so many people, who are constantly working on inclusion and equality in the field of arts and art education.”

E: “I felt inspired by the intensity of the conversation and argumentation – these people really speak for concrete actions on changing the attitudes.”

M: “For me, one of the comments I truly appreciated was the one of a senior teacher. She encouraged especially young teachers to bravely listen to their hearts and work by own way – even though it was different from what we are used to.”

E: “The symposium was a combination of arts and science. The results of this project showed how working together with artistic methods can also enhance social inclusion. I had a chance to experience it myself as I took part in a dance workshop, where a special dancer from an inclusive dance studio “Ich bin O.K.” worked as a teacher guided by a professional. And it was impressive to see how talented the dancers and their teacher were. Both the pedagogic and the artistic level of the workshop were super high! The whole day was an intensive course of German language for me, since nearly all presentations were in German, as well as the dance workshop. But the language of dance is universal (and uniting!). I had no problem following the instructions and body language although my German is below the basics.”

M: ”The language of music and visual arts is also universal. I enjoyed very much the performance of the inclusive band with a light installation. It was touching to see how intensively different persons played and sang the music together. Also, this small concert was musically and pedagogically performed very high-quality, and I liked the way they used the visual arts as part of it.”

E: ”Since we have not been part of this project from the beginning, we got to be the “fresh eyes” to observe what has been created, developed and produced in three years. In addition to the new way to work and think, the project crew has created a beautiful international network of friendship. By hugging each other in the morning the workgroup creates an inspiring atmosphere where new ideas can freely fly around, meet each other, become deeper and finally turn into actions.”

M: ”And now, when seeds of inclusive art pedagogy have been cultivated with the ALIISA project, they have to be watered in order to grow and not to dry out. We need to cherish this vision and maintain a network of people to send the message of inclusion and its extensive impact on so many fields of life.”

E: “At the end of our visit to Vienna I have made a significant progress in my German skills! A sentence that made me happy so many times is something that perfectly summarizes the idea of ALIISA project. I think it will be the new motto for us when a new school year starts in August.”


Kuvassa Mirja Juvonen ja Elina Lehikoinen.

Mirja Juvonen, MA.
Elina Lehikoinen, MA, MSc. The writers work as music teachers in Kuopio Conservatory (FI).

Hankkeen toimijat ja rahoittajat (alabannerissa)