Jakarta. The Education Ministry has made a pledge to improve Indonesia's music ecosystem through a series of focus activities this year.
Ahmad Mahendra, the ministry's film, music and new media director, has challenged musicians, academics and other practitioners in the music industry to collaborate to achieve the goal.
"We want musicians, academics and other practitioners to help us create a grand design for our music ecosystem. Help us redefine the government's role in this industry," Mahendra said during the "Composing Indonesia's Musical Milestones" discussion at M Bloc Space in South Jakarta on Tuesday.
The talk show, held as part of National Music Day commemorations on March 9-10, was organized by Kami Musik Indonesia (KAMI), Art Coalition and Rumah Beta Foundation.
Candra Darusman, jazz musician and the chairman of the Indonesian Musicians Union Federation (FESMI), said collaborations are necessary to lift the local music ecosystem out of the doldrums.
"Innovations in other sectors often rely on collaborations between academics, businessmen and the government. I think the creative industry, especially music, can adopt the same principle by involving musicians as the main actors, facilitation by the government and funding by the businessmen," Candra said.
Mahendra said the Education Ministry has been hard at work creating new programs to improve intellectual property rights protection.
"We're creating a guideline to protect the intellectual property rights of songwriters. We will make sure we pay royalties to every musician whose songs we use in our events," he said.
Mahendra said the Education Ministry will issue certifications for practitioners in the music industry based on the national job competency standards (SKKNI) and global competency standards.
This is done to improve the capacity of human resources in the music industry, according to Mahendra.
In addition, the ministry will organize the Indonesian Music Expo to help local musicians who want to upskill.
This year the ministry plans to make use of its integrated data collection system to digitalize 1,800 musical works that will be stored in a special archive.
The ministry will also revitalize some of Indonesia's classic children's songs aside from holding a children's songwriting contest to discover new ones.
"Genuine children's songs are a rarity nowadays. We want more of them," Mahendra said.