Conservatories, Musical Academies and Universities
Education for artistic professions takes place at conservatories or musical faculties of the Academy of Musical Arts. Conservatories offer complete secondary education with graduating exams and academies provide the university degree – Master of Arts. Education of musical scientists and teachers takes place at universities. Studies are completed by graduation and students receive the titles of Master of Philosophy or Master of Pedagogy. In case of passing doctorate exams the graduates receive the titles of Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Pedagogy.
Education of Musical Instructors and Teachers of Music
Education of musical instructors and teachers of music in the Czech Republic takes place at faculties of pedagogy /philosophy/ or at musical academies /to achieve teaching qualification for conservatories/ and deal with both practical and theoretical aspects. Studies of musical education for kindergartens consist of three years and students attend faculties of pedagogy /bachelor’s degree/; musical education for elementary and secondary schools is usually combined with studies of either a mother tongue or a foreign language and since 1900 there are also other combinations: musical education and instructions to play an instrument, musical education and chorus conducting – it helps the graduates to teach also at schools with extensive musical education and at elementary artistic schools – up to now musical academics have dominated in this sphere. Studies for specialized and secondary teachers last five years and for elementary artistic schoolteachers four years. Curriculum for elementary and secondary schoolteachers consists of four areas: 1. Musical-historic and aesthetic disciplines /history of music, musical aesthetics, folkloric science, musical sociology, music for children and youth/; 2. Pedagogy-psychological disciplines /musical pedagogy, musical didactics, musical psychology/; 3. Musical theory /science of harmony and polyphony, musical science of forms and analysis of works, instrument science/; 4. Practical subjects /intonation and listening analysis, chorus singing and conducting, piano, melodic instruments, singing/. Apart from that students can attend various optional courses, e.g. composition fundamentals, seminar on popular and rock music, music history, organ and harmonium playing, computers in music and teaching, practicing in orchestras and choruses.
Related training takes place in the ninth semester and consists of fourteen days at elementary schools and another fourteen days at secondary schools. Students achieve practical skills as early as in the fifth semester when they visit classes in order to get acquainted with teaching, school documents and organization.
The educational principle aimed at activities gets closer to the ontogenesis of students – what is close to them, what they live for and what they dream of. A complex of musical-aesthetic activities and dialectic unity of reception, verbalization and creativity form such education. This makes it possible for the child to realize himself as a creative subject, an observer and a critic in the sense of the triad by Komenský – perception, thinking and acting.
The main objection of the reform governed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and Educational Research Institute in Prague, as an expert guarantor, rests in the transition from central management of schools to their co-decision in educational process, in changing the orientation of education from transmitting finished findings to their independent discovery, assessment and practical use. The key competencies are focused, in harmony with the European trend, on their ability to learn, solve problems, communicate, work and cooperate. Other competencies distribute the specifics of individual educational areas.
In the past, the school subjects as art, music and drama education belonged to common denomination of aesthetic education. Now they belong to the so called Arts and Culture. At elementary school there are the main proprietors of this area the study fields of music and arts education, to which enter – in different forms – also another study fields, for example Literature and Drama education. In grammar schools this is run through compulsory optional subjects of Music and arts education, in their third year and then in new study field of Arts and communication.
Music Education within the study field of Art and Culture
Music helps pupils to understand the artistic and popular music, its adequate perception and use as a specific communication tool. Each pupil from the first to the ninth class of elementary school has one teaching unit – 45 minutes – per week of music education. Its concept follows the encounter of pupils with music in the form music games (kindergarten and nursery school), in the form of musical material (music workshop), as well as in the form of insight into music as a representative of the various social functions (2nd grade of elementary school). At elementary school there is already taught polyaesthetic integration, respectively combining music with other art forms, partially multimedia integration that connects art and aesthetic phenomena with a range of natural and social sciences.
All these areas tend to be directed at integrated music education at grammar school within the range of 2 classes per week – 90 minutes. These are the lessons involved in creating works of art as a sign systems (the analysis of materials and structures), for aesthetic, psychological and social aspects of creation (art forms and genres, the analysis of the meaning and value of art, needs analysis, consumerism and the market), and finally by introducing students in communication theory (the sphere of presentation and interpretation of art).
Newly included creative workshops represent a deeper probe into certain problems. Special attention should be devoted to the process of creating new paradigms, respectively to changing sign systems so that students could include these changes in relation to the plurality of artistic expression, versatility to life situations in which art is anchored and thus arts could become meaningful part of shaping their own lives.
Contents of the seminars can be divided into three main areas:
1. Reflection of artistic creation, theory and criticism;
2. Creative and experimental activities;
3. Multimedia and multicultural projects.
The appropriate framework also forms whole school or year-round projects that allow teachers of different disciplines to prefer interrelated ideas and concepts, or allow one teacher to deal with certain aspects of integrated subject in all classes. Unfortunately, this subject – arts and communication remain still optional, but despite that fact it is possible for graduates of all three years of the study field of Arts and Culture to select music and arts education as a graduation study field.