Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music offers professional undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and academic postgraduate programmes in music performance, conducting, composition, music science, music pedagogy and choreography. The general BA course in Teaching Music lasts for 4 years and is divided into two parts: theoretical and practical methodology.
Students cover the following courses: literature and the history of music, the history of art and philosophy, music pedagogy and ICT, arrangement and instrumentation, the Orff approach, improvisation, piano, traditional music, solfegio, etc. Methodology is a strong focus and covers preschool, and primary and secondary school. In addition to this, students can choose to cover solo singing, rhythm, playing an instrument, or choral conducting lessons.
Teaching Practice starts in the 2nd year. During the 3rd year students continue the practice, but now they spend a whole month working in school teaching music under the guidance of a professional music teacher and methodologist.
At the end of Year 4, students take the Diploma Examinations which consist of three main parts – leading a 40 -minute music lesson, conducting a children’s choir and presenting their research paper.
In MAG studies, students still have two parts: theoretical and practical, but the focus is more on the theoretical part. Students are also asked to share their research and best practice examples with BA students. In addition to many other general music pedagogy courses they take, the MAG students focus on innovation, contemporary music notation and styles, interpretation and, of course, their research paper.