Music Teacher Training (RS)

General teachers who teach music during the first four grades at the elementary school do not have special music education, but the basic one that gain at the Faculty of Pedagogy. Special music teachers educate themselves at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade at the Department for Solfegio and Music education. There, they finish the master and doctoral studies from the music education. At the Faculty of Music, students learn, beside all the other subjects, teaching methods of general music education (theory and practice) and didactic games. The other subjects that are also compulsory are musical, pedagogical and psychological. Students also learn to play one instrument (mostly the piano), while during the process of the subject name didactic games, students learn how to play recorders (the basic and elementary course). Beside the Faculty of Music, in Serbia do exist several other faculties of music, such as the one in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Niš, Kosovska Mitrovica and recently in Novi Pazar – where the future teachers are tought how to teach music, so it is more founded like the Faculty of Pedagogy. All those faculties have their university centres. The main institutes and societies in charge for music education are located in Belgrade, such as the Ministry of Education, Institute for the Advancement of Education, Institute of Evaluation for Education Achievement, Society of Music and Ballet Pedagogists in Serbia.

The basic methods being used at music classes are dialogue, demonstration, monologue and the active method by the usage of a game. The frontal work is most often used, but also the group and sometimes the work in pairs. Cooperative learning is still not in the curriculum, use and teaching practice. Generally speaking, teachers are not satisfied with National Curriculum, because tasks are not well defined and coordinated. The last changes brought enlarging teaching materials, while the hours per week of compulsory music lessons stay the same (45 minutes per week). It is only up to the teacher how to adjust accomplished teaching. The last version of the Curriculum not well matched to current trends in music education. However, the good practice in music teaching and learning in schools in Serbia is that students have a chance to perform music, participate in extracurricular activities such as school events, plays, manifestations and singing competition. The school choir and orchestra include the large number of students (up to 100) and they all participate readily in different school’s manifestations. The weaknesses and problems in music education in Serbia are the large number of students per class (between 30 and 40) and impossibility for each student to express itself, and students and parental expectations for achievement and high grades in music education, portraying music as a less important subject. The Curriculum imposes the practical work which could be realized only through singing, because the majority of Serbian schools do not have instruments. Besides the textbook, teacher cannot ask from parents to buy anything else necessary for the music subject. The significant number of schools does not have the choir and orchestra lessons, which are usually not the part of the teachers’ lesson plans. However, the Choir and orchestra, as the elective subject for the small group teaching (up to 15), is the part of the teachers’ lesson plans. The assessments are from 1 to 5 in elementary, high school and gymnasium, and at the Faculty there are grades from 5 to 10 and the fixed scale for each of the grade precisely. There is a big problem of assessments in the elementary and high school for music, as a generally accepted system do not exist and present a big problem to determine how and what to evaluate. I assume the exchange of teaching experiences with music education through teacher exchange programs, concerning the music education system, technologies, methods and materials will improve the Serbian music education system.