Compulsory education in Slovakia lasts nine years (children aged from 6 to 15 years) and is divided into two stages. The first stage consists of ISCED 1 – four grades from 1st to 4th (children aged from 6 to 10 years) with time subsidy of 1 class per week (45 minutes) of school subject entitled Music. At the second stage, ISCED 2, grades from 5 to 9 (children aged from 11 to 15 years), the time subsidy for Music within compulsory subjects is 1 class per week (45 minutes) while in the 9th grade there is only the subject Arts education.
In secondary schools – grammar schools ISCED 3 there is the area of art represented by the eponymous school subject called Arts and culture with the time subside only one class (45 minutes) per week in the grades from 1st to 4th.
Music has a fixed position within the system of education already in kindergartens ISCED 0. Daily music activities are carried out based on the musical abilities and skills of children depending on their particular age. They are aimed at further musical development of a child.
Individual subjects in primary school are enlisted into educational areas and further concretised in individual school subjects. Artistic and educational subjects Music and Art are a framework timetable included in the educational field of Art and culture.
School subject Music has National Music Curriculum for every educational stage based on which schools design their own School music curriculum – which is school educational programme. There they may also incorporate their regional particularities especially folk music traditions of their region, the prominent composers and performers who lived and worked there in particular regions. For each grade in each stage there is developed a performance standard – which are the requirements that should be mastered by students and a content standard, which is the musical material for particular performance standards. Music teachers across Slovakia have textbooks for the grades from the 1st to the 7th. The textbook for 8 th grade is being prepared.
Music for the first grade of primary school ISCED 1 is one class (45 minutes) per week.
Primary music education represents a continuous, systematic and purposeful continuation of pre-primary music education. At this stage, teachers naturally extend to the innate abilities of children, their spontaneity, tendency to playfulness, their ability of holistic perception of images and models of the outside world. Music is a play and the subject of experimentation for pupils and also the means of their musical expression, which supports their musical self-fulfillment in a complex active and receptive music activities. Music activities represent diverse forms of the contact with music, these activities give pupils the opportunity to combine music with words, images, movement, playing the elementary musical instruments.
Music on the second stage of elementary school ISCED 2 – 1 class per week in the fifth to eighth grades.
In the subject of Music in the second stage of elementary school there pupils develop their musical skills via or in music activities: vocal, instrumental, music perception (listening), music-drama, music PC programmes, where pupils acquire specific knowledge of music theory and history. They test their creativity in improvisation and in composing elementary music pieces based on whether they can reflect on art, perceive beauty, recognize the value and express themselves through art. The subject meets cognitive, psychomotor and affective objectives.
The school subject Arts and culture at grammar school ICED 3.
Currently young people from 15 to 18 years are “overtaken” by the „high tide” of big business, claiming to be the art of the movie screen, from TV screen, from the Internet that has impact on their tastes and life orientation. Art is the same platform to correct the understanding of grammar school students of the beauty, good and creating of positive value orientation in the most fundamental sense.
In the school subject of Arts and culture taught there are only students in 1st and 2nd grades acquainted with the field of culture and art through the following thematic units such as: cultural awareness, identity, creation of cultural tradition, fashion and lifestyle, the culture of a human body – the cult of a body, experiments in culture, historical and contemporary culture, mass advertisement and popular culture, electronic media, analysis and interpretation of the work of art, the value of art and art market. Via these subjects there is being developed the student´s interest in cultural heritage of their region, nation and state, they become acquainted with the culture of other nation, they learn to understand the importance of cultural and artistic heritage. They also acquire knowledge and develop their understanding of the contemporary artistic and cultural creation. And finally they obtain information about local, national, European and world heritage.