Music culture is an important cultural vector and contributes to the development of the child. Cultivating the taste for music in general, discovering and recognising different instruments, learning to express oneself through singing, theatre and dance are part of education and general knowledge.
The Ministry's missions include music education through the development of available curricula and pedagogical coordination of music education in schools, education and care services or facilities as well as music schools.
Music education at school
At the level of elementary education, music education is part of the curriculum, introducing pupils to aesthetics, creation and cultures, arts and music, with specific didactic supports. Numerous municipalities provide joint projects in elementary and music education.
At the level of secondary education, music is a subject taught in all 7e and specifically in a section at the level of the classical secondary education. Several lycées (high schools) also offer optional courses or even music classes in the lower cycle.
Music is also considered as a means of fostering learning in other branches and subjects. Songs and nursery rhymes are therefore widely used for language teaching.
Ad hoc initiatives and participatory projects (Hip Hop Marathon, Be à He(a)ro, etc.) give the possibility to the children and young people to discover musical practice and the cultural scene in Luxembourg, while promoting team work.
Music education in the municipalities
Music education is organised at the level of municipalities for about 17,000 students starting at the age of 4. Courses can be taught in conservatories, music schools and music courses.
Music education has three objectives:
- enable young people to become aware of as well as develop and cultivate a knowledge and a taste for music so as to allow them to take part in musical life ;
- offer young people specialised training in various musical disciplines so that they can enrol in advanced musical studies at the level of higher or university education;
- offer training and advanced training for adults.
Musical awakening (éveil musical) starts at the age of 4/5 and covers a maximum of three years. The objective is to introduce children to music and allow them to develop and cultivate the taste for music as well as to express themselves through music. They learn to speak, sing, move and dance to music. They develop their listening skills and discover the various types of music instruments.
A musical approach at this age largely contributes to the overall development and growth of the intellectual and manual skills as well as of the personality of the child.
Musical awakening also prepares children to learn to play a music instrument.
Music theory covers 4 years in the lower division and aims at:
- developing the taste, the pleasure and interest for and in music;
- providing basic musical training and
- supporting children who are learning to play an instrument or sing.
Children develop their vocal and listening skills as well as their active music memory. They discover performances on stage. They are encouraged to play and interpret musical texts by using their creativity, imagination, emotions and their sense of improvisation.
Music theory is compulsory until the children pass the certificate of the lower division (certificat de la division inférieure) to pursue or start instrumental or vocal courses.
Lessons then continues, if applicable, with the courses of the middle division, the specialised middle division and the higher division.
In addition to musical awakening and musical training, music education includes:
- music theory and writing
- learning to play a music instrument
- chamber music
- reading and deciphering (music notation)
- keyboard practice
- vocal training - singing
- choral and orchestral conducting
- diction and drama
- dance and music training for dancers
- adult education.
Organisation of music education
Music education is organised by the municipalities under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth for the pedagogical aspects and of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the administrative and financial aspects.
A national programme commission (Commission nationale des programmes) is in charge of the pedagogical and cultural coordination while administrative and financial supervision is the mission of an inter-ministerial advisory commission for music education advising the Minister of Education, Children and Youth and the Minister for Home Affairs.
The National programme commission (Commission nationale des programmes)
The mission of the commission nationale des programmes include issuing opinions and proposals on
- the objectives,
- the programmes,
- the teaching hours,
- the teaching methods,
- the teaching supports and books,
- the amount and type of homework and
- the assessment criteria and rating systems in the various sections of music education.
Furthermore, it issues opinions regarding the teaching coordination in various branches or types of education.
Members of the Commission are appointed by the Minister of Education, Children and Youth. It includes representatives of every conservatory, two representatives of music schools represented by the Association des écoles de musique (AEM), a representative of the Syndicat intercommunal des Villes et Communes luxembourgeoises (SYVICOL) and one representative of the Union Grand-Duc Adolphe (UGDA).
The Office of the Commissioner of Music Education (Commissariat à l’enseignement musical)
A commissioner of music education assist the National programme commission and monitors if recommendations and decisions are complied with in the various music schools throughout the country (conservatories, music schools and classes).
The commissioner :
- monitors, together with the representatives of the municipalities, the implementation of the decisions taken by the National programme commission, by on-site visits to the music schools;
- participates, every time he shall deem this to be useful, in the examination boards and juries of competitions as observer to monitor the equivalence of assessment criteria and diplomas at the national level;
- organises, together with music conservatories, the exam for the higher diploma at national level;
- advises music schools with regard to any issues in the pedagogical and cultural fields they submit to the commissioner ;
- advises the Minister of Education, Children and Youth more specifically with regard to introducing children to music;
- advises the Minister of Higher Education on the recognition of diplomas and qualifications;
- analysis the requests for subsidies in the field of music education.