Lithuania National Overview

Updated in November 2016 by Rima Rimsaite,  Head of International Relations Office at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Overview of Higher Music Education System

In Lithuania, there are two types of higher education institutions: colleges and universities. The mission of universities is to carry out fundamental, applied and experimental research or professional art and artistic research, and provide related university level studies. Studies at colleges are more practical and related to applied, experimental research and/or professional art. Colleges offer three-year bachelor degree studies and confer professional bachelor degrees. Universities offer at least two cycles of studies: bachelor and master studies. All higher education institutions in Lithuania are authorised to award degrees by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania (in the first and second study cycles), and the Research Council of Lithuania (in the third study cycle).

Vilnius University of Applied Sciences (a college) and four universities, i.e. Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Klaipėda University (KU), Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) and Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), train professional musicians, and offer other music-related studies
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KU, VMU and LMTA (university-level institutions specialising in music education) offer first and second cycle study programmes in music performance and confer BA and MA qualifications. During bachelor studies, students learn how to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes artistically and creatively in selected music studies and specialisations. Master’s studies help students develop a distinguished and individual artistic expression, provide knowledge about practice-based research, and lead to independent study. Doctoral studies are designed for emerging artists and researchers who will be able to influence, and shape the future of culture.
 
Since 2010, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre has been offering the third cycle studies in music (lasting for four years) and conferring the Doctor of Arts degree. The purpose of the artistic doctorate is to nurture artists-researchers who combine artistic practice and research, thus enriching their field of art with valuable insights and new knowledge based on their own artistic maturity and research skills. The artistic doctorate programmes at LMTA cover studies in the fields of music, theatre and film, as well as preparation and public presentation (defence) of an artistic project. The overall scope of the artistic doctorate programme encompasses 240 ECTS (40 credits for the study subjects, 40 for artistic practice and 40 for research). Doctoral students’ international mobility is an obligatory part of their study programme. During doctoral studies, a doctoral student must prepare and defend an artistic research project comprising interrelated creative and research parts of equal importance. The final defence includes a recital/creative presentation and a research paper (from 30.000 to 40.000 words). The artistic research project is evaluated by two reviewers and a defence board which consists of five members: three recognised artists and/or doctors of arts and two researchers. At least one member of the board must be from a foreign institution which conducts similar doctoral studies.

Bologna process: The two-cycle study system was introduced in Lithuania already in 1993, therefore implementation of the Bologna principles was a natural shift towards internationalisation of the study system, mobility and recognition of studies and qualifications gained abroad, and implementation of related instruments such as ECTS (ECTS replaced the national credit system in 2011), and Diploma Supplement (since 2005). Quality assurance is an important and ongoing process at each higher education institution (HEI) in Lithuania. All HEIs and every study programme offered at each study cycle has to run through external assessment and accreditation (every 6 years), which is organised and monitored by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (member of European ENIC/NARIC, www.skvc.lt).

Governance The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania (Seimas) is the founder of all state funded higher education institutions in Lithuania offering music education. According to the decree on Higher Education and Research, all universities must have two collegial governing bodies, that is, the Board, and the Senate, and one single governing body, the Rector. Colleges must have the Board and the Academic Board, and a single governing body, the Director. The Board is the highest body responsible for the strategy, accountability, social responsibility and development. The Board is elected for five years, and includes from nine to eleven members among them: one student representative; from four to five members of academic community; from four to five stakeholders (outside the higher education institution; one of the stakeholders is elected by the Student Representation).
Total number of institutions
Professional music training is offered at five higher education institutions:
  • Vilnius Applied Arts University (College)
  • Kaunas University of Technology, Klaipėda University and Vytautas Magnus University
  • Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (specialising in art HEI)
Total number of music students
860 (as for a. y.  2016-2017)
Funding
Colleges and universities are funded through governmental grants, i.e. the state budget for studies (which varies depending on the number of students receiving study grants), state revenue for annual artistic and research results, tuition fees of students, project based funding, and revenue from other services to society (own money). 
Curricula
All higher education institutions in Lithuania are autonomous in terms of curricula. However, every programme profile should be based on the national descriptors, and expectations of stakeholders (students, academicians, music industry). There are national requirements that regulate the delivery of studies and student workload such as not more than seven study modules/course per semester (in the first study cycle), not more than five study modules/course per semester (in the second cycle); not less than 60 ECTS of a core (music) studies, not more than 30 ECTS for optional studies; not less than 30 ECTS for the final projects and master thesis (in the second cycle).

In Lithuania, bachelor studies in music last for four years and amount to 240 ECTS; master studies take two years and amount to 120 ECTS. From 2017, bachelor studies may last for three years, and master studies for one year and a half. At least 45 ECTS must be completed in one year. The main requirement for the curriculum is to implement the intended learning outcomes, as it is described in the Descriptor of the Study Field of Music, i.e. document developed by experts and approved by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.
for professional music training are controlled by the State; implementation of new study subjects including their curricula must be approved by the Board of Artists at first, 
Genres
Study programmes in music cover the following subjects: Music Performance (LMTA, KU, VMU); Composition (LMTA, KTU), Musical Folklore (LMTA), Music Theory and Criticism (LMTA), Sound Directing (LMTA). Music-related studies consist of the following subjects: Music Technology (KTU) and Music Production (VMU). Joint interdisciplinary study programme (master studies) in Music Therapy is offered by the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (music) and Vilnius University (medical and health sciences).

Genres in Music Performance: Early Music (launched in 2017), Classical & Contemporary, Pop & Jazz, and Folk Music.

Classical Music Performance includes Accordion, Choir Conducting, Conducting, Military Band Conducting, Singing, Piano, Harpsichord, Organ & Harpsichord, Wind and Percussion Instruments, String Instruments, Chamber Music (master studies only) and Piano Accompaniment (master studies only).

Contemporary Music and Improvisation (MA) is offered at LMTA.

Popular music studies are delivered at college-level institutions (bachelor studies, professional bachelor degree). Jazz studies (vocal and instrumental, in both cycles) are offered at university-level higher education institutions.

Composition studies: Academic Composition (BA) and Digital Technologies (MA) study programmes are offered at LMTA. Music related studies – Electronic Music Composition & Performance (MA) are offered at KTU.
2-cycle system
1st cycle:  3 years at college; 4 years at university or academy
2nd cycle: 2 years (Master)
Qualifications
All higher education institutions award the Bachelor’s qualification at the end of the first cycle. Colleges confer the degree of the Professional Bachelor of Arts, university-level HEIs award the degree of the Bachelor of Arts (until 2017, the title of Bachelor’ qualification was the Bachelor of Music, BMus). The qualification awarded in the second cycle is the Master of Arts (until 2017, the Master of Music, MMus). There are no professional qualifications except for the regulated profession of the teacher which is conferred to graduates in music pedagogy.
Entry requirements 1st cycle
All higher education institutions receive a fixed quota of a state-funded study places per study branch and study cycle. Students compete for a state-funded study place during jointly organised entrance examinations. The joint panel is formed for every specialisation and includes representatives of all universities in Lithuania which offer studies in music. HEI may admit more successful students than they receive state-funded study places. European citizens have the same rights as national students and may compete for a state-funded study place. Students from non-EU countries must pay a tuition fee. The fee is fixed and approved by the Government, and is the same for students of all nationalities including the Lithuanians who successfully pass entrance exams but are entitled to a state-funded study place or study grant.

Candidates who hold the general education certificate, have pre-college musical education and have successfully passed entrance exams are enrolled in the first cycle studies. Admission to every study programme of the first study cycle (bachelor) is organised by the Association of Lithuanian Higher Education Institutions for Organisation of Joint Admission (LAMA BPO), http://www.lamabpo.lt/turinys/holders-foreign-qualifications. Admission requirements are announced on the website of the Association, and websites of each higher education institution.

The list of mandatory exams including the main (specialisation) exam is drawn up by higher education institutions, approved by the Ministry of Education and Science, and announced not later than two years before the entrance exams..
Entry requirements 2nd cycle
Holders of Bachelor’s qualification (BMus, BA) may enter the second cycle studies. Entrance exams include audition (for music performers) or portfolio (for composers, sound directors), and interview (discussion on the topics related to the selected study programme and specialisation). Entrance requirements are announced on the websites of higher education institutions
% of students who continue with 2nd cycle About 50% of first cycle graduates continue studies in the second cycle
3rd cycle
 
Credit point system
The national credit system was used in Lithuania since 1995, and one credit was equal to 40 hours of the student’s workload. ECTS have been used since 2011. In order to be awarded the qualification of the Professional Bachelor in music studies, 180 ECTS must be completed, 240 ECTS are required for the Bachelor and 120 ECTS for the Master.
Internationalization
Internationalisation goals are defined by each higher education institution, information is available on their websites (at least European Policy Statements). Mobility is an underlying activity at all HEIs in Lithuania because it positively impacts on the quality of teaching and learning, and students’ achievements. Exchanges of music students and teachers are organised and supported by Erasmus+ programme, bilateral agreements, state scholarship scheme, and other mobility programmes.

International profile of music studies is supported by the institutional membership in various European and international associations and networks. LMTA, KTU and Music Academy of VMU are AEC members. LMTA (Vilnius) is a member of ANMA, ECMA, ECMTA, ELIA, innovative conservatoire network ICON, and a number of music networks of Nordic/Baltic higher education programme Nordplus: Sibelius (classical music), Nordpuls (jazz music), Nordopera (opera education), Nordtrad (traditional music), Baltic-Nordic Music Therapy, and music related networks Act-in-Arts (arts entrepreneurship) and ECA (explorations and collaborations in the arts). LMTA joined the European Opera Network in 2017 and offers European study modules for exchange students (MA) in the framework of Erasmus+ and Nordplus programmes, and excellence courses for opera graduates. VMU (Kaunas) is a member of EPTA, EMCY, IGEB, CIA, and ASEM. KU (Klaipėda) is a member of councils for folk (traditional) music CIOFF, ICTM, and IOV.

Music studies in Lithuania are offered in the Lithuanian language at the majority of higher education institutions. Parallel studies in English and Russian are available for exchange and foreign students. International Music Production programme (in English) is delivered by Vytautas Magnus University and University of Central Lancashire (UK) offering a double Bachelor’s degree: Bachelor (Hons) of Music Production (UCL) and Bachelor of Music Technologies and Industry (VMU). Integrated international music studies, which have been recently developed with the support of Erasmus+ strategic partnership programmes, are offered in the following areas at LMTA: chamber music (ECMA – NEXT STEP) and improvisation (METRIC). Contemporary music studies at LMTA (master’s level) aim at developing international competencies, therefore a number of intensive courses and projects are delivered by incoming teachers. LMTA participates in a virtual mobility programme and organises online master classes (via Polycom system) with the counterparts from the Nordic countries, Europe and USA, and is a member of New Time network. LMTA invites artists in residence from all over the world to develop music projects at the Music Innovation Studies Centre (MiSC), which integrates digital music technology and spatial sound distribution synergies between art, science and education.  
Quality assurance
Pursuant to the Law on Higher Education and Research, every HEI in Lithuania is responsible for internal quality assurance. Higher education institutions are encouraged to develop already-established structures and systems of internal quality assurance. According to the Law, every study programme (programme review) and every higher education institution (institutional review) must be assessed once every six years.

The national quality assurance and accreditation process is organised by the Centre of Quality Assessment in Higher Education (www.skvc.lt). The Centre acts in line with the European Quality Assurance Standards, Lithuanian Higher Education Law and other relevant legal documents. The Centre assists HEIs in assuring the quality of the curriculum and its compliance with the national law on higher education and other legal acts by organising external assessments and accreditation of study programmes, and assessment of qualifications gained abroad. The accreditation process is discipline specific.

External reviews are conducted by the Centre (SKVC) or any other independent quality assurance agency registered on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR), such as MUSIQUE. Nevertheless, the final accreditation decision is taken by the SKVC as an expert institution founded by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, therefore external international evaluation methods and procedures have to be agreed upon with the Centre.
Employability
The mission and strategy of every HEI include statements that refer to training of their students for the profession. There is an increasing external demand for HEIs in Lithuania to track the careers of graduates and demonstrate a clear link to the professional world and its needs. The percentage of music graduates including those who pursue ‘portfolio-based’ and freelance careers and earn their living from music-related activities in Lithuania is close to 85%. Holders of Bachelor’s qualification may enter the profession, but normally students start their careers already during their bachelor studies after successfully passing professional auditions. 
Academic Year
Academic year in Lithuania is 40 weeks long, and is organised in semesters. The autumn semester starts from 1 September and lasts for 20 weeks. The spring semester starts from 1 February and lasts for 20 weeks. 
Overview of the Pre-College Music Education System
There are several possibilities in Lithuania to be musically trained prior to entering higher education.

Types of Pre-College Education

PROFESSIONAL MUSIC/ART SCHOOLS/ GYMNASIA (meno mokyklos, meno gimnazijos, muzikos gimnazijos) 
There are several secondary schools in Lithuania that offer general education with a specialisation in music education.
 
Students with musical talent can choose to study in general education schools, implementing a specialised educational programme in arts and music (primary, basic and secondary education along with artistic or musical education). These programmes consist of general education and specialised training subjects and modules in music.
 
Currently, eight schools deliver this programme is in Lithuania: the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art, Kaunas J. Gruodis Conservatory, Kaunas J. Naujalis Music Gymnasium, Klaipėda S. Šimkus Conservatory, Klaipėda E. Balsys Art Gymnasium, Panevėžys V. Mikalauskas Art Gymnasium, Šiauliai S. Sondeckis Art Gymnasium, and Vilnius J. Tallat-Kelpša Conservatory.
 
The curriculum covers the following subject areas:
  • general curriculum areas: moral education, language education, mathematics, natural science, social sciences, artistic and technological education (may be replaced with a specialised educational subjects), physical education and health education;
  • one compulsory specialisation subject selected from the following list: accordion, piano, string group instrument, wind group instrument, choral singing and conducting, percussion, musical creativity, organ, folk instrument, sound directing, musical theory;
  • complementary subjects selected from the following list: second instrument (piano) , ensemble performance, vocal training (choir singing and conducting), music analysis, polyphony, chamber ensemble (for the piano, string or wind or percussion instruments), symphony orchestra instrument, piano accompaniment, lector practice, instrumentation;
  • other key music subjects: solfeggio, elementary music, theory, harmony, second instrument (piano), ethno-cultural learning, choral singing, musical expression, music cognition, music history, history of art and architecture, history of Lithuanian music. 
These schools may reallocate up to 25 percent of the total number of teaching hours and teaching content. When learning the basic selected musical instrument or subject (with the exception of the choir singing and conducting classes from 1 to 6), voice training, piano, singing, directing, sound, composition, improvisation, conducting and music theory subjects are taught by applying the individual learning format.
MUSIC AND/OR ART SCHOOLS (muzikos mokyklos, meno mokyklos)
Music and/or art schools deliver non-formal education and/or formal education supplementing programmes of music education.

Non-formal education programmes are carried out by non-formal education and other educational institutions, freelance teachers and other education providers. Programmes complementing formal education that are provided by music, art or other art and sports schools and financed from the state or municipal budget are assigned to non-formal education.

The network of art and music schools covers all municipalities. These extracurricular activities are meant for children and young people under 19 years old (up to 21 years in case of youngsters with special needs) participating in general education programmes. Schools aim at creating favourable conditions for the systematic development of music, art, dance or theatre competencies, consistently and systematically developing students’ innate artistic abilities and key competences needed for productive participation in contemporary cultural life and for the choice of future profession. Music and/or Art Schools do not aim at training future professionals, they contribute to the development of educated music listeners and amateur players.

In Lithuania, there are more than 100 music and art school implementing long-term music, art, dance and theatre programmes. In the education law, these programmes are considered complementary to formal education programmes (hereinafter FEP). In 2015, the Minister of Education adopted the Recommendations for the Artistic Programmes complementing Formal Education with a view of ensuring high quality of these programmes. According to the above document, music and art schools implement the recommended eight FEP programmes: primary music, basic music, primary art, basic art, primary theatre, basic theatre and primary dance and basic dance programmes. The duration of the programme is four years. On average 65.000 students participate in these programmes annually, and it represents over 20 percent of all Lithuanian students.

Students with a talent for music and art who aim at acquiring higher-level musical competences and pursue the professional career in music can get additional training upon choosing Professional music education modules. The content of these modules depends on students’ age.
PRIVATE TUITION
Private tuition is not very popular in Lithuania. Non-formal music education is provided by some private music schools (for example Yamaha), schools of aesthetical training and other clubs.
 
The Mstislav Rostropovich Charity and Support Foundation Support for the Children of Lithuania supports children with a talent for music, science and sports.
Music and arts in general education
Music as a subject at the secondary school aims at broadening every student’s cultural awareness and revealing their musical competence, developing emotional and creative personality, willing and able to participate in various forms of musical life, and enriching their personal lives with music. Students learn the subject of music from the first grade. In the primary curriculum, two teaching hours are dedicated to music per week. The programme covers the first four years of learning. In the lower secondary curriculum, one lesson per week is dedicated to music. The programme lasts for six years. It aims at developing perception of music through singing, playing, creative tasks, basic knowledge of music composition and listening to music. Students learn to sing folk and other songs created by different composers; get acquainted with the basic elements of musical language, music, history and the life and work of the most famous Lithuanian and world composers. The main part of music lessons is focused on singing, rhythmics and playing the flute. Some lessons are dedicated to the guitar or other folk music instruments.

Following the upper secondary curriculum, students can choose one subject out of nine arts subjects, including music or computer music technology. Two lessons per week are dedicated to music or computer music technology. This course is aimed at developing an aesthetic and emotional experience and improvement of previously acquired musical skills and knowledge about Lithuanian and global music and cultural understanding, traditions, music, language fundamentals. The participation in various creative activities, music festivals, school, regional or national competitions and concerts is particularly encouraged. Music is an obligatory part of the curriculum. Music lessons can be integrated into non-formal education programmes.
Students entering higher music education
Most students come from the Professionally Oriented Music Schools, Conservatoires, Arts Schools, or Gymnasia.
Special facilities for talented students at Pre-college level There are many facilities for talented students: national competitions for all students of music at different levels and for different age groups, for all kinds of instruments/singing. There are some international competitions taking place in Lithuania as well. Since 2012, Lithuania has been organising the National Music Olympics where students of general lower and upper secondary schools or music schools, aged between 12 and 18 participate. The Olympics consist of four parts: 1) a musical test (listening to music and answering theoretical questions related to the piece of music); 2) sight singing/playing, rhythm (singing/playing (on their own instrument) a simple melody) and an exercise of clapping a rhythm; 3) performing a song  (perform one song chosen by the participant in a public concert; the song must be performed by heart either unaccompanied or with accompaniment of acoustic instruments in a key which is suitable for the performer); 4) performing original composition, which can be composed for the voice, or for acoustic or electro-acoustic instruments, or for audio visual and multimedia performance of maximum three minutes.

Additional Information

The Czech Republic has a long tradition in the pre-college and elementary music education on a very high level. It has a rich net of elementary art schools (or basic schools of art). In the country, there is a huge number of semi-professional or amateur orchestras, choirs, chamber  and opera ensembles (acting at schools, universities, municipalities, research institutions etc.), lot of them are mixed – include both professional and amateur musicians and singers. There is also a big number of summer music courses for amateurs and future professionals.
There are quite a lot teachers from the Academies (higher education) teaching at Conservatories and Music Gymnasia. Students are well prepared for the entrance level of higher education.
Higher music education institutions do not have Junior Departments or Preparatory Courses.
Basic Art Schools generally do not prepare students for professional career, conservatoires and gymnasia prepare 90% students for HME institution.

Music and Arts in General Education
1 class of music a week is usually compulsory subject in elementary schools and secondary schools as well. Some schools make a choice – students can have music,  paintings or drama compulsory classes. Students can graduate from Music Education.
Students entering Higher Music Education
Almost all students come from Conservatories or Music Gymnasia. 
Special Facilities for Talented Students at Pre-College Level
There are many facilities for talented students; there are competitions for all kinds of instruments, at different levels and for different age groups. There are also competitions for school orchestras and choirs.
Talented students at Basic Art Schools can receive more instrumental lessons.
Talented students can enter to HME institutions without having finished the secondary level (from the age of 15). Degree in Music is awarded after they finish their secondary level studies.

Overview of Music Teacher Education System

In Lithuania, music can be taught by graduates of pedagogical studies upon acquisition of the teacher’s professional qualification. The ways of training music teachers and requirements for the delivery of studies are established in the Regulation on Teacher Training (2010) and Descriptor of the Group of Study Fields of Education (2015). The teacher’s qualification is acquired upon graduation from pedagogical studies which may organised in the following three ways:

  1. Integrated pedagogical studies, i.e. a bachelor study programme intended for training teachers where music is taught and teaching competences are developed. The teacher’s qualification is acquired upon its completion.
  2. The parallel method, i.e. while studying any musical instrument, singing, composition or conducting, the student selects pedagogical studies as a minor study programme and acquires the teacher’s professional qualification upon its completion;
  3. The consecutive method, i.e. upon completion of bachelor studies in music, the student selects one-year professional pedagogical studies (60 credits) intended for acquisition of the teacher’s qualification.

Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Education

Institutions
Pedagogical studies as a model of minor studies, according to which teachers of musical instruments, conducting and singing are trained, are delivered by the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Music Academy (LMTA) at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and Klaipėda University (KU).
Structure and Curriculum
Instrumentalists, conductors, singers and musicologists (music theory and history teachers) are trained using the parallel method. These pedagogical studies encompass 60 study credits. They consist of the theoretical part (Pedagogy, Psychology, Methodology of Music Education, and Final Thesis in Pedagogy) constituting 30 study credits and teaching practice constituting another 30 study credits. The subjects of pedagogical studies are arranged in parallel throughout the entire bachelor study programme of the music performer from six to eight credits per semester. Teaching practice is recommended from the second year in pedagogical studies.
 
Other credits necessary for acquisition of the Bachelor’s qualification degree are dedicated to music subjects, general university education and optional study subjects (Musical Instrument Studies, Chamber Ensemble, Orchestra, Choir, Music Theory and History, Philosophy, Aesthetics, Foreign Languages, etc.).
 
First cycle
 
There are no special requirements for admission into the minor study programme of pedagogy. It may be selected by students in all music study programmes.
 
In the first cycle where the teacher’s professional qualification is acquired, it is mandatory to study Educational Psychology, Didactics, and Methodology of Subject Teaching, have teaching practice and write the final thesis worth at least three credits.
 
Second cycle
 
The teacher’s qualification is not conferred in the second cycle. In the second cycle, instrumentalists, conductors, vocalists, music theory and history students usually improve their competences related to the selected study programme and specialization.
Genres
Teachers of all classical, jazz and folk music instruments, singing and choir conducting as well as music theory and history teachers are trained.
Internationalization
Students and teachers participate in mobility programmes with the support of Erasmus+ programme. LMTA participates in Nordplus network NNME for music teachers’ education, and European network ECMTA (European Chamber Music Teachers Association). KU is an active member of European Association of Music Schools EAS. VMU is a member of EPTA (European Piano Music Teachers Association).
Employability
It is possible to work as a teacher only upon acquisition of the teacher’s qualification.

Instrumentalists, conductors, vocalists, musicologists having graduated from minor pedagogical studies usually work as teachers in music and art schools, conservatoires or art/music gymnasia. At least the Master’s degree is required for teaching in higher education university-level music schools according to the Law on Science and Studies.

Non-university higher education/college graduates and Bachelors and Masters of Arts having graduated from universities are employed in music and general education schools in Lithuania. As there is a shortage of specialists, graduates of non-university level music schools also successfully work at music and general education schools in Lithuania.
 
Conservatoires employ teachers who hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Higher education institutions usually employ graduates from the third cycle studies.
 
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Teachers’ professional development
Teachers’ professional development is embedded in the documents governing education. The Law amending the Law on Education (2011) and the Concept of Teachers’ Professional Development (2012) legitimise the diversity of the content and forms of professional development programmes and enable the teacher’s comprehensive cultural professional development. Teachers’ professional development is considered a part of non-formal education of adults, support to the school and teacher, the teacher’s right and obligation. The Ministry of Education and Science sets priority directions for professional development of school headmasters and teachers, plans and allocates resources for funding its subordinate professional development institutions, initiates drafting and implementation of national professional development programmes and allocates targeted funds for this purpose.
 
Provision of professional development services at the national level is organised, implemented and coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Science and its authorised institutions. According to the data from 2016, 64 accredited institutions were entitled to implement professional development programmes intended for teachers and specialists providing educational assistance in Lithuania: educational centres, higher education institutions and their units. The above-mentioned institutions study the needs, organise professional development and retraining, and create conditions for dissemination of best practice. The choice of lectors for teachers’ professional development depends on clients’ needs, proposed seminar topics, the lector’s qualification, competence and recommendations of others. Most of teachers’ professional development programmes/seminars are delivered by teachers-practitioners and subject teachers.
 
Music teachers’ professional development courses are organised by the Career and Competence Centre of LMTA. Lectures and seminars are delivered in cooperation with LMTA departments and music schools. The Centre also organises master classes, conferences and online education.
                                                                                                                                     
Professional non degree studies in music pedagogy offered by LMTA aim at training those who need teacher’s qualification or already work as teachers. Duration of studies is one academic year worth 60 ECTS credits. Studies include Pedagogy, Psychology, Didactics, Music Pedagogy, Teaching Methods, and Pedagogical Practice at schools. A part of courses of the study programme is delivered as distance learning. Upon completion of studies, graduates are able to work as music teachers in formal and non-formal education establishments.

Education for Music Teacher in General Education (primary and secondary school)

Institutions
Music teachers for general education schools are trained at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA), Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (LEU), Klaipėda University (KU), Šiauliai University (SU) and Music Academy at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU).
Structure and Curriculum
 
Music teachers for secondary schools are trained in an integrated manner when music subjects are taught, teaching competences are developed, and students get hands-on experience of professional activities. Curriculum is based on scientific research, and promotes lifelong learning. Students acquire practical abilities required for independent professional activities, i.e. master the pedagogical interaction with pupils, targeted application of didactic principles and methods, management of educational process, cooperation in inter-disciplinary specialist groups and with pupils’ parents/caretakers.

Graduates from bachelor and master studies receive a Bachelor’s degree in Art Pedagogy (four-year studies) and a Master’s degree in Art Pedagogy (one-and-a half-year studies). Bachelor-degree students gain theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills, learn progressive teaching methods, and how to apply theoretical knowledge in teaching practice. The Master’s Degree study programme aims at forming original thinking, and acquiring in-depth knowledge and skills. The most gifted graduates continue pedagogical studies in the third level (postgraduate studies, offered by universities) and four years later defend their doctoral thesis.

All higher education institutions in Lithuania are autonomous in terms of curricula. There are national benchmarks which regulate the delivery of studies and student workload, i.e. not more than seven study modules/course per semester (in the first study cycle), not more than five study modules/course per semester (in the second cycle).

Study programmes:
  • General Music Didactics (bachelor studies). Music Pedagogy at LMTA, and Music Pedagogy at VMU (bachelor, master studies).
  • Music Teaching at KU (bachelor, master studies).
  • Early and Primary Music Education at LEU (bachelor, master studies).
  • Early and Primary Music Education at LEU (bachelor, master studies).
 
Genres
Choir singing, children music band teaching, teaching music in general schools.
Internationalization
Students and teachers participate in Erasmus+ mobility programmes. LMTA and LEU participates in Nordplus network NNME for music teachers’ education. KU is member of European Association of Music Schools EAS. 
Employability
It is possible to work as a teacher only upon acquisition of the teacher’s qualification. University graduates holding Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Pedagogy are employed in general education (primary and elementary) schools and pre-schools (kindergartens) in Lithuania.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) The same CPD information as provided above for Instrumental and Vocal Music Teacher Training.