Slovenia National Overview

Updated in April 2017 by Nina Podlipnik, International Exchange Office at the The Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana.

Overview of Higher Music Education System

The undergraduate study on the Academy of Music in Ljubljana is a four years programme and gives a University diploma. Graduated students can find job in orchestras, in music schools etc. They can also become independent artists.
On the Academy of Music in Ljubljana there are two types of post-graduate studies, named Magisterium (Master) and Specialisation. Both are two-year programs. Specialisation is an artistic programme and Magisterium is a scientific program. The Academy of Music also offers a four year Doctoral Study Program. There are programmes for Composition and Music Theory, Conducting, Singing, Piano, Organ, Orchestral instruments, Guitar, Church Music and Music Education. There is also a Faculty of Education in Maribor (University of Maribor).

Total number of institutions
Two
Total number of music students
400 +
Funding
State-funded, through the Ministry of Education.
Curricula
Curricula for professional music training are controlled by the State.
Genres
Classical and Jazz
2-cycle system
1st cycle:     4 years
2nd cycle:    2 years
Qualifications
1st cycle: University diploma; Professor of Music or/and Academic Musician
2nd cycle: Master or Specialization; Magister or Specialis
Entry requirements 1st cycle
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Entry requirements 2nd cycle
Diploma with honour and knowledge of one foreign language.
% of students who continue with 2nd cycle Approximately 10%
3rd cycle
Third cycle programmes are offered in professional music training.
Academy of Music offers Artistic Research in field of Music Theory and Music pedagogy.
Credit point system
Institutions make use of a credit point system, compatible with ECTS.
Internationalization Academy of Music is a member of Erasmus+ exchange programme for students, teachers and staff. Academy also has several bilateral agreement for teaching and studying proposals.
Quality assurance
Higher education institutions in Slovenia are not subject to any formal external quality assurance processes.
Employability
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Academic Year
Start October 1st with two semesters.
Overview of the Pre-College Music Education System
In Slovenia, music education in elementary music schools exists for most instruments for young students. After finishing elementary music school, talented pupils continue their study of music on secondary music schools (Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Koper, Velenje), where they have individual lessons of instrument for three times a week (3 x 45 minutes). They furthermore have lessons of music history, music theory etc. Elementary and Secondary Music schools in Slovenia are State Schools. After finishing the secondary school with Matura, candidates can study music on the Academy of Music in Ljubljana (Member of University of Ljubljana), which is the only music high school in Slovenia.

Types of Pre-College Education

Elementary Music School (Nižja Glasbena Šola)
Slovenia knows a state funded system of music education which takes place parallel to the general education system. Elementary Music Schools and Secondary Music Schools together provide a complete trajectory of pre-college education that leads up to the entrance level of higher music education.
To be able to enter an Elementary Music School, students have to take an entrance test. Most students are accepted, provided the school has enough places. Students enter the school between the ages of 5 and 7, finishing when they are 15 years of age. 
Elementary Music Schools use a (national) curriculum; for woodwind, brass and singing it takes 5 years, for all other instruments it takes 8 years. Students receive individual instrumental tuition for 30 minutes twice a week, theory subjects for one and a half hours a week, and orchestra or ensemble lessons. There are no jazz combo’s, only big bands, and there are no improvisation lessons provided.
After each year, except for after the first year, students are required to take an exam. When they fail an exam, they are allowed to repeat it once. Failing twice means that students have to leave the school. 
Elementary Music Schools are state funded, but students pay a small monthly fee.
Secondary Music School (Music Gymnasium) (Glasbena Gimnazija)
 
Music Gymnasia offer music education at an advanced level in combination with some general education subjects.

Students are accepted after serious entrance examinations. They enter at the age of 15. Music Gymnasia offer a 4 year (national) curriculum, which directly leads up to the entrance level of higher music education institutions.
  • Although Music Gymnasia do not provide a full general education curriculum, their education is recognised as secondary school level; students could study at a Music Gymnasium only, and graduates are able to study any subject in higher education. However, most students continue in higher music education.
  • Students could also go to regular secondary schools to receive their general education. In that case, they would only take the music related subjects at the Music Gymnasium.
All Music Gymnasia only have a Classical Music Department, except for one Music Gymnasium in Ljubljana that also has a Jazz Department.

Contrary to Elementary Music Schools, education at Music Gymnasia is free.
Private Music School
Private Music Schools are very popular, and many exist: 4 Private Music Schools are acknowledged by the state, meaning that they receive some financial support. There are around 10 other schools that do not receive state funding. Even though some Private Music Schools receive state funding, their tuition fees are still much higher than for Elementary Music Schools.

The popularity of Private Music Schools may be explained by different factors. Private Music Schools do not have entrance examinations. Some schools use special music educational systems (e.g. Edgar Williams) and are specialised in teaching very young children (from the age of 3 onwards). Private Music Schools also provide pop and jazz lessons and teach improvisation. Because of their private status, schools can be much more flexible, for example in adapting to special demands or needs a student might have. 
Private tuition
Qualified teachers provide instrumental and vocal tuition outside of any institutes or general education systems. Over the last years, the popularity of private teaching has increased. It is not considered to be very expensive. There are also private teachers providing theory lessons. 

Additional Information

There are no formalised links between pre-college institutions and the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.  The informal links are not very strong either, although there are some Academy teachers teaching at Music Gymnasia.


The Academy of Music in Ljubljana does not have a Junior Department or a Preparatory Course.

Music education in Slovenia is taught alongside primary education and as such is a unique arrangement in Europe. In both Public and Private Music schools there are two models into music education either classical or either hobby programmes. Pupis who want to take their musical education to a professional level are expected to more hours and on the other hand those who want to have music education more for hobby, not as a professional.

Music and Arts in General Education
Children receive music and general arts regularly at the begging of primary school.
 
Students entering Higher Music Education
Most students come from Secondary Music Schools (Music Gymnasia). Additionally, a relatively small number of students come from private lessons, Private Music Schools, or from abroad (Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia). 
Special Facilities for Talented Students at Pre-College Level
Talented students studying in Elementary Music Schools can receive longer, individual lessons (45 instead of 30 minute private lessons, twice a week).
Music schools have their own orchestras and ensembles. On a national level, there are no youth orchestras that work year-round. However, there are orchestras for talented students organised during summer courses. Students are selected through auditions.

Slovenia hosts music competitions for young musicians on a national level. Most other facilities are not organised on a national base, but are often financially supported by private foundations. 

Overview of Music Teacher Education System

In Slovenia both instrumental and vocal teachers training and training for music teachers in general education are offered. The training is offered at university level. According to the Slovene legislation a music teacher in general or specialised music education must be a university graduate (Bachelor’s degree). The following universities provide training for music teachers:

  • University of Ljubljana, Academy of Music (both instrumental and vocal teachers, and music teachers in general education)
  • University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education (music teachers in general education)
  • University of Maribor, Faculty of Education (music teachers in general education)
  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Education (music teachers in general education)

Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Education

Institutions The University of Ljubljana, Academy of Music is the only institution providing training for instrumental and vocal teachers. The training is offered in various departments: composition and music theory, vocal department, various instrumental departments. The pedagogical programmes are separate from those for performing musicians. However, students have the possibility to study in both programmes at once.
Structure and Curriculum
The undergraduate programme is four years (eight semesters, 3000 taught hours, 240 ECTS). This can be complemented with a Masters/specialization programme (two years) and in some cases a doctoral programme (two years). Under specific circumstances it is possible to start directly with the doctoral course, which in this case lasts up to four years.
Genres
Classical and jazz
Internationalization
Erasmus+ exchange programmes for teaching mobility, bilateral agreement for teachers exchanges.
Employability
Instrument-specific professors (e.g. piano professor) have a wide spectrum of musical abilities, skills and knowledge as well as demanded instrumental music didactics, general pedagogical and psychological knowledge. The table below specifies the qualifications required per level of education. 
 
Level Qualification
Pre-school Music professor
Music School (primary level) Instrument specific professor
Art grammar school (secondary level) Music theory professor, Specialist (instrument)
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Music Academy (academic leve) (Music professor, PhD and pedagogical knowledge.

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

Institutions
The University of Ljubljana, Academy of Music, and University of Maribor, Faculty of Education both offer programmes for (in the Department of Music Pedagogy):
  • Classroom teaching of music in primary (fourth to ninth grade) and secondary schools
  • Pre-school and classroom teaching in special music schools
The University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Faculty of Education, and University of Primorska, Faculty of Education, all offer (in the (Department of Pre-school Teaching, Department of Classroom Teaching):
  • Pre-school teacher
  • Classroom teacher (first to fourth grade of primary school)
Structure
Class teaching programmes last four years (eight semesters, 3045-3285 hours, 240 ECTS). In each of the four years, students must acquire 60 credit points.
Candidates for the Music teacher training must pass an entrance exam. At the Academy of Music (University of Ljubljana) it includes:
  • A written test: first, the larger part of the test includes tasks from fields of the harmony, counterpoint, music forms and music history. The second part is a short essay on different musical topics (30%)
  • Piano performance (25 %)
  • Singing with an accompaniment (solfeggio is also included in this) (30%)
  • A pedagogical interview with the candidate (15%)
Candidates who are successful at secondary music schools (music theory programmes) must do just the third and fourth part of the entrance exam. Candidates who successfully finish general secondary schools (gymnasium) and additional music education from the music schools must pass all parts of the entrance exam.
Students study progress is assessed in all four years mainly through examinations. The form of the exam and the assessing time differ in relation to the nature, aims and tasks within the subject (written exam, aural exam, practical exam, combined exam, teaching portfolio, diary, observed teaching).
Teaching competence is assessed by university teachers (moderators of teaching practice), school teachers - mentors (partly) and peers (partly). The criteria for assessment are developed inside the course separately for students in years 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The final examination at the end of the study consists of:
  • A final exam lecture at school (the student can choose the type of school)
  • Written work and defence of it (the student can choose the theme/title of the work and mentor)
  • An aural exam – questions based on musical literature (students choose pieces from an extended list)
At the beginning of their time in school, the music teacher has the status of a trainee. Traineeship lasts for ten months. A teacher-mentor, an experienced music teacher, monitors the trainee and assesses him/her at the end of the traineeship. The report on trainees’ work is sent to the commission for professional examination. Once the traineeship has been successfully concluded the future music teacher takes a professional examination in front of the commission. After that examination the trainee is considered to be fully competent to work in the field of education and training.
At the Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, it is only class teachers who have to pass the entrance exam to check their musical abilities. The absence of an entrance exam at the other two Slovenian Faculties of Education is a problem because some students have a low level of musical abilities. Further examinations through all four years of the study are carried out in similar ways as those mentioned in music teacher training at Ljubljana. The final thesis can be also written on the musical area and defend on final graduate exam. The next stage is ten months of traineeship at a primary school and a professional examination. After that the class teacher is deemed fully competent for work with pupils.
Curriculum
The class teacher curriculum consists of a range of pedagogic subjects and technical-theoretical subjects including special didactics. At the Faculty of Education (University of Ljubljana) teaching training includes the basic principles of the following subject areas: Slovene language and Literature, Natural Science and Craft, Social Studies, Mathematics, Music, Art and Sports. A classroom teacher must also possess knowledge of philosophy, pedagogy, psychology and sociology, as well as basic methods of research work. Musical subjects include vocal/instrumental subjects, music contents and didactics of music education.
In total the undergraduate programme consists of 3165 core hours (240 ECTS) there are 240 core hours of musical subjects which means 7,6% of the total hours (45 ECTS) or 18,7% of the total ECTS. In total, the undergraduate programme consists of 3225 core and optional hours (240 ECTS) there are 480 core and optional hours of musical subjects which means 14.9% of the total hours (45 ECTS) or 18,7% of the total ECTS. Those students who finish the choral-conducting course (an additional 60 hours among optional subjects) obtain a certificate of qualification for conducting choirs at the initial level of primary school.
The following tables show other example of curricula of teachers training for general education, taken from the curriculum offered by the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.
The class teacher curriculum consists of a range of pedagogic subjects and technical-theoretical subjects including special didactics. At the Faculty of Education (University of Ljubljana) teaching training includes the basic principles of the following subject areas: Slovene language and Literature, Natural Science and Craft, Social Studies, Mathematics, Music, Art and Sports. A classroom teacher must also possess knowledge of philosophy, pedagogy, psychology and sociology, as well as basic methods of research work. Musical subjects include vocal/instrumental subjects, music contents and didactics of music education.
In total the undergraduate programme consists of 3165 core hours (240 ECTS) there are 240 core hours of musical subjects which means 7,6% of the total hours (45 ECTS) or 18,7% of the total ECTS. In total, the undergraduate programme consists of 3225 core and optional hours (240 ECTS) there are 480 core and optional hours of musical subjects which means 14.9% of the total hours (45 ECTS) or 18,7% of the total ECTS. Those students who finish the choral-conducting course (an additional 60 hours among optional subjects) obtain a certificate of qualification for conducting choirs at the initial level of primary school.
The following tables show other example of curricula of teachers training for general education, taken from the curriculum offered by the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.
 
Artistic subjects  
Choral conducting, Score playing, Choir, Singing, Gregorian chant, Piano, Improvisation, Instrumental group play
Gregorian chant (*2nd year)
Music
theory and history
 
Solfeggio, Composition technique (counterpoint), Composition technique (harmony), Composition technique (music-forms analysis), Composition technique 20. century, Music acoustics, History of world music, History of Slovene music, Special lectures in music history, Music around the world, Ethnomusicology, Multimedia (music and computer science)
Music for the film, Jazz, Musical literature [1]

[1] Focus on specific musical works.
Pedagogical
Psychology, Pedagogy and adult education with methodology, General music didactics [2], Special music didactics [3], Pedagogical practice (classroom learning and teaching, combined practice according to a yearly schedule)
[2] Didactics apply to music for all students with pedagogical orientation of study (future instrumental teachers and future music teachers in the schools).
[3] Subject for Music teacher training students with the different orientation: 1st year (teaching music at the pre-school level), 2nd year (teaching music in the primary school), 3rd year (teaching subjects the subjects Music science and Solfeggio in the music school, 4th year (teaching music in the secondary-school).
The Music teacher training course at the Academy of Music (University of Ljubljana) includes different teaching and learning approaches: lectures, seminars, workshops, smaller group work, individual work, music-pedagogy practise, self-directed study, portfolio and e-learning.
Teaching skills are process developed throughout the four years. The theory and the first practical exercises for teaching music is the main domain of the subject special music didactics. The first year students learn how to teach music to pre-school children and primary school pupils in the first three years of schooling. The second year is oriented towards the higher classes of the primary school: from the 4th class (9 year old pupils) to the 9th class (14 year old pupils). In the third year the focus is on music schools, preparing teachers for teaching music theory and solfeggio. The final year is oriented towards teaching and learning music in secondary schools (gymnasium). Students have connected pedagogical practice through all four years. They can develop their teaching skills through classroom observations, independent lesson execution and continuous practice.
In the class teacher educational programme (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) there are approximately a quarter of all the hours of lectures, practical classes and seminars allocated to pedagogical subjects and the other part for specialist theoretical subjects with their teaching methodologies. Students come into direct contact with pupils during classroom observations, by student-teaching and during teaching practice. Practical training is carried out continuously through all four years of the course, introducing students gradually to independent pedagogic work (from observing to assisting, guided and independent experience). In addition to this each student must carry out one hour of observing the teaching process and one hour of teaching within each special (including music) didactics class.
Genres Classical and jazz
Internationalization Erasmus+ teaching mobility
Employability
Music professors have a wide spectrum of music abilities, skills and knowledge as well as the appropriate music didactics, pedagogical and psychological knowledge. Class teachers and pre-school teachers have a range of pedagogic and technical-theoretical knowledge as well as the appropriate music didactics, music contents, and vocal/instrumental knowledge according to their work field. The table below specifies the qualifications required per level of general education.
 
Level  Qualification
Pre-school Pre-school teacher
Primary school Class 1-3: class teacher
Class 4-6: music professor or class teacher
Class 7-9: music professor
Secondary School Music professor
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing professional development happens through programmes of knowledge improvement of professionals working in the field of education. In-service music teachers have the right to spend at least five working days per year attending improvement courses and to salary compensation due to their absence from work. Ljubljana Academy of Music is one of the institutions that offer such programmes, although these are not on an annual basis.