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Music Associations: Association for Music Education (1934 - 2014)

Association for Music Education was established on June 11th, 1934. Its main programme was the development of musical feeling in youth and adults, especially in a wide stratum. Association for Music Education:


1. Provided international relations,

2. Was in charge of music education in all types of schools in the Czech Republic,

3. Its task was to uplift musical life of wide stratum of a nation,

4. Was administrative and organisational centre.


The secretariat was located in the building of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague. Its activity was financed from Extraordinary Funds of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education, from the budget of the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague and also from the office of the President of Czech Republic and numerous donors from home and abroad. Association for Music Education was not just an office, it did not have executive power, it was just an advisory authority (organ). It supported all new educational streams in music education, the representatives of Czech music culture, the competitions of singing choirs, it stimulated the utilisation of music as a therapeutic device and so on. The main personalities of the first committee since 1934 were Kamil Krofta (the Prime Minister), Jaroslav Jindra, Zdeněk Nejedlý, Vladimír Helfert and the other personalities of the political and cultural life of the Interwar Period.


Association for Music Education played an important role in the organisation and realisation of the 1st International Music Educational Congress, that took part in Prague on April 4th – 9th, 1936. There were invited 22 countries, five of them apologised because they could not come, and two of them just did not answer. From the Fascist Germany thus could not come, an invited music expert Carl Orff. The main slogan of the congress was „to humanism by means of music education“ - a reaction to an imminent Fascism. The opening ceremony took part in the building of Parliament of the Czech Republic. The congress was opened by then Prime Minister Kroft who was a chairman of Association for Music Education.


The presence of music pedagogical authorities from all over the world enabled mutual recognition of various systems of music education and mainly of some successful methods that served to the increase of music education. This congress initiated the establishment of International Headquarters of Music Eudcation in Prague, that began an inspiration for establishment of today significant organisation so called International Society for Music Education (ISME). The resolution that resulted from the 1st International congress in Prague has much in common with contemporary requirements of ISME.


In the autumn of 1938 the Association for Music Education ended its activity. Jaroslav Jindra preserved all archives that finally happily survived the World War II. On January 29th, 1951 there was a General Assembly of the deputies from the former Association for Music Education and it put the proposal on voluntary roll-away. Its members proposed to sell the property to Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts. The proposal was accepted by the then policy makers.


On March 30th, 1965 the preparatory committee of the new Association for Music Education was created by the Union of Czechoslovak Music Composers. On September 29th, 1967 there occured a provision of Czechoslovak Association for Music Education in Prague. It was headed by Jan Hanuš and its aim was to gain experience and improve the preparation of music education teachers at all types of schools.


In 1991 prof. Jaroslav Herden became the chairman at the Department of Music Education, Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague. He passed the presidency to the contemporary chairman PaedDr. Jan Prchal from Liberec, CZ. Nowadays the Association for Music Education includes several committees, for example, a committee for pre-school music education, for music education at elementary schools, for elementary schools with extended teaching of music education. Every committee has its 25 membered committee of the representatives of all regions. To the programmes that are organised by the Association for Music Education belong very popular educational seminars where pedagogues verify new methods and procedures and exchange their experience at the meetings with many experts. The association cooperates with significant music pedagogues from Czech and Slovak Republic. Its chairman Dr. Jan Prchal cooperates with spolupracuje s national co-ordinator of EAS Dr. Milošem Kodejškou and regularly participates in all Visegrad doctoral conferences that are organised by the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague.



Assoc. prof. PaedDr. Miloš Kodejška, CSc.,
Charles University, Prague, Faculty of Education,
Department of Music Education, Czech Republic

English translation
Faculty of Health Care, Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín
Slovak Republic


To the Current Problems of Music Education

The subject Music Education is in the Czech Republic the obligatory subject from the first to the ninth year of Elementary School. However, music teachers have to fight for the condition mentioned, because since 2007 the headmaster of elementary school can associate the subject of Music Education with another subject, for example Arts, within the scope of Music Aesthetical Subjects. The headmaster is allowed to do so with the agreement of so called Provision of the Minister number 15523/2007-22. For that reason we can say that the existence of the subject Music Education is endangered in the Czech Republic and the representatives of music and cultural life try to provide for Music Education to be taught separately. The subject Music Education is taught according to the valid countrywide programme General Educational Programmes for elementary education. In this field there exists a significant update. In November 2013 the music teachers agreed upon the Standards for Educational Field Music Education which would respect the Ministry of School Education and its inspectorates. The standards define the knowledge and skills that must be reached by all pupils in the fifth and ninth years of elementary school. They will be introduced in practice in the school year of 2014/2015.


The Association for Music Education of CZ is concerned with better co-ordination and improvement of the quality of music education, under the leadership of its president Dr. Jan Prchal and also Visegrad Music Team represented by assoc. prof., Dr. Miloš Kodejška, CSc. from Charles University Prague. There is a significant initiative from the side of the Department of Music Education, Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague, doctoral conference Theory and Practice of Music Education from the initiative of prof. Jaroslav Herden. The latest conference took part in November 2013 in the building of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, under the auspices of EAS and International Visegrad Fund. The conferences focus on advice and inspiration for music teachers at comprehensive elementary schools. The main ideas of experts and doctoral students will be displayed at Czech web pages of EAS in Czech and English languages. For music education we highlight and recommend the important publication of SEDLÁK, F. - VÁŇOVÁ, H. Hudební psychologie pro učitele. (Music Psychology for Teachers). Praha: Karolinum, 2013, ISBN 978-80-246-2060-2. Another significant publication is introduced by CRHA, B. – SEDLÁČEK, M. – KOŠUT, M. – JURČÍKOVÁ T. – PRUDÍKOVÁ, M. Výzkum hudebních preferencí vysokoškolské mládeže. (The Research of Music Preferences of Undergraduate Youth). Brno: Masarykova univerzita, PedF, 2012, ISBN 978-80-210-6103-3.


In the Czech Republic there are being (every year in January) organised meetings of the deputies of all universities who prepare music teachers and discuss the co-ordination of education at universities. In contemporary time they criticise the lectures given by scientific agencies at music departments of universities, specifically that they do not put enough space for practice of music education. Their aim is to persuade music departments to solve the questions of musicology. However, then the staff of various faculties does not have enough time to solve real requirements and needs of future teachers of comprehensive schools. The students and graduates often highlight that it is important for universities to prepare their graduates well, so as they were able to face the practice from the point of musical and methodological skills applicable in schools. In this contest there is being prepared international music educational conference entitled Music Education for 3rd Millenium by Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem CZ, which is going to take place in Ústí nad Labem on November 7th – 8th, 2014. The conference is organised on the occasion of 80th anniversary of establishment of Association for Music Education of the Czech Republic and also of the Year of Czech Music.


In the context of using pedagogic reform in the Czech Republic we want to highlight the form of lifelong education of music teachers via so called Summer Workshops of Music Education in Liberes (Northern part of the Czech Republic), which is for many years organised for all interested from the Czech Republic or abroad.


We can state that music education is of a high quality in the Czech Republic, it has outstanding tradition and music personalities. We welcome the support of highly value co-operation between music teachers of so called Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Hungary. To everybody who is interested in the topic mentioned, we highly recommend visit Czech web pages of EAS.


Assoc. prof. PaedDr. Miloš Kodejška, CSc.,
Charles University, Prague, Faculty of Education,
Department of Music Education, Czech Republic

English translation
Faculty of Health Care, Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín
Slovak Republic


Relevant Questions to Music Education


I believe that Music Education as a school subject is the focal point of our interest. It is compulsory for pupils, at all primary and lower secondary schools in the Czech Republic. This means that all school education programmes should list Music Education as a compulsory subject from the first through the ninth grade. I did not use the conditional by mistake. However, as a consequence of quite an unfortunate measure of Mrs. Kuchtová, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports (Čj. 15523/2007-22), the reality does not meet the ideal. The fact that Music Education is not taught in all grades at some primary and Loir secondary schools determines the first up-to-date problem which the Society for Music Education of the Czech Republic has been pointing out since its very first intervention in the process of Framework Education Programme for Basic Education creation.


It is vital to keep in mind that existence of Music Education as a school subject is endangered. It might be replaced by pseudo-education subjects or integrated into aestheticeducation subjects. This is not the only reason why Standards for Basic Education, namely Standards for Music Education, are needed. It was my great privilege to chair a board of professionals who created a draft of Standards for Basic Education at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the National Institute for Further Education. Jointly created Standards for Basic Education are undergoing the consult proceeding and through the means of round table discussions with Music Education teachers, they can be further developed. The standards, among others, stipulate the minimum level of competencies that all pupils at the end of the fifth and the ninth grade of compulsory education should achieve. Through analysis of feedback that pedagogues provided as a reaction to the draft version, it has become clear that standards cause difficulties to teachers rather than to pupils. I have to amend critically that mainly to teachers who lack competencies. This relates to the second up-to-date problem of insufficient quality of teacher training at faculties of education. Many graduates of such faculties are confronted with problems and situations they have not been prepared for that is why they cannot solve them in a proper manner.


We would like to point out the irreplaceable role of further education of pedagogues which reflects up-to-date problems of Music Education teaching practice more flexibly and thus to offer possible solutions to the current state. These and other problems and challenges will be subject to discussions during the international music-educational conference Music Education for 3rd Millennium. The symposium will be held at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem on 7th and 8th November 2014 in the framework of 80th anniversary of Society for Music Education of the Czech Republic establishment and of Czech Music Year celebrations. The conference is organised by the Department of Music Education of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in association with the Society for Music Education of the Czech Republic. All of you are heartily welcome! Last but not least, I would like to point out that it is necessary, through all possible means, to support the importance of Music Education in systems of education, its irreplaceable role in shaping young people´s personalities, their values, their critical attitudes and it is well-deserved to present all examples of successful teaching practice. I believe that despite certain sceptical points of view can we proclaim that music education in the Czech Republic has good quality, very rich and inspiring past and is – to say by words of today – able of competition in an international scope. Let me illustrate my words by two examples. Last year, the Society for Music Education of the Czech Republic managed the unbelievable: the topic of music education appeared during all main broadcasting times on Czech Television news programmes (24/08/2012 – News and News, Commentaries). This has not been achieved by anyone else for years.


The last example relates to presentation of outcomes of creative approaches to Music Education resulting from 24th Summer Workshops of Music Education 2013 that are traditionally held in Liberec (CZ). The above mentioned summer school, unique of this kind, is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and is aimed at pedagogues of all types of schools. You will see a short film of the closing koncert which demonstrates one of the outputs of a five-day intensive, inspiring and in most cases amusing work during individual seminars and courses and thus serves as a live evidence of variety of work forms, methodical approaches and genre richness. This is exactly chat music education of today needs.


Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem
Faculty of Education,Department of Music Education,
Association for Music Education of the Czech Republic

English translation
Mgr. Jaroslava Lojdová,
A doctoral student at Charles University in Prague,
Faculty of Education