Study: music lessons in elementary schools in danger?

Study: music lessons in elementary schools in danger?

According to a study, music is important for the formation of children’s personalities, but too little of it takes place in the first years of school.

Music is taught too seldom in elementary schools – and then often "outside" by teachers who have not been trained for this purpose. This is the result of the study presented on wednesday in gutersloh, which was commissioned by the bertelsmann foundation, the german music council and the state music council conference. "The music-asthetic area in the elementary school is very important, but is totally neglected", says the elementary school association.

According to the study, boys and girls are entitled to an average of one to two hours of music a week in the first four years of school, depending on the federal state. 43 percent of the lessons are given by music teachers and about 50 percent are given by "outside" teachers. An estimated seven percent of the scheduled hours were cancelled. There are major regional differences. As is the case for all types of schools and almost all subjects, there is also a serious shortage of music teachers, says the foundation. "The elementary school in germany are running out of teachers."

The chairwoman of the elementary school association, maresi lassek, tells the deutsche presse-agentur that schools often try to fill the main teaching positions first when hiring staff. Music, art and sports were left behind. "Music and music lessons are important for cultural education," she emphasized. The shortage is particularly serious for children from poorer families, who hardly have the opportunity to go to the theater or attend a music school and learn an instrument. "The experience of music is missing for many children."

Singing, dancing and making music trigger positive emotions and a sense of community, says lassek. Music provides children with experiences that can awaken their interest in culture as a whole. "This is also central to the further course of education." There is a need for significantly more music teachers. "Some elementary schools dream of having at least one trained music specialist."Because: "without a specialist, the school can not create a choir, there will be no instruction for the instruments and no music lessons."

The german music council speaks of a "wake-up call. If no countermeasures are taken, "musical education in elementary schools will soon be a thing of the past," says general secretary christian hoppner. It is an important building block for the formation of the personality of adolescents, belongs to the elementary cultural techniques. Many more music teachers needed to be trained, and current music teachers were asked to teach more specialized classes. Even lateral and lateral entrants – teachers of other subjects or musicians – could help after further training.

Liz mohn of the bertelsmann foundation’s board of directors says that music education in elementary schools plays a central role because this type of school is the only one that reaches all children and is often the only place where boys and girls have access to music. However, according to the survey, a smaller proportion of elementary school students already do not have any music lessons at all.

The study was based on data from state ministries, statistical offices and the conference of education ministers. The study only covers 14 federal states – not bavaria and saarland. The approaches there are not comparable, explained ulrike liedtke, chairwoman of the state music council conference. There is currently a shortage of 23,000 music teachers in the 14 federal states. According to the prognosis of the commissioned scientists, the gap will get even worse without any acceptance tests.

Making music together can also achieve a great deal in terms of inclusion and integration: "children who can hardly speak a word of german can communicate excellently through music."But don’t the reading and spelling skills of elementary school students, arithmetic or even learning media skills have priority?? Liedtke emphasizes: "I think the idea that music should take a back seat is wrong."

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