In Luxembourg, music is part of the school curriculum from the age of four and many municipalities and conservatories also offer music courses for adults. For its part, the University of Luxembourg provides training for future teachers. From the start of the 2022/2023 school year, a very large proportion of music, speech and dance lessons will be free of charge in music schools in the municipal sector. Below, we provide an update on the organisation of music studies in the Grand Duchy… there’s something to suit all tastes!
Music on the school curriculum
From the age of four, children are given their first taste of music; it allows them to foster the joy of musical expression. In this context, children learn to sing, move and dance to music and discover, while playing, the joys of new sounds and instruments. This initiation to music is also a first step towards learning an instrument.
Musical development at this age is essential because it contributes not only to stimulating intellectual and manual skills as well as the child’s personality but it also to creates a sense of shared emotion.
This first stage of musical awakening last for a maximum period of three years. It is taught in primary school, as well as in conservatories of music, music schools and is available via music course in municipalities.
The lower division
After an initiation to music, comes the time to provide basic musical education and the study of instruments and vocal training.
Music training in the lower division is compulsory until the diploma is obtained, which will allow the student to continue music studies or begin to learn and instrument or take singing lessons; it lasts four years. It is taught in primary school, as well as in conservatories of music, music schools and is available via music courses in municipalities.
The following subjects are studied during the four years in the lower division (also referred to as 'Music studies' in the official programmes): singing, note reading, measures, rhythms and beats, improvisation, listening, organology, representations and musical notation.
The middle division and the specialised middle division
Music studies continue with the middle division, which is taught in secondary school:
- Students in general secondary education take part in a music class in 7th year (at 12 years old).
- They also have the opportunity to enrol in a special section in classic secondary school dedicated to music education.
It is taught in secondary school. Conservatories of music, music schools and music classes offered by municipalities also offer courses at this level in order to supplement or provide advanced learning opportunities.
Most music, speech and dance classes are free from mid-September 2022. This means that students under the age of 18 can attend the early-learning courses up to the first-cycle diploma free of charge.
In order to reduce possible regional imbalances, tuition fees for non-fee-paying courses are capped at 100€ per branch and per school year, also for adult students.
The higher division
The higher division classes are offered exclusively by the conservatories of music.
In Luxembourg, music education is compulsory at lower and middle levels and is therefore taught in primary and secondary schools. Students who wish to continue their musical learning must join a conservatory.
- Luxembourg City Conservatory was founded in 1906 following a donation from a patron, Eugénie Dutreux-Pescatore; the first building was located on rue du St Esprit. By the end of the 1960s, the number of inscriptions was growing rapidly and the institution had many branches spreads around the city. In 1984, the current building on rue Martel opened its doors. Ever since, the Luxembourg City Conservatory has become a national and international teaching institute. Discover the Conservatory's programmes in music education, music theory and writing, instrumental training, vocal training, etc.
- Esch-sur-Alzette Music Conservatory: The conservatory is located in the renovated building of the former Gelsenkirchener casino. This is one of the first examples in Luxembourg of its industrial heritage being regenerated and refurbished in order to embrace a new role following its acquisition by the city of Esch-sur-Alzette in 1992. Ever since, the regional influence of the conservatory has been established and the range of courses on offer has increased over the years: music theory, writing, conducting and choir, instruments and much more!
- Northern Music Conservatory: It is the result of a merger between the Diekirch Music School and the Ettelbruck Music Conservatory in 2002. It is managed by an inter-municipal syndicate and its objective is to organise the musical education of the region. If you live in the north of the country, check the sections and curricula that are available at the conservatory.
Bachelor in Music Education
The University of Luxembourg, in partnership with the three conservatories of the Grand Duchy, offers postgraduate studies to students who are passionate about music and wish to become teachers, Bachelor in Music Education.
During their course, students learn about different teaching methods, carry out internships each semester and attend a university abroad. A personal academic tutor supports each student throughout the course.
Music courses for adults
Musical education is often associated with learning from an early age. However, if you missed this opportunity in your youth, it is not always so easy to take courses in order to obtain an official diploma as an adult. Luxembourg is a little oasis for adults who are passionate about music but did not study the basics in school.
Therefore, music courses for adults is aimed at all adults; the general goal is to develop a taste for music and gain pleasure in the pursuit of music by acquiring a basic musical education, preparing for music studies as well as learning to play an instrument. Music studies for adults cannot exceed a total period of four years. After catching up on the basics of music, the adult students must sign up for the normal course, and continue their studies until the desired level.
Even though this is not common practice, music training for adults can take place in parallel with instrumental and vocal training.
Municipalities that offer music courses for children and adolescents also offer music courses for adults. The conservatories also provide lessons aimed specifically at adults.