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ERIC Number: EJ848155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Music and Arts Schools--Extra-Curricular Music Education in Sweden: A Comparative Study
Heimonen, Marja
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v3 n2 Jul 2004
This study focuses on music education for children and adolescents offered by music and arts schools receiving public financial support (from the municipality or the state) and that are "independent" of the comprehensive and secondary school. For these purposes, then, "extra-curricular" music education will be understood as "voluntary" instruction pursued mainly outside of the curriculum of the comprehensive or secondary school. Sweden was chosen because of the several similarities it has with Finland. Both countries are so-called Nordic "welfare societies", and have the same kinds of educational and cultural policies. However, the Swedish and Finnish systems of music and arts schools are quite different. Certain aspects related to music education are analysed in the light of two general principles: (1) the right to an education; and (2) the right for freedom in education. The intention is to describe the educational and legal issues in their present form, and, in the process, to raise certain philosophical questions that may well be relevant for other countries and formal systems of music education. In particular: (1) How do the principles "the right to an education, and the right for freedom in education" function in extra-curricular music education for children and adolescents?; and (2) What kind of regulative model would best promote the aims of extra-curricular music education for children and adolescents? A partially open and flexible regulative model of extra-curricular music education for children and adolescents is supported. A balance between positive and negative freedom is the aim of this regulative model; in other words, the model secures the financial resources, but at the same time leaves space for autonomy and flexibility. It makes holistic aims in music education possible. These aims are similar to the governing principle of the "best interests of the child", which is the most important legal principle in all action concerning children in Finland. Furthermore, this principle, which is formulated in the "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child", has been ratified over almost the entire world. The working of this principle in practice is studied in the context of a municipal arts school ("kulturskola") in Sweden that offers extra-curricular education in music and other arts subjects for children and adolescents. (Contains 48 notes.)
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; Sweden