Popularity of music pedagogy rising

Ivari Ilja.
Ivari Ilja. Source: Priit Mürk

Modern courses offered by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater (EMTA) as well as music pedagogy are becoming more popular.

EMTA is set to enroll 600 new students this fall. While theater has always drawn plenty of students, increased interest in more modern courses can now also be seen, Rector Ivari Vilja said. He added that the importance and demand for modern specialties has also grown on the labor market.

"I would give the examples of audiovisual works, acoustical engineering, sound engineering, music technology – these specialties are becoming increasingly popular. Perhaps because they do not require as much preparation as piano, violin or the classic bases. Regarding the latter, a child needs to start at the age of five if they want to reach or compete on a very high level in adulthood," Ilja suggested.

This year, the most popular specialties were composing, music technology, music pedagogy, stringed instruments, jazz music and singing. The rector is gladdest to see increased interest in music pedagogy. The specialty has become more popular again over the last two years.

Most EMTA graduates will find work in their field after, Ilja said, with 92 percent of last year's graduates going to work in the field or continuing their studies. Graduates must reach a high level as the labor market is international for musicians.

The academy also caters to plenty of foreign students. The EMTA rector said that 25-30 percent of the school's students have traditionally been from abroad. Most foreign students at EMTA are from Finland, Latvia and Lithuania, while applications were also received from Macedonia, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Italy and many other countries this year.

EMTA has been offering support for Ukrainian war refugees since last year. This fall, 19 Ukrainians will start their studies at EMTA with support from the Estonian government.

"Ukraine is part of so-called third countries. That is why students from there would normally have to pay a hefty tuition at EMTA. The government has allowed us to teach students whose schools have been destroyed without charging tuition," Ivari Vilja said.

Stringed instruments and brass players will start their academic year early this time as the young musicians will soon be departing for a concert tour in Germany.

The EMTA Symphony Orchestra will travel to Berlin to play a concert as part of the Young Euro Classic international festival. Works by Arvo Pärt, Alisson Kruusmaa, Haydn and Eduard Tubin will be performed.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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