If at a public music school or with a private music teacher, it’s important that you find what’s right for you. Learn more about music lessons in Switzerland.
Public music schools are often connected with education institutions. Their offers are often targeted toward children and teenagers. Public music schools get funded by the government and offer reduced rates for children. Music lessons mainly take place at the premises of the music school and the lessons are scheduled at least one semester in advance, usually at the same day and time.
Private music schools do not get any funding from the government and are privately organized and often have a variety of offers. From children to adults to seniors. The variety of instruments taught depends on the demand of music students. Lessons are mainly taught at the premises of the private music schools and tend to be a bit more flexible than in public schools.
Private music lessons are taught by freelance music teachers that sometimes teach at public or private music schools and try to fill up their spare hours. Lessons therefore either take place at the studio of the teacher or directly at the place of the music student, in rare cases online. Private lessons are the most flexible way to learn an instrument and the offer depends a lot on the individual teacher.
Music lessons for adults are mostly outside of the regular curriculum unless it is taught by academia to future teachers. Most of the time the personal interest of the music student triggered the desire to learn an instrument. More and more adults and seniors in particular are looking for a balance in their lives and want to learn something new. Either in private lessons or sometimes with a group of peers.
Lessons for kids and teenagers often take place at a public music school that is specialized in this audience. At public music schools music is taught as a subject and is part of the curriculum and therefore subsidized. Private lessons for children sometimes focus on the individual need or the fun part. Lessons and subscriptions are oftentimes more flexible than elsewhere.
The Swiss Music Pedagogical Association (SMPV) is the overarching institution for music teachers in Switzerland. All members of the associations hold at least a Master in Music Pedagogy which is particularly relevant when teaching children and teenagers and is an important label for quality.
The association for public music schools in Switzerland (VMS) is the governing body for public schools. The association represents hundreds of music schools in Switzerland and the music teachers teaching at public schools also stand for quality and are usually very well trained for children. Most teachers hold a Master in Music Pedagogy or Performance.
The most important qualification for a music teacher is the Master in Music Pedagogy from Swiss academia like the HSLU, HKB or ZHdK. Often times music teachers hold several degrees e.g. a Master in Music Performance and are on top professional musicians. The requirements for qualifications differ depending on the need of the music students.
Music lessons at public schools for kids are subsidized. That means a part of the lesson price per hour is paid for by the public. Music lessons for adults are not subsidized and have to be paid in full. Music teachers at public music schools are employees of the school and lesson prices differ from canton to canton.
Music lessons at private music schools are not subsidized by the government, neither for the kids nor adults. The full price for the lesson has to be paid. Prices are very different from school to school and depend on how the school is organized. Sometimes teachers are employed by the school but it is not the norm.
The lesson price depends on each individual teacher or like in our case is regulated by an internal pricing policy for our music teachers. Usually, the prices depend on education, experience, location (e.g. in a studio) or sometimes on other parameters. Music teachers are often times freelancers and do not have an employment agreement.
Which music lesson format suits you or your child best, depends on your goals and motives.
Music lessons between the teacher and the student are called private lessons. The full focus of the teacher is on the music student. In this format making music in a group is limited.
Learning to play an instrument with two or more people is called a group lesson. Most of the time the same instrument is played and the students in general have a similar skill level.
Very talented kids sometimes get the option to get additional lessons to strengthen their skills. Children and teenagers get deep insights into the instrument and additional lessons.
Sometimes there’s the possibility to get specific lessons e.g. for music students in ensembles or bands. In this case, usually, a variety of instruments are played in the group.
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