• Kadi Kaja Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EE)
  • Urve Läänemets Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EE)
  • Kristi Kiilu Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EE)
  • Katrin Kalamees-Ruubel Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EE)



compulsory subjects, music education, national curriculum, optional /elective subjects, syllabus


The content of education at schools meeting the demand for culturally, socially and politically relevant knowledge, skills and competencies for a particular society has remained an issue of debate in all times. Estonia started development of a new national curriculum (NC) in 2020/2021 and both – the content of learning as well as its organization from kindergartens up to the end of gymnasia became a serious issue. The main topic for debates were the proportions of compulsory and optional subjects, especially at the final level (grades 10–12). Music and other art subjects must prove their positions during recent pandemia and military conflicts. The aim of the study is to map expectations of different target groups concerning the future of music education creating the basis for development of music culture in society.

The students (n=203) were asked to write essays, analyzing why learning music at high school level is meaningful or not for their personal development. The people responsible for pan-Estonia cultural organizations were interviewed (n=10) and the data were analyzed qualitatively. The results of the study can be used for development of music syllabi in NC of all levels of general education under the present conditions and for teacher training.



Download data is not yet available.


Autio, T. (2022). Making Finnish Kind of People: Curriculum Knowledge as an Amalgam of Science, Politics and secular Lutheranism in the Finnish Variant of Egalitarian Nordic Welfare Society. In W. Zhao, T. S. Popkewitz & T. Autio (Ed.), Epistemic Colonialism and the transfer of Curriculum Knowledge Across Borders. Applying a Historical Lens to Contest Unilateral Logics. Routledge, Studies in Curriculum Theory Series, (137–157).

Befring, E. (1997). The Enrichment Perspective. A Special Educational Approach to an Inclusive School. Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 18(3), 182–187.

Courtney, J. S & Mann, B. (2021). Thinking with ‘lexical’ features to reconceptualize the ‘grammar’ of schooling: Shifting the focus from school to society. Journal of Educational Change, Vol. 22, 401–421.

Huotilainen, M. (2021). Kuidas aju õpib? [How does the brain learn?], Tallinn: Koolibri.

Janson, E. (2020). The Pinocchio effect. Decolonialities, Spiritualities and Identities. Brill Sense. On (DE)Coloniality: Curriculum Within and Beyond the West. Vol. 3.

Läänemets, U. (2017). Content development for Estonian general comprehensive schools: context, curricula and school practice 1991–2016. Education reform in comprehensive school: education content research and implementation problems. Rezekne Academy of Technologies, 53–61.

Läänemets, U. (2021). Ratio studiorum. Tallinn: Avita.

Popkewitz, T. (2015). Keynote address, Department of Educational Leadership, University of Massachusett Dartmouth, April 2015.

Popkewitz, T. (2018). What is “really taught” as the content of school subjects? Teaching school subjects as an alchemy. The High School Journal, Vol. 101(2), 77–89.

Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development. Theory and practice. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

Tervaniemi, M. (2017). Music in Learning and Relearning: The Life-Span Approach. Psychology: Music, Mind and Brain. Vol. 27(3), 223–226.

Tröhler, D. (2016) Curriculum history in Europe: A historiographic added value. Nordic Journal of Educational History, Vol. 3(1), 3–24.

Tyack, D. & Tobin, W. (1994). The “Grammar” of Schooling: Why Has it Been so Hard to Change? American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 31(3), 453–479.

Unt, I. (2005). Andekas laps: raamat õpetajale ja lapsevanemale. [A talented child: a book for teachers and parents], Tallinn: Koolibri.




How to Cite

Kaja, K., Läänemets, U., Kiilu, K., & Kalamees-Ruubel, K. (2023). PERSPECTIVES ON MUSIC EDUCATION IN ESTONIAN SCHOOLS. SOCIETY. INTEGRATION. EDUCATION. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, 1, 463-475.