Arts education is also provided on an institutional basis ‘outside of school hours’ by music schools, children’s singing schools, and youth and cultural centres. Out-of-school education is mainly provided in the Bundesländer (provinces) or on the community level. With 200 000 school students and almost 7 000 teachers, the 430 public music schools are densely represented in all provinces – in particular the Upper Austrian music schools should be highlighted here as examples of best practice – and above all offer children and young people a high-quality musical education.
As the Austrian school system is currently slowly changing from half-day-schooling to all-day-schooling, new forms of co-operation between schools and out-of-school institutions are on the political agenda.
At the same time, education programmes of cultural institutions, especially for children and young people, have increased considerably. In response to the need to search for new audiences (and by that to legitimise public funding), arts education has become part of marketing strategies especially of museums and exhibition halls, followed by concert halls (concert pedagogy) and theatres (theatre pedagogy).
There are also provisions for art and cultural education in all art and cultural institutions, in particular for children and young people. A public interest in supporting the creativity and aesthetic capacity of young people led to the establishment of cultural institutions dedicated to young target groups. In the Zoom children’s museum in Vienna, for example, under the motto “Hands on, minds on, hearts on!” children can ask, touch, feel, explore and play as they wish. In workshops and exhibitions children gather sensory and emotional experiences through play, which trigger learning processes and facilitate understanding. Unlike museums for adults and most children’s events, which are more oriented to entertainment, children can touch and try out the objects and through touch reach better understanding. The DSCHUNGEL WIEN Theaterhaus für junges Publikum – both institutions are based in the Vienna Wiener Museumsquartier – is aimed particularly at children and young people. The house dedicates its entire spectrum to performing arts: from acting, storytelling, speaking, figure and musical theatre, and from opera to dance, dance theatre and interdisciplinary forms.