Museum Education Programmes
The programmes for Museum Education are implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture, amongst others, the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, the Leventis Municipal Museum of Lefkosia, the Pieridis Museum and the “THALASSA” Agia Napa Municipal Museum. The educational programmes which have been running since 1996 in the museums of the non-occupied areas of Cyprus are intended for all primary education pupils. The implementation of these programmes is based on experiential active learning and employs a cross-curricular / interdisciplinary approach. In order to further improve the programmes, digital presentations, interactive maps and drama games were incorporated. The pupils explore the museums, observe the exhibits, search for information, engage in role-play, activate their creative and expressive abilities and work in teams through pleasant and well organised activities. In this context, the pupils acquire useful experiences and develop positive attitudes towards culture.
Art Education Programmes
The Department of Primary Education, in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, continue the implementation of the educational programmes of Art Education in galleries and museums of Lefkosia and Lemesos, addressed to all primary education pupils. These programmes through an experimental approach aim at promoting synergies between the school environment and the cultural sector, as well as at providing an aesthetic development and cultural education to children.
The establishment of two Music Schools is an innovation that was introduced in order to broaden the outlook on music and enhance the teaching of Traditional and Byzantine music. The Music School aims at preparing and training young people who wish to pursue a music career while attending general education. The first Music School was established in February 2006, at the Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia while the second Music School in September 2006 at the Laniteion Lyceum A in Limassol. Both schools have a concert hall, a library and suitable rooms well equipped for the teaching of solo instruments. Lessons are offered on chamber music, choir, orchestra, Byzantine music, traditional music, lute playing, music technology, theory, harmony and history of music. Both Music Schools function in five afternoons schedule and they have also the form of a whole-day school.
LYCEA REGIONAL CHOIRS / ORCHESTRAS
The establishment of Lycea Regional Choirs and Orchestras is another innovation of the Ministry of Education and Culture, which has been implemented in Secondary Education, by a decision of the Council of Cabinet Ministers (December 2002). Music teachers who are specialised in choral singing and orchestra conducting have been appointed as conductors and children are selected after relevant auditions. The aim of the programme is to provide opportunities for further music education, develop music and aesthetic education, raise the standards of singing and performing and provide strong motives for both music teachers and children towards better and more qualitative work. At the same time such activities offer opportunities for further communication skills and creativity. The repertoire varies ranging from the classical to Cypriot and Greek, as well as students’ compositions.
ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS
Since November 2002, by decision of the Council of Cabinet Ministers, another innovation was put into practice. Distinguished artist musicians of classical, popular and traditional music visit schools of secondary education and provide qualitative music lessons within classroom conditions. The musicians work with the students in various ways such as presenting the various traditional or orchestral instruments, offer creative music games, perform short works, improvise and create music together with the students. Thus, both children and musicians share intense, vivid, musical experiences. The class work of the music teachers is supported by this programme. The main objective of the programme “Artists in Schools” is to promote musical diversity.
COLLABORATION WITH THE CYPRUS STATE ORCHESTRA (CYSO)
Every year, about 6 000 children have the opportunity to attend educational projects during school time with their teachers, as well as afternoon family concerts with their parents. These concerts aim to offer suitably designed musical experiences, promote aesthetic education and understanding, develop musicality, creativity and critical thinking among youngsters, as well as to provide the students themselves with opportunities to develop musical skills.
The educational programmes for secondary education consist of:
- Educational concerts in concert halls in the morning, during school time. Prior to the educational concerts, the CYSO musicians contribute to the programme by visiting schools in small groups in selected classrooms during the music lesson. They present their musical instruments and perform excerpts from the programme of the educational concert. Musicians often make music together with the children and encourage them to improvise their own music in small groups. This musical interaction between the children and the Orchestra musicians is a practice which encourages better understanding and enjoyment of the musical works. Also concert general rehearsals, are attended by students, in the morning, during school time.
- Family concerts for students of all ages with their parents which usually take place on Saturday afternoons. The musical works are presented by a specialised music educator with musical interaction among children, parents and the Orchestra.