The national curricula establish the standard for basic and general secondary education. The curricula are implemented in all basic and upper secondary schools of Estonia, regardless of the schools’ legal status, unless otherwise stipulated by the law. The curricula and requirements are set by the regulations of the Government.
The subject field of art subjects comprises visual art and music, compulsory at all stages of basic education. Visual art and music are taught from the 1st to 9th grade. The design of required learning outcomes and contents in the subjects of the art field is based on the following division of weekly lessons between study stages and subjects:
- 1st stage (1st-3rd grade) of study: visual art 4,5 lessons and music 6 lessons;
- 2nd stage (4th-6th grade) of study: visual art 3 lessons and music 4 lessons;
- 3rd stage (7th-9th grade) of study: visual art 3 lessons and music 3 lessons.
The national curriculum for upper secondary schools (10th-12th grade) states compulsory subjects in the fields music and visual art. The compulsory courses by subject are the following:
- Visual art – 2 courses: “Visual art and art history” and “Art and visual culture in the 20th and 21st centuries”; and
- Music – 3 courses: “Development of modern musical expression”, “Nationality in music”, “Music of the 20th and 21st centuries”.
All three courses include modules of “Musical self-expression: singing, instrument playing, original creation”.