In Germany, there are independent extracurricular institutions and offers of cultural (youth) education (e.g. music schools, youth art schools, interdisciplinary cultural workshops, media centres), which are partly publicly funded, partly privately or with mixed funding. These out-of-school cultural education and cultural pedagogy programmes are gaining in importance and increasing in quality and scope. New concepts and institutions, which increasingly combine classical cultural education with the use of new media, have been established primarily by non-governmental institutions with the support of the public sector. The promotion of cultural education for children and young people has received a significant boost since this task was enshrined in § 11 of the Child and Youth Services Act (1991).
The Federal Association for Cultural Child and Youth Education (Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung BKJ e. V.) is the umbrella organisation for cultural education in Germany. More than 50 nationwide specialist organisations and state associations have joined together in the BKJ. Various umbrella and professional associations exist in Germany for the various institutions: the Association of German Music Schools with its 16 federal state associations is the municipal professional and sponsoring association of the approximately 930 public music schools in Germany; and 340 independent music schools have joined together in the Federal Association of Independent Music Schools. The Federal Association of Youth Art Schools and Cultural Pedagogical Institutions (bjke) has represented 400 youth art schools and cultural educational institutions nationwide since 1983 through its regional working groups and regional associations.
Statistical data are available for the music schools and adult education centres. In 2017, 1.5 million pupils were taught at 930 public music schools in Germany. The majority (85 %) of them were under 19 years of age at that time. In relation to the population of the same age, the proportion of students at public music schools up to 19 years of age was 8.6% nationwide. In its annual statistics for 2016, the Federal Association of Independent Music Schools assumes a projected 158,000 music students at 340 member schools. At 883 out of 895 adult education centres in Germany, a total of 830,000 course bookings in the programme area Culture and Design were counted for the year 2017. This corresponds to 12.9 % of all course bookings.