In Serbia, only music education was systematically developed along specific educational lines, starting with Elementary Music Schools (only in half of Serbian municipalities), Secondary Music Schools (in big cities) and Schools of Higher Musical Education (University of Arts in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš). Four ballet schools, at secondary level, are located in Belgrade, Pančevo and in Novi Sad. There are also several specialised secondary schools for design and traditional crafts (Belgrade, Šabac, Niš), and numerous programmes related to arts and culture in different secondary technical schools (such as conservation of cultural heritage, textile design, wood carving, etc.).
There are four levels of music education: preparatory music school (music kindergarten and preparatory class); elementary music school; secondary music school; and a higher music education (faculty, academy, university). There is a special secondary music school for talents in Cuprija that is financed by the Ministry of Education.
All music and ballet schools (in total 76) are members of The Association of Music and Ballet Schools of Serbia which is a member of the European Music School Union. Primary music schools represent 47.37% of the Association’s members, while secondary music schools represent 46.05% of the membership. The number of ballet schools (4) represents 5.26%, while the school for talents (1) makes 1.32% of membership.
Art education, outside of the school curriculum, is left up to municipal cultural institutions (creative centres for youth and children, houses of culture), NGOs or individual artists. They are actively proposing courses, workshops, and events etc., mostly paid by the children and parents themselves (sometimes those programmes, especially for children with handicaps, are financed through public calls). Most state art institutions do not have an arts education policy or department. In autumn 2002, The International Council of Museums (ICOM) organised a working group of museum educators to start working on project proposals to raise money for such programmes. Thus, numerous museums have developed workshops for children and different creative activities. The Gallery of Matica srpska in Novi Sad, the Museum of contemporary art in Belgrade and the Museum of Yugoslavia have regular and sporadic programmes in this respect (last winter, the children could visit the Museum of contemporary art for free with their own artwork and an exhibition of these works was held in the museum later).
Within the system of cultural institutions, there is a network of children theatres and youth cultural centres, inherited from the socialist period (e.g. Youth Theatre from Novi Sad, “Boško Buha Theatre from Belgrade, Children’s theatre from Subotica, etc.). Today they are making an effort to adapt their work, considering new forms and practices. Most of the theatres for children are members of ASSITEJ Serbia (together with NGOs, ASSITEJ has more than 50 members).