Music education

Music education. Until the 19th century, music education in Ukraine was conducted largely in an ecclesiastical setting, in a small number of higher educational institutions, and through private teaching. Of major importance were the singing schools at various monasteries and cathedral churches in the 15th to 17th centuries. The musical training given at these was extended by the training offered in brotherhood schools as well as at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy. Music education in Ukraine was expanded further in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first professional music school in Ukraine, the Hlukhiv Singing School, was established in 1738, although it actually functioned largely as a training center for musicians to be recruited into the imperial Russian service. Vocal and instrumental classes were taught at Kharkiv College from 1773, lectures in music theory took place at Kharkiv University from the time of its establishment in 1805, and music courses continued to be taught at the Kyivan academy after it was turned into a theological institute. Music was also taught by members of musicians' guilds, seminaries, teachers' seminaries, and music schools attached to serf, army, and municipal orchestras (most notably in Kyiv). Advanced music education was commonly obtained by travel abroad. Private music tuition, usually by foreign music teachers, was also widespread.

Civic music societies increasingly became concerned with music education during the late 19th century. The Russian Music Society (RMS), which had branches in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa, was particularly significant in this regard, although it functioned largely as an all-empire institution rather than one dedicated to specifically Ukrainian needs. The other most notable music associations of the period were centered in Kyiv and included the Amateur Choir Society (conducted by Mykola Lysenko in the 1870s–1890s), the choir of the Saint Sophia Cathedral, the Kyiv Society of Music Lovers, and the student choir of Kyiv University. The Boian music society also established branches in Kyiv and Poltava. The Lysenko Music and Drama School, established in 1904, operated as an institution primarily dedicated to developing Ukrainian music. Within the Russian Empire, however, the most advanced musical training was available at the Moscow and Saint Petersburg conservatories. This situation changed only in 1913, when the RMS music schools in Kyiv (see Kyiv Music School) and Odesa were converted into conservatories (see Kyiv Conservatory, Odesa Conservatory).

Music education increasingly became a state concern in Ukraine after 1917. The Lysenko Music and Drama School was combined with the Kyiv Conservatory in 1918 to become the Lysenko Music and Drama Institute (until it reverted to the Kyiv Conservatory in 1934); the Kharkiv Conservatory was established in 1917; and the Odesa Conservatory was maintained in various guises until it reverted to its original form in 1934. Music education was further expanded with the creation of seven-year elementary music schools, high schools specializing in music education, and the postsecondary Kharkiv Music Institute and Donetsk Musical Pedagogy Institute.

Music education in Western Ukraine underwent a separate development. Until the 20th century it was closely tied to churches and precentor schools. The most important of these was located in Peremyshl, with others situated in Lviv, Stanyslaviv, Uzhhorod, and Chernivtsi. A conservatory was located in Lviv (see Lviv Conservatory), but it existed as a Polish rather than a Ukrainian institution. The first Ukrainian music school was established in 1903 by the Union of Song and Music Societies and became in 1907 the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music. The school developed a network of branches in several Galician towns and was active until 1939. The Prosvita society was also active in music education by organizing courses for conductors. After the Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine, the Lysenko institute was replaced by the Lviv Conservatory.

Ukrainian music education outside Ukraine first took the form of courses offered in Prague at the Ukrainian Free University and the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute during the interwar years. A short-lived attempt to establish a Ukrainian conservatory in New York was made in 1924 by Mykhailo Haivoronsky and Roman Prydatkevych. Music courses were offered in Canada on an irregular basis through the ‘higher education courses’ for the training of cultural activists, sponsored by associations such as the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association and the Ukrainian National Federation. From 1953 to 1985 the Lysenko Music Institute, under the directorship of Ivan Kovaliv, was active in Toronto. The most developed organization for music education, however, remains the Ukrainian Music Institute of America, which was founded in 1952 and has branches in several American cities. In more recent times the Ukrainian Choral Federation of Canada and other music associations have begun sponsoring advanced workshops for music specialists.

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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