By Stella - Maria Daravinga (3rd grade)
Public Music Schools have recently been introduced in the Greek Educational system, in the past 10-12 years. Although there is a controversy about their efficiency and their real contribution to music studies, yet, as a student of such a school, I feel privileged to write a few things about them, and especially about the school I go to.
I am in the 3rd year of Junior Music High School of Serres, a small town in northern Greece. I have always wanted to be involved in music, since my early years. Of course, my choice of getting into the Music High School proved to be the right, if not the best one.
From the very beginning, I had the chance, first of all, to interact with people with the same interests. In a conventional High School, you do not have that chance. In addition, I have been quite favoured of having some of the best-qualified teachers, in my opinion, to help and guide me through this procedure.
Our school, the Music High School of Serres, in northern Greece, was established in 1994 – at the beginning, starting with the first grades of Junior High School, and little by little growing into a school of six (6) grades, of Junior and Senior High School. The first few years, it shared lodgings with another High School until 2000, when a brand new building was built.
The Music High School lies in the outskirts of our town and has a lot of facilities. There are about twenty classrooms, a library, a chemistry lab, a conference room, one outdoor and three indoor amphitheatres, a great number of classrooms for music courses, an indoor gym, as well as basketball and volleyball courts in the yard. Students come to school by bus, which is offered by the ministry and local municipality, from all around the prefecture. Lessons start at 8a.m. and finish at 2.30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Students are taught all the subjects of the National Curriculum that students in other conventional High Schools are taught, plus a great number of music lessons. So, together with mathematics, science, Ancient and Modern Greek, foreign languages and others, they are also taught theory of Music- both European and Byzantine/Traditional- History of Music, Harmony, Drama, Choir classes, as well as three musical instruments. They learn how to play the piano and tambouras- one European and one Traditional instrument- which are compulsory, plus an optional musical instrument of their choice. They can choose from a great range of instruments, such as violin, cello, clarinet, flute, trumpet, guitar, accordeon, bouzouki, harp, drums, to mention only few of them. What is really important is that each student is taught individually in classes of the musical instruments, and in groups of four or five in harmony classes.