The fact that Austrian schools are suffering from a teacher shortage is well known, but this shortage takes on different forms according to the region and subject in question. All over eastern Austria (including, ironically, the “world music capital” of Vienna), qualified music teachers are in especially short supply for every type of secondary school.
So now, as a targeted countermeasure, a “Lateral-Entry Master’s Degree Programme in Music Education”, is being developed that is unique Austria-wide. This two-year course of studies is intended to make qualification as secondary school teachers attainable for professionals working in various occupations who have prior musical and artistic training; graduates will be eligible for positions at new secondary schools (neue Mittelschule/NMS), secondary academic schools (Gymnasium/AHS), and technical and vocational schools (berufsbildende Schule/BHS). The concept here is intended to ensure professional training that is of the best possible quality and in conformance with current teacher training requirements while also providing schools with teachers of a new type, individuals who can breathe fresh air into the school system by virtue of their individual specialities and prior occupational experience.
This lateral-entry programme, initiated on the basis of partial funding by the Hochschulraum-Strukturmittelfonds (a fund for university infrastructure) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy (BMWFW), is being implemented on the basis of a cooperative arrangement between the mdw and the three teacher’s colleges in Austria’s eastern region: PH Wien, PH Niederösterreich, and KPH Wien/Krems. This marks the beginning of a long-term working relationship between these four institutions in which artistic as well as subject-specific and education science-related teaching competencies are to be brought together to the benefit of Austrian children’s and adolescents’ cultural and musical education.
The admission exams for the first group of students took place in November 2017, and the first of three planned classes will commence study in March 2018.
Complete information on this new lateral-entry programme is available at www.quereinstieg-musik.at. The relevant point of contact at the mdw is the newly established Koordinationszentrum Lehramt Musik [Music Teaching Degree Coordination Centre], which will oversee the organisational and content-related networking of the participating institutions and facilities (www.mdw.ac.at/koordinationszentrum-lehramt).