Israel National Overview

Updated in November 2016 by Yinam Leef, President and Professor of Composition at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

Overview of Higher Music Education System

The professional musical training on academic level in Israel takes place at the two music academies: The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD) and the Buchman-Mehta School of Music of Tel Aviv University. Both institutions are state supported. In addition, three universities have musicology departments- The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University and Haifa University.
The music academies were founded in the 1930’s by musicians who fled from Europe. The curriculum and methodologies are based upon the best European traditions. The academic institutions are under the budgetary and regulatory responsibility of Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE), an independent entity within the Ministry of Education.

Total number of institutions
2 music academies and 3 departments of musicology.
Total number of music students
Appx. 1100 in both academies (800 in Jerusalem, 300 in Tel Aviv)
Higher Music Education is for 65% funded through the government, and with 20% coming from tuition fees and 15% private funding.
Curriculum and programs are determined by each institution and approved by the Council for Higher Education. Within the curriculum, the major is taught individually (instrument/ voice/ composition). The curriculum includes strong emphasis on skills and theory and choice of electives.
Genres At the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance: classical, multi-disciplinary, jazz, classical Arabic. At Tel Aviv: classical only.
2-cycle system
1st cycle: 4 years (Bachelor)
2nd cycle: 2 years (Master M.Mus)
Bachelor – leads to the title in music or in education, B.Mus or B.Ed.Mus.
Master – lead to Master in music M.Mus
Entry requirements 1st cycle
Entry examination is in major instrument/voice. Additionally there are skills and theory placement exams.
Entry requirements 2nd cycle
Successful completion of 1st cycle and an entry examination in major instrument/voice/conducting or portfolio of works in composition.
% of students who continue with 2nd cycle approximately 10%
3rd cycle
Musicology departments offer Ph.D. programs. The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance collaborates with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in submitting to the CHE a new program for a Ph.D. in Composition. There are no 3rd cycle degrees available yet which include Artistic Research.
Credit point system
There is a numerical grading system, with a point credit system.
JAMD is partner to several bi-lateral cooperation agreements, projects, exchange of students and faculty. An average yearly presence of 5-6% international students.
Quality assurance
Quality Assurance is carried out periodically by the CHE.
No information available
Academic Year
Mid-October to mid-June.
Overview of the Pre-College Music Education System
No information available yet.

Overview of Music Teacher Education System

Music teacher education in Israel is vibrant and varied. Students can choose to study at a teacher training seminary where the emphasis will be on teaching skills, or academy (The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance) where there is a greater emphasis of professional musical training or University musicology department. This variety enables students to choose the institution most suitable to their needs and interests, Although the curriculum of all the institutions focuses on both pedagogic and musical skills, the actual curriculum varies from institution to institution. In order to be granted the right to award teaching degrees, the curriculum has to be approved by the Ministry of Education and the Council for Higher Education.

Instrumental/Vocal Music Teacher Education

Music teachers in Israel receive their education at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance or either at a teacher training seminary, or university. They can receive either a Bachelor of Music Education degree, B. Ed. Mus. or a B. Mus, or B.A degree with a teaching certificate; the latter is authorized by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the various institutions of higher education.
Structure and Curriculum
Students study for four years for the undergraduate degree. There are two semesters each year- with the majority of courses being full year courses. The composition of the curriculum varies from institution to institution. One of the main differences is the degree to which professional musical development, versus pedagogical learning is emphasised: At the Jerusalem Academy of Music equal emphasis is placed on the importance of musical and pedagogic competence in a music teacher. All programs include student teaching.
Students studying for the B.Ed.Mus. degree or teaching certificate may major in either classical music , jazz, popular music or Arabic music.
Graduates find work in schools, kindergartens, municipal conservatories, enrichment programs and special projects run by the Ministry of Education. Degrees are recognized by the Ministry of Education. Though there is much variety between the level of musical and pedagogical skills of graduates of different institutions, in general, the level of competence of beginning teachers is satisfactory.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
There is a mandatory system of mentoring during the first year of teaching: graduates are assigned an on-site mentor as well as attending meetings (56 hours during the course of the year).
There are also in-service courses that teachers need to take in order to advance. Several institutions offer an advanced degree, ( M.Ed or M. Mus.) in music education.

Education for Music Teacher in General Education (primary and secondary school)

There is no information available yet.