French government to establish choirs in all schools and colleges

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France’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture have jointly announced a plan to establish choirs in all schools and colleges over the next two years.

As part of President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to make arts and cultural education a priority across the country, the two ministries have defined the following goals:

  • At Primary school
    – to revitalise the development of departmental choral charters, which bring together local authorities, DRACs (Regional Cultural Affairs Directorates) and DASENs (Academic Directors of National Education Services) around the same table and aim to fund choirs and finance training
    – to broadly develop partnerships between schools and local cultural structures
    – to increase the number of hours taught by intervening musicians thanks to funding from the Ministry of Culture
    – to offer a platform for identifying and linking schools and cultural structures to facilitate partnerships
  • At college
    – to create a new optional teaching of two hours per week in 7,000 colleges from September 2018 with 20% of time spent working on a repertoire programme (hymns, classical repertoire and French songs) and 80% spent on artistic projects
  • In vocational high schools
    – to work with local authorities to develop choirs in vocational schools where there is no EAC (Ecole d’Art et de Culture)
    – to encourage partnerships so that, in the absence of music teachers, choir teaching will be done with local resources (intervening musicians, professional musicians) in partnership with conservatoires or other cultural structures
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