[en] At the beginning of the 20th century, music schools in Luxembourg founded with the focal objective to form young musicians for amateur orchestras and choirs. Given that this was quiet a challenging goal, reality proved that it was difficult to assume. In 1998, after many years of discussion, the parliament of Luxembourg finally voted a law of music education. The aim was to offer an equal level of music education in every region of the country and to motivate more children to attend music courses. Politics facilitated unconsciously, but surely not unwillingly a renaissance of amateur music. But these obvious advantages were lessened by some serious problems. An important part of the students gave up and were disgusted by music practice.
In my paper I will describe, how the artistic performance level in amateur ensembles increased, but did not lead to more musicians. But this was not only due to music education, but also to new facilities in practicing music. I will describe, by presenting the statistics of the last few years, that the Luxembourgian system of music education has become elitist in the sense of being well adopted for talented students, but that it does not suit at all for average pupils, who want to make music just for leisure. Only a minor part of young people attend music schools, with an important number beginning musical training at the age of eight years or even earlier, but with a decreasing number completing their musical instruction. Nevertheless, general music education is offered for everybody in primary and secondary schools, i.e. one obligatory hour per week for every pupil from six to fourteen years. However, few students older than fourteen make use of a more specialised offer of music education in secondary schools. Most of the future music students, the elite, opt for this possibility.
Music education in Luxembourg is based on the francophone system of solfège, a method for future singers and professional musicians. It is also partially transferred to some instrumental disciplines. However, during the last two decades, in these countries – France and Belgium – solfège is replaced by a less rigorous and better-adapted method of musical training. My paper will also give an historical insight into the system of “solfège” and its didactics over the centuries.