Why music matters: Helping students find their musical path in Prague

Having fun is an integral part of learning at this music and art school where all students can showcase their talent, even if they're beginners.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 25.08.2021 14:29:00 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Founded in 1998, The International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague (ISMFA) has helped over 10,000 students to date (both children and adults) discover their musical passion in all instruments across a wide variety of genres.

While the Covid pandemic posed a number of challenges to an institution that relies on the nuances of in-person learning, its inventive staff successfully transitioned to the online environment for lessons and concerts, even testing an app that allows students to more effectively communicate with teachers.

The school is currently open and enrolling for autumn with a full roster of online and in-person music lessons (including percussion instruments, harp, cembalo, electric guitar, and organ among others) as well as instruction in dance and visual art for the youngest ballerinas to older virtuosos.

Though its class offer is expansive, the ISMFA is best known for its music curriculum, taught by graduates of European universities and music academics who are themselves often active performers. Students can study the more traditional violin, piano, or guitar, or opt for flute, saxophone, and even accordion. Singing classes are also available.

Our basic aim is to help children and students discover the beauty and mysteries of music and art, nurture one’s own relationship to it and develop creativity," say Andrea Vlachová, MgA., Ph.D., director of ISMFA.

Instead of using a one-fits-all model for teaching music, ISMFA focuses on the student’s skills and strengths, nurturing their natural talent in a playful way that boosts their self-confidence along the way. Its teachers are trained to help both children who want to play just for fun as well as those preparing for a professional career.

Vlachová adds that no matter what the instrument or genre, ISMFA adheres to a singular mission of giving students a chance to learn music and fine arts in a positive and creative environment that nurtures both students who would like to learn at their own pace or those seeking an ABRSM program (international curriculum with internationally recognized certificate) who aspire to more skilled playing.

The school offers group lessons for children who want to play an instrument with their friends, but also specializes in individual lessons making it the only accredited music school in Prague to offer home tutoring. 

In this unique private setting, students get a chance to work one-on-one with a supportive teacher in a dynamic learning environment that’s always fun and encouraging. ISMFA offers lessons in Czech, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and other languages.

During the pandemic, ISMFA transitioned to teaching almost all of its subjects (musical instruments, dance, visual arts, music theory) online and even organized a number of virtual concerts. It will continue to teach online courses in a number of areas including music theory and graphic design.

Our teachers have created an excellent online teaching system in these subjects and we are very happy about that," says Vlachová.

The school is also involved in the testing of the mobile application REPEATO, which allows students to be in touch with their teachers between lessons. “They can very easily exchange recordings, comments and homework, making the whole teaching process a lot more effective,” she says.

In addition, ISMFA also offers a wide range of dance lessons in styles that vary from classical ballet and jazz to break, hip hop and street dance, as well as visual arts lessons, including painting and drawing, textile dying, design, watercolor, and sculpture.

Classes are available for children as young as three, so they can start developing a strong musical foundation during the years most critical to brain development.    

At ISMFA, every student also gets a chance to showcase their talent via recitals and performances, even if they're complete beginners.

“We put together several types of concerts throughout the year,” says Vlachová. “Family concerts for students who would like to share their music in a more intimate concert room, only with their families and friends, and open public concerts for students who would like to show a wider audience what they have learned.”

She adds that the school's best students get a chance to perform with the prestigious orchestra PKF Prague Philarmonica in an exclusive concerts series.

In addition, the school gives both beginners and advanced students the chance to perform alongside professional musicians through unique JAZZ&ROCK SESSIONS (small, very informal events where students perform with professional musicians), as well as classical music performances with professional musicians in chamber groups. 

Vlachová believes that high-quality music education matters now more than ever and has the transformative power to impact lives regardless of a child's age or ability level.

"Our classes are designed to captivate students’ imagination, helping them develop a positive relationship with art as an integral part of their life," she says.

This article was written in association with ISMFA - The International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague. To read more about our partner content policies see here.

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