The European Music School Union (EMU) is the European umbrella organisation of national music school associations in Europe. The EMU is a non-governmental and a non-profit organisation. The EMU represents a supranational platform comprised of member associations from various countries. These countries need not be members of the European Union (EU).
At present, national music school associations from 24 European countries are members of the EMU. Thus, the EMU represents more than:
- 6.000 Music schools
- 150.000 Teaching staff
- 4.000.000 Pupils/students
- 1.500.000.000 euro turnover
The EMU has achieved the status of councillor within the European Council (EC).
The EMU is a member of the European Music Council (EMC) and the International Music Council (IMC).
EMU’s organization comprises: the General Assembly, the Presidium and the General Secretariat, which is presently situated in Utrecht/NL.
National member associations of the EMU are officially acknowledged to work for the public interest and, as a rule, they receive public funding. Their task is to secure nation-wide standards and to develop infrastructures for the work of their member music schools, such as: curricular development, organisational assistance and further trainings. Some countries have laid down legislation related to music schools. Guidelines for membership to the EMU are set out in the EMU’s Statutes.
Music Schools in Europe are institutions specially devoted to musical education and chiefly geared towards the practical aspects of music-making. Although the term “music school” is common in nearly all European countries, there are no binding international requirements that a music school has to fulfil.
Membership of one of the national music school associations affiliated to the EMU, however, entails certain conditions, such as: public responsibility and public funding, quality standards in structure and curricula, a wide range of subjects, qualification of teaching staff, public performances and so on.
Music schools are generally attended by children and youngsters but, as a rule, are also open to adults up to senior age. Music schools enable people to participate in music making on every level up to preparation for professional music studies.
A “music school” in Europe is a clearly defined institution, which forms an integral part of the European educational system. Many music schools co-operate closely with regular schools.