Yared School of Music

Overview and Establishment

Music is an important aspect of life and culture. It is a significant means of expressing and interpreting human experience, which involves the whole person: physical, mental, spiritual and social. Music education is one of the many means, which human beings have created, for building a society where the harmonious blending of the physical, spiritual and mental makes all members of the society equal. However, this demands the conscious learning of a wide range of materials and skills which cannot be acquired by the individual in the normal process of enculturation.

The first higher institution of music in Ethiopia was founded in 1954 by the then Ministry of Education & Fine Arts as a full-fledged state-owned learning center for music training in the country. Its former name, the National School of Music was officially changed to Yared School of Music in 1969. The school was administered by different government bodies until 1999, when Addis Ababa University took over the administration, and its program was upgraded to a Bachelor of Arts degree level.

Despite the socio-economic and cultural situation Ethiopia had been through in the past decades, the YSM has registered a significant progress in terms of accomplishing its goals through training young music professionals, music teachers, researchers, performers who, through their talent, impacted the cultural, intellectual, and socio-economic life of their society both locally and on international arts forums.

Now-a-days higher institutions of different regional states of Ethiopia are opening music departments to meet the goal of the national demand of enhancing quality music education in higher learning institutions of Ethiopia. The ultimate goal of the music departments is to increase the number of skilled professionals that meet the needs of the country in the area of music and related trades. The School has exerted maximum efforts to apply state-of-the art musical instruments, along with the employment of highly skilled teachers. Today, a large number of graduates of music work in government and private cultural centers and educational institutions as music performers, arrangers, composers, teachers and researchers and are contributing a lot to the development of Ethiopian music.

The national demand of enhancing quality education in higher learning institutions of Ethiopia called for revisiting the existing curriculum in order to shape it for the purpose o producing competent citizens. Among the various efforts of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to provide quality education, the modularization of curricula in Ethiopian higher leaning institutions has been the prime concern. As a result, it was officially declared that all higher education institutions in Ethiopia were required to develop a competence based modular curricula for all programs. Thus, a thorough revision of the existing curriculum was made and a nationally harmonized modular curriculum was put in place by a team of music department professionals drawn from Addis Ababa and Wollo Universities in August 2013.