Music education in Waldorf schools

In Stuttgart in September 1919 the first Waldorf School opened its gates. Following the interest of the workers and employees of the cigaret factory Waldorf-Astoria in this town their director Emil Molt asked his friend Rudolf Steiner to found a school for the children of the factory workers. Not at last through his occupation with Anthroposophy, founded by Rudolf Steiner he had some social ideas and ideals, which were rather unusual for his time. So he was especially “concerned, that the workers and employees of the plant entrusted to him, were considered and supported as human beings. Classes to support the workers belonged naturally to the efforts of the house as did a high class periodical for the factory, childcare and the like – free social treats, which at these days were rather rarily seen.” Next to the concern, that also children of co-workers should enjoy the offer in an education, which was far exceeding the minimal care, he wished with his heart, – and of course Rudolf Steiner as well – to found a completely new model of a school, which, in realisation of the pedagogical intentions the anthroposophical constitution should enable to teach more out of the nature of the child and of the whole human being, more than wath was possible in the mainstream curriculum in the character of these days.

During the weeks before the inauguration of the school and the in-service-training of the college of the following six years – Steiner died in 1925 – he was able to develop a general curriculum for all grades and subjects, in cooperation with the teachers of the first Waldorf school. The initial point to this work were lectures and classes, where Steiner gave the anthropological principles on the background of the anthroposophical human constitution along with indications for the commencement of the pedagogical work. Inside the Waldorf schools were further efforts to work out questions of the content of the different subjects and the concrete shape of teaching until the closing down of the school in 1935-1938 during the time of National Socialism and the new start of the Waldorf movement in Gerany after 1945. In the last years especially it is more and more the tendency to find ways of dialogue with the public school and critically and openly to review the development of research inside the commun faculty of pedagogical science.