History of the Academy

Beginnings of the Two-Year and Four-Year Music Education in Istria

Following the reform of teacher education schools in the Socialist Republic of Croatia in the early 1960s, that required all primary school teachers to have two-year degrees, Viktor Car Emin School of Teacher Education in Pula was succeeded by the Teacher Training College. Later, in 1965/66, the first generation of students enrolled into the two-year study programme of music education at the above-stated college. Since 1969/1970, teaching was based on the curriculum that was common for all teacher training colleges in the Socialist Republic of Croatia. 

As it is stated in the 1969 Curriculum under goals and tasks ‘the Chair of Music should model future music teachers and leaders of amateurish music societies. So, students need: 

  • to acquire the basic insights into music, and to acquire the techniques of singing from the sheet and writing melody;
  • to auditatively, theoretically and practically master the technique of part-singing to be able to understand the structure of music piece and to independently apply it in practice;
  • to learn how to read the rhythm of music, technique of beating the time and interpretation, as well as to learn how to lead singing choirs/vocal-instrumental ensembles (groups);
  • to become familiar with the characteristics of epochs in the continuous history of music and their representatives, and to recognize them;
  • to study the basic rules and forms of the architectonics of music piece;
  • to use in practice the knowledge of basic rules according to which a music piece is created;
  • to acquire the competence of creating harmonic accompaniment without previous preparations, and to learn about the possibilities of free harmonic improvisation;
  • to acquire the skill of scoring/arranging compositions for different performing groups;
  • to get familiar with pieces from all music epochs in practice, through performing vocal/vocal-instrumental music;
  • to acquire the technique required for performing piano compositions from different music epochs, paying special attention to their functionality in the process of primary school teaching;
  • to learn enough how to play the guitar to be able to accompany simple songs for children;
  • to learn how to play vocal and less demanding instrumental, that is, vocal-instrumental scores;
  • to learn about music education principles and working techniques to be able to conduct practical activities in music education with success’.

Upon completion of the study, students received the following title: nastavnik muzičkog odgoja (music teacher in upper primary school grades).

Study of Music Education

Due to the further development and advancement of schooling and life, the Teacher Training College in Pula, just like other education institutions in the Socialist Republic of Croatia, found itself in a new reform of education in the school year of 1977/1978. It was not possible for teacher training colleges to function anymore like two-year schools, because all study groups they included (apart from preschool education and primary education in lower grades) were required to receive four-year degrees. Thus, a series of social and professional activities started to enable music teachers (some other study groups were also considered) to continue their education in Pula and solve the problem. 

The process of turning two-year into four-year teacher education institutions in the region of Istria and Primorje (Rijeka municipality group) led to the foundation of the Faculty of Pedagogy in Rijeka (the status of work organization) with two basic organizations of associated labour: Research and Teaching Activity in Rijeka, and Teaching Activity in Pula.

Due to considerable and unselfish engagement of Professor Zvonimir Ivančir, under the auspices of the Faculty of Pedagogy in Rijeka, and with the professional-mentorship help of the Academy of Music in Zagreb, the four-year study of Music Education began in the school year of 1979/1980. Pula, therefore, became the second centre (Split was the first one) with such a four-year study programme outside Zagreb. The Department of Music Education in Pula was the only one that organized and conducted part-time studies in Croatia. This practice lasted till 2005 (despite some interruptions), when teaching was based on the Bologna process for the first time.

Upon completion of the study, students received the following title: profesor glazbenog odgoja (music education teacher).

Study of Music Culture 

The Study of Music Education was based on 8th Department Curriculum of the Academy of Music in Zagreb till 1996, when the relevant Croatian authorities approved the Curriculum of the Study of Music Culture at the Faculty of Pedagogy in Pula, a constituent of the University in Rijeka at that time. 

Thus, it can be concluded that the higher education institution in Pula developed quickly; after being the basic organization of associated labour - Teaching Activity (Faculty of Pedagogy in Rijeka), it got the status of Research and Teaching Activity organization to become soon independent as the Faculty of Pedagogy in Pula, that is, one of the constituents of the University in Rijeka. The study of Music Culture, which started at the Faculty of Pedagogy – later changed its name into the Faculty of Philosophy, continued its activity without disturbances as one of the departments of the Faculty of Philosophy in Pula. 

‘Teacher of music culture can acquire, during his/her study, music education enough to teach music in primary schools, comprehensive schools (and any other type of non-music school with this subject in its curriculum), and for teaching solfeggio in primary music schools. His/her education enables him/her to successfully lead amateurish choirs and instrumental groups, as well as to carry out other music activities. He/she can be also active as a music associate on different occasions that are not only of music type (newspapers, radio, TV, and alike)’. (1996 Curriculum). 

Upon completion of the study, students received the following title: profesor glazbene kulture (music culture teacher).

Study of Classical Accordion 

Primarily due to great enthusiasm and tireless work of the pedagogue, conductor and score-writer Stanko Mihovilović, Pula has been promoted as one of the most important centres of the activities related to the development of accordion and its popularization. It is, therefore, easy to understand why the initiative and desire for improving the education of accordion players began in Pula, leading to a new study programme at the Faculty of Pedagogy (as it was called then) in 1993. It was the study of classical accordion, of course.

Department of Music

The reform of higher education in the Republic of Croatia resulted in the new curriculum including the undergraduate and graduate studies of Music Education/Pedagogy and Classical Accordion on the Bologna principles; the Faculty of Philosophy in Pula, the University in Rijeka, was accredited by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport in 2005 for conducting the above-stated programmes. 

However, there was a new organizational change one year later (2006), when the Juraj Dobrila University in Pula was established with the Department of Music as one of its constituents, having two sub-departments: Sub-department of Classical Accordion and Sub-department of Music Education/Pedagogy. 

In the academic year of 2014/2015, the first generation of students enrolled into the new, third Department of Solo Singing.

Academy of Music in Pula

Based on the Decision by the Senate of the JD University in Pula on 30th September 2014, the Department of Music changed its name into the Academy of Music in Pula. 

Teachers who taught at the Department of Music Culture 

Full-time teachers:

  • Nikola Debelić
  • Vera Hajdarović
  • Zvonimir Ivančir
  • Vesela Opalić  
  • Nevio Prenc
  • Nataša Leverić-Špoljarić
  • Mirna Marić
  • Vitalij Muntjan
  • Dušan Nožica
  • Ivan Žan  

Part-time teachers (Department of Music Education/Pedagogy, Department of Music Culture and Department of Classical Accordion):

  • Radmila Bikić Magdić
  • Vladimir Boljunčić 
  • Igor Gjadrov
  • Davorin Hauptfeld
  • Miroslav Homen
  • Nello Milotti
  • Stanko Mihovilić
  • Dušan Prašelj
  • Čedna Osip
  • Nadia Pikunić
  • Neven Radaković
  • Eva Sedak
  • Margareta Togunjac
  • Oriana Vozila
  • Slavko Zlatić