The doctoral dissertation deals with the area of arts education in the field of music and the content is divided into eight chapters and subchapters which discuss the theoretical foundations of arts and cultural education, the placement of music in the Slovenian education system, the educational activity of Slovenian and selected foreign musical institutions and the influence of the central Slovenian musical institutions on the cultural development and orientation of the school population.
Arts education plays an important role in improving the quality of education, raising the level of cultural awareness, promoting creativity in children and young people as well as in the development of each individual`s potentials and the development of society as a whole. Several national and international documents and studies highlight the importance of arts and cultural education and underline the need for continued systematic development of the field. In Slovenia children and young people have several possibilities to participate in music activities within the arts and cultural education that takes place both in elementary schools, music schools and some secondary schools as well as in cultural institutions. A competent teacher plays a crucial role in music education since in addition to curriculum planning he or she should also know the possibilities of cross-curricular integration and the possibility of placing the music into the wider school space within the educational plan of the school, extracurricular activities, optional subjects, cultural days, creative leisure activities, projects and competitions, and thus repeatedly establish partnership links with art institutions and artists.
Artistic programs of the central Slovenian musical institutions include a number of programs aimed at school aged population which make it possible for children and young people to come into contact with musical arts and take care of the education of future generations of listeners. In the first half of the 20th century Glasbena matica was the central Slovenian music society with its Orchestral Society that first began to stage concerts with commentary for young listeners. In the sixties of the 20th century the role of the central Slovenian music society was taken over by Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia and Jeunesses Musicales Ljubljana. The societies in question even today systematically foster concert offers for young listeners, moreover, they give ground to talented young musicians (often a large part of the concert) who thus receive important concert experience. The activity of selected foreign symphony orchestras in addition to the concerts for young audiences and young musicians includes also educational programs for families, teachers and the general public allowing the orchestras to connect with the widest circle of listeners. The survey covers five Slovenian musical institutions, namely the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of RTV Slovenia, the Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Slovenian National Theatre Maribor and Cankarjev dom. In addition, it includes foreign symphony orchestras, which were selected on the basis of excellence, international recognition, and extremely well-developed educational activities. The selected foreign orchestras are: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra. The information below is a cross-section of educational activities of selected domestic and foreign orchestras and Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia and Ljubljana concert season 2013/2014. In the nineties of the 20th century most countries began to develop a concert pedagogy which combined the concerts of symphonic orchestras with modern pedagogical approaches in order to pass the message in understandable way to the listeners. In Slovenia there is no noticeable development of such activities, only a consistent process of creating music and educational programs which are performed by the central Slovenian music institutions in collaboration with Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia and Jeunesses Musicales Ljubljana.
Artistic programs of the central Slovenian music institutions influence the cultural development of school population and guide children and young people towards artistic, quality music. There has been a noticeable influence of artistic programs of the central Slovenian musical institutions on the music wish of young listeners to continue attending concerts and opera performances, as expressed by about a quarter of young visitors of concerts and opera performances. It showed a positive impact of opera performances on young listeners since half of them admitted to being prejudiced against opera before visiting actual opera performances, which they eventually managed to overcome with a positive opera experience. Even 10 % of the students who attended the concert of the symphony orchestra improved their opinion about such concerts afterwards. For many young listeners arts programs that are organized for schools by the central Slovenian musical institutions represents their first encounter with musical arts and a vast majority has a positive concert experience. More than half of the pupils expressed their excitement about the programs as they felt that the concert events had enriched their lives.