A few years ago, the number of hours of choice in comprehensive school decreased from 382 to 177. Now the government proposes that the student's choice be completely removed and that the hours are instead distributed primarily to social studies and science subjects.

According to the proposal, the subject of music will receive an additional 10 hours, but several actors, including the Swedish Choral Association and the Royal College of Music, believe that it cannot compensate for what many students lose when the opportunity to choose music based on the student's choice disappears.

"This will have a major impact on the students' opportunities to sing in a choir at school, for example. Schools today have such tight finances that they find it difficult to add for voluntary activities or extended timetables," says Annika Falthin, senior lecturer in music education at the Royal College of Music.

Want to give more time to other subjects

The government's argument for removing the student's choice is to "free up teaching time for subjects that need more teaching time and thus create better conditions for all students to develop as far as possible towards the goals of the education".

A review carried out by the Swedish National Agency for Education also shows that the quality of the student's choice varies and that there are doubts about how efficiently the time is used.

Hoping for exceptions

One of the municipalities that has commented on the proposal is the City of Stockholm, which is positive but sees a challenge for the schools that have profile and cutting-edge education. They therefore want it to be possible to make exceptions for this type of education.

The amendments are proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2024 and will be applied in education from the autumn semester 2024.

Hear in the video above how choir leader Helena Cronholm sees the future of choral singing in Sweden and what the children who participate in the performance think about singing in a choir.