The JVLMA is competent in training professional music teachers, whose future role will be to prepare knowledgeable, erudite and intelligent music performers and audiences. The academic staff of the department combines creative personalities whose artistic and scientific achievements have been appreciated both in Latvia and far beyond its borders.
During bachelor's and master's studies, exceptional knowledge can be drawn from the best Latvian and foreign teachers, experience gained in practical activities in music lessons and with high-quality school choirs, and applications may be made for ERASMUS exchange programmes, for studies in major European music universities.
The Department of Music Teachers organises music competitions, the Jāzeps Vītols Children and Youth Choir and Vocal Group Competition “Let it sound!”, a variety of forums for students, etc., organised by the teaching staff in collaboration with the students.
In 1961, the Latvian State Conservatory of Jāzeps Vītols (today the Jāzeps Vitols Latvian Music Academy) opened the music pedagogy section and established the pedagogy Department of Music.
The first director of the Department of Music, and its Chair, between 1961 and 1963 was the musicologist Dr habil.art. Prof. Ludwig Kārkliņš. From 1963 to 1969, Prof. Imants Cepītis, was head of the department and continued to improve the content of the music teacher's curriculum.
Prof. Paul Kvelde led the department and division from 1969 to 1985. Under the leadership of Emerit. Prof. Janis Zirnis, the culture of choir music flourished between 1985 and 1988, and the new head of the department taught students how to work with a choir, raising the self-esteem of students.
Under the leadership of Mag. Paed.Doc. Laima Lasmane, from 1988 to 1991, the teaching staff of the Division of Music Teaching, under the leadership of the rector at the time, Imants Kokars, developed an experimental model of the national musical teaching programme. As part of the experiment, in cooperation with the rhythm specialists of the Poznan Academy of Music and JVLMA docent Lija Jērcums, a rhythm teaching programme for general education schools and a course of rhythm studies for students in the Department of Music Teachers of the JVLMA was developed.
Mag. art. Asoc.Prof. Arvids Platpers led the department from 1991 to 2005. During this period, the teaching plans of the Academy of Music changed; they were enhanced by new courses of study: improvisation, learning of the musical instruments (including the percussion, recorder, kokle playing), Karl Orf's methodology. Methodical work by teachers and students was implemented. Arvids Platpers leads the female choir of music teachers.
Dr. Art. Prof. Ilma Grauzdiņa led the department from 2005 to 2008. From 2010 to 2014, Dr paed. doc.Liene Batna took over the duties of the Head of the Department. A new tradition emerged in the music academy – since 2009, to organise the Jāzeps Vītols Children and Youth Choirs and Vocal Group Competition “Let it sound” every other year.
Since 2014, the department has been led by Dr. paed. Liene Batņa.
The founder of the Academy, composer and first rector, Jāzeps Vītols, is also the founder of the JVLMA School of Composition. His students – Jānis Ivanovs, Ādolfs Skulte, Valentīns Utkins – in turn have taught such professors of composition as Ģederts Ramans, Romualds Kalsons, Pauls Dambis, Pēteris Plakidis and Juris Karlsons. The current department lecturers have studied under the leadership of these composers and educators, thereby highlighting the features of the Latvian School of Composition, which is characterised by extensive stylistic and technological diversity.
Upon successful graduation of a Bachelor’s study programme a Professional Bachelor's degree in Music, Choreography or Musical Pedagogy (in programmes General Education Music Teacher, Professional Music Subject Teacher) is conferred upon a student, together with the fifth level professional qualification according to the specialisation (pianist, violinist, choral conductor, composer, musicologist, choreographer etc.).
The integral curriculum of the Bachelor's studies, which in addition to academic and professional training courses also include the courses required for teaching, provides all graduates the corresponding pedagogical qualification (teacher of piano playing, violin playing, choral conducting, music theory, dance, etc.). Considering the requirements of today's labour market, a number of study programmes allow students the option to obtain the right to work in a music school as a teacher of a different subject (to teach piano playing, music theory, a related wind instrument, etc.) as an elective course.
Upon completion of a Professional Master's degree programme a graduate is granted a Professional Master's degree in Music or Choreography. Upon successful graduation from the Academic Master's degree programme, a Master of Arts degree in Humanities is conferred.
At the end of academic doctorate studies, students receive a statement regarding the acquisition of a doctorate study programme and, after successfully defending the promotional work, obtains a doctoral diploma and a degree of Doctor of Arts (Dr. Art.).