Carmen Sylva” Art College is the only art public vocational high school in Prahova county. It is an educational institution providing primary, gymnasium and high-school education. 825 students aged between 6-18 study simultaneously general and vocational disciplines. While the first category includes ordinary subjects, taught in mass schools, the last one includes visual arts, instrumental and vocal music, architecture. Our school has 18 classes for primary and lower-secondary school level (from preparatory to 8th grade) and 12 classes for high-school students. While students from primary level study only music (especially violin and piano), from 5th to 8th grade they can choose either music (violin, piano, cello, viola, percussion, wind instruments) or visual arts classes. Starting with the 9th grade, they can choose music, visual arts or architecture classes.
The school is equipped with regular classrooms for general subjects (building A) and with special rooms for music and visual arts and architecture study (building B). Our students come from Ploiesti and its surroundings. In order to study at this high-school, students have to pass several selections, starting from early ages, e.g. before being enrolled in the preparatory class at age of 6. Every year, starting with second grade, they have to have good scores both at general subjects and especially in vocational subjects, such as instrument and musical theory for music classes and visual arts and architecture-related subjects for visual arts and architecture classes, respectively . At the end of 4th grade, they have to pass a selection exam in order to attend the gymnasium in our school in music or in visual arts classes. The competition is very hard and only the best remain. The next important exam is after lower-secondary level, at the end of 8th grade, when they have to pass the national exams. Starting with the 9th grade, students can attend music, visual arts or architecture classes. According to multiple prizes at regional, national and international competitions our students received, to their high performances at final national exams (maturity exam) or to the results on the labour field after graduation, this college is placed among the best of the county and the first among art educational institutions of Romania. We have students who were accepted to study at prestigiuos art and music universities from Romania (National Music University of Bucharest, Music University of Cluj, Visual Art University of Cluj and Bucharest, Music University of Brasov) and Europe (Salzburg, Vienna, Weimar, Haga).
There are about 700 students and 150 teachers. They all need a great determination and special skills and talent in order to perform at high standards. Though the students come from different social, geographical, ethnic, religious backgrounds, they all have to deal with the common goals of a complex education, to be interested in self-development and to work hard. The teachers show continuously interest and motivation in professional development and they are eager to share their expertise and to learn from other’s experience and good practice. As a consequence, European/ international cooperation is a “must” for both students and teachers of our school. Our students, guided by their teachers, participated in numerous and various regional, national and international art (drawing, picture) and musical contests. On these occasions they were awarded with important prizes. The list is too long to be presented here. Exhibitions of students’ works are also organised on these occasions.