(narodnye konservatorii), cultural and educational organizations in Russia that were founded for the purpose of disseminating musical learning among broad segments of the population; they achieved their aim by providing systematic music instruction and by holding public concerts and lectures.
People’s conservatories arose as a result of the social upsurge that followed the Revolution of 1905–07. Progressive musical figures took part in their organization. The first such conservatories opened in Moscow (1906), and St. Petersburg (1908). Government and other office workers constituted the majority of those frequenting the Moscow and St. Petersburg people’s conservatories. In other cities, people’s conservatories organized mainly concerts and lectures.
During the first years of Soviet power, people’s conservatories were opened in many cities (Vitebsk, Tashkent, Yaroslavl). Soon, as a result of the reorganization of musical instruction, they were transformed into state musical education institutions, which included special schools.