What language are our musical terms in?

Making music - for oneself, in the family, in the general school, in music associations, in church and in various free groups - as an original place of musical education, the music school trains students of all ages and levels of ability. Making music on your own makes an excellent contribution to developing musical orientation and judgment. In connection with this, active listening to music, attending concerts or intellectual preoccupation with musical works can contribute to gaining knowledge and skills, and ultimately to educational success. The specificity and intrinsic value of music as an art discipline can be perfected in the aesthetic development and differentiation of the individual. At the same time, an educational process is promoted that contributes to a holistic understanding of the individual in the world and to positive personal development. On the basis of continuous training in the social bonding structure of the music school, in addition to musical abilities and skills, other competencies such as concentration and creative skills, creativity, communication skills, social skills and teamwork skills as important key qualifications can develop excellently (see Alexander Wenzlik "Key Competencies in Cultural Education") ).

Goals and tasks - functions and structures

The public music school fulfills a task of municipal services of general interest. It is an important and constitutive part of every communal educational landscape. All municipal umbrella organizations (GermanCity Day,GermanCounty dayand German Association of Towns and Municipalities) adopted guidelines and information for music school work in cities, districts and municipalities in a joint position paper in 2009/10. These guidelines for the safeguarding and further development of the public music schools form an orientation framework for the municipalities to structure their public music schools. Regarding the mission of the music school, it says:

Music schools are usually publicly funded educational institutions that give as many children and adolescents as possible, but also adults and seniors, access to their own music-making in light of the demographic development. They have an independent educational and cultural task vis-à-vis the day-care centers and general education schools. In the context of the design of sustainable municipal educational landscapes, they are essential cooperation partners of day-care centers and schools. In terms of content, personnel and space, the structure of the offers will adapt to the increasing all-day education of children and young people. Music schools should allow everyone access through a social scale of fees within the scope of the structuring options provided by state law.

Also the CommunaleCommunity pointerAdministrative managementt (KGSt) in their reference report published in 2012 specifically for the music school (KGSt- appraisal music school) to this as an important institution in the municipal educational landscape:

[...] The music schools are of particular importance. As a competence center for musical education and upbringing, they have an independent educational and cultural task beyond formal educational offers. They do justice to this task through a comprehensive, coordinated concept that ensures the continuity and quality of their educational offer. It encompasses basic musical education, broad-based support, talent finding and support, as well as preparation for studying music. […] The music schools have an established place as a building block in the communal educational landscape. They are communally responsible institutions with educational, cultural, youth and social policy tasks. With their comprehensive, mostly long-term courses, they cater to different musical interests and learning desires and lay the foundations for lifelong music making. [...] Music schools offer the opportunity to better integrate special target groups (people with disabilities, socially disadvantaged people, people with a migration background) by making music together. It is therefore important to appropriately integrate music schools into the local educational landscape in order to use their services effectively for the benefit of the citizens and to create synergies with other educational institutions, especially since the places of learning for musical education both within the music school premises and at other institutions in the local context can be located. [...] Cooperation with general education schools is the most important field for integrating music schools into the local educational landscape.

As facilities of the cultural infrastructure, music schools therefore make a significant contribution to basic cultural provision. This also has the Study Commission of the German Bundestag “Culture in Germany” elaborated in its final report in numerous places.

The history of the music schools in the municipalities goes back to the 19th century. The oldest still existing music school is the Aschaffenburg Music School, which was founded by Dalberg 200 years ago (during the Napoleonic times of the Rhine Confederation). The music schools had their roots mainly in church and private initiatives. Music schools were therefore initially often associations; At the beginning of the 20th century, this function was more and more communalized. During the National Socialist era, music schools were instrumentalized for the purposes of “popular education” - partly caught up in the ideology of that time, but partly also vanishing point in supposedly apolitical situations of pure music-making or internal emigration. In the GDR, state-funded music schools were established parallel to the general school system, while in the western federal states a system of public music schools gradually established itself at the municipal level. The music schools were founded in 1952 Association of German Music Schools (VdM), which the organizations in the new federal states also joined after German reunification. After the mark of 1,000 member schools was exceeded in the 90s of the previous century, the number of members fell slightly up to the time of the book editing due to music school mergers on the occasion of local area reforms; however, there was a significant increase in the number of users over the same period. Currently, 924 music schools are in charge of the VdM organized.

The music school is perceived as a task of the public sector in a multifaceted responsibility partnership between the federal states and municipalities. The federal states understand and promote the music schools as educational institutions, but the task is carried out at the local level. There are no uniform legal regulations on music schools in the Federal Republic of Germany, but the existing state law states that it is very close to the school system and constitutes the music school as a public task that is perceived and designed in the interplay between the state and the municipality. The federal states support the municipalities in performing their tasks by granting subsidies and have laid down essential criteria through laws and decrees that are prerequisites for subsidies. The relevant regulations for the integration of the music schools as partners of all-day schools give the music schools a further order situation and anchoring them in the education system.

The public music school follows the principle of accessibility according to three principles:

>> local / spatial accessibility (“short legs - short distances”);

>> social accessibility (social staggering of fees / charges; “no child or young person may be denied access to the music school for economic reasons alone”);

>> Technical accessibility (unconditional access - "Musical education from the start").

The music schools in VdM have the largest area coverage and the highest number of institutions among the institutions for cultural youth education. With their range, they are by far the largest type of cultural education institution with the same mission.

Offers and target groups - forms of teaching and ensemble work

The public music school lays the foundation for a lifelong engagement with music with qualified specialist instruction. It opens up opportunities for high-quality communal music-making in music schools, in general educational schools, in the family or in the various forms of amateur music-making (see Stephan Schmitz, “Musical education in amateur music”). The music school builds bridges to other arts and cultural activities. It accommodates different musical interests and learning desires.

The introduction to active music-making corresponds with joy in learning, in one's own actions, in performance and success. Making music with others enables the application of what has been learned, gives suggestions for the next steps, trains ears and responsiveness, increases motivation and imparts social skills. Ensemble subjects are therefore an integral part of the holistic educational concept of the public music school at all levels. The techniques and rules of playing together must be learned and practiced as well as playing the instrument and singing itself. Only the ability to do so enables independent participation in active musical life. In making music together, communicative and social forces, which are part of the essence of music, can be experienced, effective and learned. Continuous ensemble work at the music school therefore forms a coordinated unit with instruction in the instrumental or vocal subject and is a core feature of public music school work. A large number of vocal and instrumental ensembles with different line-ups and stylistic characteristics are therefore part of the mandatory teaching offer of the music school.

The elementary level / elementary level includes a wide range of basic subjects and offers for specific target groups: from parent-child groups to early musical education, elementary music education in day-care centers, basic musical training, orientation offers to musical entry-level programs in elementary school age. All offers in the elementary level are based on high quality forms of elementary music education. Broad access to music and active music-making are often offered as country-specific (entry-level) programs, which are usually carried out in cooperation between the music school and the general school. The basic subjects can be attended without any special requirements. The focus here is on the educational encounter with the elementary musical modes of experience and expression: Sensitization of perception - especially the hearing - experiencing and getting to know a variety of pieces of music and instruments, dealing with the voice and singing, the experience of the context of music and movement, first playing with instruments as well as first insights into musical contexts and dealing with basic elements of music theory - always in age-appropriate forms, which are offered in a constructive way.

The lessons promote individual musical skills and create the basis for diverse musical developments. A wide range of offers is available in the lower, middle and upper grades of the music school:

a) in instrumental / vocal subjects from the following subject areas:

>> String instruments (violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, viol etc.)

>> Plucked instruments (guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, mandolin, zither, harp, baglama, etc.)

>> Woodwind instruments (recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, etc.)

>> Brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, etc.)

>> Keyboard instruments (piano, harpsichord, organ, accordion, keyboard, etc.)

>> Percussion instruments (drums, timpani, mallets, percussion, etc.)

>> Singing (singing in different styles, voice training, etc.)

b) in a variety of ensemble subjects with different line-ups and styles: singing and play groups, choirs, string orchestras, chamber orchestras, symphony orchestras, plucked orchestras, wind orchestras, bands, accordion orchestras, chamber music, playing groups, instrumental groups, big bands, combos, jazz, rock and Pop bands, salon orchestras, folklore groups, folk music, musical theater, musicals and much more

as well as c) for supplementary subjects (see below for more information).

A special program is provided by public music schools and in AssociationGerman music schools the integrative work or the work with people with disabilities, which is based on the individual possibilities and thus requires a differentiation that goes beyond the normal range. The work in integrative groups is on an equal footing with disability-specific individual and group lessons. Offers for people with disabilities are therefore a natural part of the mission of public music schools. Music therapy, on the other hand, follows a specific therapeutic need and can be offered as a promotion and support measure.

Incidentally, the music school opens up opportunities for musical and cultural education for every phase of life: With offers for adults and senior citizens in the form of lessons, courses, workshops or projects, specific, locally or situationally different music educational, musical or music-related offers are requested for these age groups, also in cooperation with Seniors' institutions or associations.

Framework curricula (or educational plans) formulate the goals and content of the training for all subjects at the music school. Several years of continuous lessons lead to a result that - according to the possibilities of the students - particularly meets the requirements of meaningful music-making. The curricula ensure a learning and experience process in accordance with the age and personal development, in which musical and technical challenges come together harmonize. An essential characteristic of the work of a music school is the careful coordination of practical, theoretical, general musical and special instrumental or vocal training. Music schools offer particularly talented pupils who are aiming for a professional musical degree a preparatory training course.

Supplementary subjects are, on the one hand, continuous teaching subjects that serve to enrich the content of the instrumental and vocal courses offered by the music school. On the other hand, they also represent a supplement to the music school offer, such as music and movement, dance, music theater, performing games or rhythm. Projects are time-limited and content-wise closed music-pedagogical offers of a music school. As courses, leisure time, workshops, excursions, concert tours, cooperations and other suitable forms, they open up space for special activities at the music school and respond flexibly to requests for special offers. Projects attract new target groups, enable new offers to be tried out and expand the range of offers. Events are part of the educational mission and the individual appearance of a music school. For students, auditions and concerts are indispensable learning experiences, motivating practice and rehearsal goals - as a result of their lessons in the instrumental or vocal subject as well as in the ensemble subject. The performance experience is also an essential dimension of the musical experience, as music addresses an audience as artistic communication. Events ensure cultural participation in the community in the field of music. The public music school is open to music and musical practices from other cultures. When different cultures hear each other and make music together, a stable basis for understanding, respect, mutual appreciation and social integration is created.

Pedagogical principles and professional competence - motivation and education

The credo that the music school is and will remain a school, but a school that you come to wantbecause you may and not got to, also expresses itself essentially in the "spirit" of music school teachers and directors. A real music school is therefore a school - but basically a different kind of school: it is and remains, if it is to be able to fulfill its public mandate, a veritable educational organism aimed at completeness, which does not degenerate into a musical entertainment center or agency for music lessons.

It is still the task of the public music school to use the high technical and methodological competence and the creativity of its teachers to open up and guarantee a coherent musical education path for pupils of all ages through attractive offers tailored to target groups. The term and scope of “musical education” in the portfolio of tasks of public music schools go far beyond pure music education, i.e. merely conveying an understanding of music and the ability to actively make music. The public music school is committed to the guiding principle that comprehensive musical education can enable and strengthen the identity formation of a personality in a special way and thus help significantly to grow up successfully and to a fulfilled life. Musical education in particular has the privilege of being able to develop an expressive and creative ability in a specific semiotic context, which particularly appeals to and touches the senses and emotional intelligence. Educational processes in the music school are understood in a dialogical and communicative way - both with components of self-development in dealing with music and the development in music-making together as well as with the help of profound pedagogical support, with clear goals and concepts, with a high level of didactic and methodical competence. For successful educational processes, the rule of thumb applies that you have to deal with a matter intensively and continuously for about ten years, with the highest possible (self) motivation, embedded in a coherent educational setting. Res severa, verum gaudium - Serious engagement with music as an art and form of expression of any style is not a contradiction to enjoying musical activity, on the contrary, it is an incentive and motivation. At any level of engagement with music, the individual, the group can have positive experiences; Likewise, from every level reached it is visible which musical dimensions can be further reached. Confirmation and curiosity, the joy of success and the knowledge of how things can go further, the development of the musical cartography and the desire to discover previously unknown spaces are through vibration and balance in lively interaction and make the attraction of dealing with the most distinguished Art of septem artes liberales applicable music.

Perspectives and challenges - outlook and summary

The aim is to respond to the changes in our society with meaningful concepts and attractive music-pedagogical offers. The music school is therefore increasingly positioning itself in the municipal educational landscape as a competence center for musical education in a 2-pillar system: on the one hand, as an autochthonous educational institution, with an independent educational mandate and specific structuring, i.e. continuing with its core task, so to speak, on the other, but has been increasing for several years also in the field of cooperation between educational bodies and actors in the municipality, especially in cooperation with general schools or day-care centers. But even here in the field of cooperation, the music school has an independent task; it does not want to and cannot replace school music, nor does it relieve the educators of the task of using music as a method and mediator in the diversity of day-to-day daycare. Rather, music schools are always in demand in mainstream schools or kindergartens when music is not used as a (auxiliary) means to achieve other educational goals, but when the focus is on it and its educational potential itself, i.e. when it is about the music itself as a field of aesthetic experience and design, if music is thus understood as anthropologically constitutive.

So there are many new challenges to be faced, which are likely to determine the field of work in music schools even more today and in the future:

>> multiple migration processes of the population are important for regional development;

>> The course of the “age pyramid” has a significant influence on the structure of the offer;

>> Challenges in the context of migration and integration require a suitable list of cultural education institutions, even if the issues at stake cannot be solved by them (which politicians must take note of);

>> The possible effects of far-reaching social changes and tendencies to divide society must also be attempted in terms of the type and form of musical educational offers;

>> Changes in media use, loyalty aspects and consumer behavior will require new skills.

The consequence of these developments for the public music school means above all to reach children and parents of all milieus very early with musical educational offers, also means to see music educational concepts more closely in this early age under the aspect of networking with other fields of learning: promoting language acquisition , Social skills and integration with the help of suitable music-pedagogical offers are aspects for the future requirements, but they are already moving today.

However, what appears to be absolutely necessary in the entire education debate - which is currently essentially a school debate - is the maintenance and structural inclusion of free spaces for children and young people in view of the changes in the school framework, in particular the increase in school time. If it appears that opportunities for young people to develop are primarily subordinated to economic interests, i.e. if conditioning tendencies dominate the agenda in the education sector, then business myopia can lead to long-term economic damage: namely, if it is not seen that the personal competence and creativity of the people decisive, and probably the only chance to help secure the future viability of society. It is important to maintain and secure adequate freedom for the musical education of children and young people and for access to music schools, especially with regard to the expected consequences of shortened schooling (G8) and increased schooling.


Music schools are, will remain and are growing all the time dieKey locations for musical education in the communities. They are sounding living space and meeting places for music for young and old in the cities and districts. Its importance in the development of the municipal educational landscape can hardly be overestimated.