What is the VGMP protocol

We have to stay outside

April 8, 2017, 9:58 pm

Dietmar Flosdorf and Swea Hieltscher

Promoting young musicians at a high level does not seem to be the problem of the Viennese music schools, it is problematic in the subliminal area. Committed parents, prominent artists and teachers criticize the lack of training opportunities at Vienna's music schools with great concern.

The music city of Vienna only has 17 branches of music schools, too few locations, too few learning opportunities, especially for traditional instruments. Every year many children say, despite having passed the aptitude test: We have to stay outside.

Vienna is lagging behind

The statistics in a comparison of the federal states show that Vienna has the fewest music schools and, when applied to the population, also the fewest students. While in Vorarlberg 95 people under 30 years of age attend a music school, in Vienna only 10 take instrumental or singing lessons.

When asked to Swea Hieltscher, the director of the Vienna Music School: "The one with the bottom is correct. Statistically, it looks exactly as it is presented." Why it is like that? "You'd have to go back further," said Hieltscher. As you know, the music schools and the singing school, together with the Vienna Conservatory, were the Vienna Schools of Music and primarily had one task to fulfill, which was called: training young people for the Conservatory Music schools until two years ago, since then they have been independent, not in the spotlight and focus as they are now. "

Holistic training

The relatively young independence of the music schools in Vienna made it necessary to create their own profile, question the assignment and define new educational goals. Above all, Swea Hieltscher wants to make it clear that music lessons are not just a leisure activity once a week.

"We offer many additional subjects," explains Hieltscher. Ensemble playing, for example, is an integral part of the training, plus theoretical subjects. "We attach great importance to holistic training, we also want to capture the entire personality."

Initiative calls for apprenticeships for everyone

"We always pride ourselves on being the world capital of music, and then we don't offer enough qualified lessons," said Franz Ferdinand Wolf, ÖVP councilor and founder of the non-partisan initiative "Pro Musik Wien", which has been offered several times over the past few weeks the press left and a signature campaign to support the cause was launched.

While the City of Vienna sees no need for reform, the new initiative is alarmed. Right at the top of the list of demands of "Pro Musik Wien" is the right to a training place for everyone who passes the entrance test and a proper music school law.

It's about the kids

"Every initiative that helps the cause makes sense," emphasizes Dietmar Flosdorf, instrumental pedagogue at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna as well as at public music schools. "Whether this is a music school law, like the one in Upper Austria, whether it is political parties that make the topic theirs, so to speak - that is all wonderful, because it is about the children who should be promoted and who should not be deprived of it."

Where is Vienna's deficit now? "It is a question of political will. If I know that the air is bad, I have to take action, then I build cycle paths. When I know that too few children have the opportunity to come into contact with instruments, because of the ground the family situation, then I have to do something about it. If it is important to me. When I say: Other things are more important to me. Then that's okay too. But that's simply the decision that you have to make. "

Pioneers in Lower and Upper Austria

The political will is there in any case in Lower Austria, it is no coincidence that the country has most of the music schools in Austria, 420 there are. The state funds for the music schools have been increased continuously. Upper Austria has long played a pioneering role in the intensive promotion of music schools. It's more difficult in Vienna.

"I do not have the feeling that it falls on deaf ears," explains music school director Hieltscher, "but that we are in a situation where the funds cannot be made available as easily as we would like and that There this range is very large: How can we implement what we want in purely departmental terms? I think that the approaches to change something are still positive.

Way out private lessons

If you cannot get a place in a music school in Vienna, you have to take the more expensive and by far not all sections of the population possible way of private tuition. That is very far from the models that Dietmar Flosdorf dreams of. The city of Bochum has started an initiative that says: Every child has an instrument.

Flosdorf has been fighting for the establishment of a music school in Penzing for seven years. He co-founded an association that has set itself the task of helping Vienna's 14th district with over 80,000 inhabitants, more inhabitants than St. Pölten and Bregenz put together, to establish its own music school supported by the City of Vienna.

Instrument as a life enrichment

"It is not just a question of the next generation. I am not interested in the child who becomes a Philharmonic. I am simply concerned with every child who comes into contact with the musical and with an instrument as an enrichment for life and development," said Flosdorf .

"You know what essential influence music or the practice of music has on the development of a child, that's what it's primarily about. How you do it is a question of political will."