I don’t consider this article a particularly convincing piece of journalistic work, but at least it demonstrates the incredible extent of sexually offensive and abusive behaviour that, in all probability, has been carried out for decades by some professors of Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. To me this looks like a collective failure on all levels of academic administration, and in case I had the dubious honour of being employed by this institution, I would quit immediately. If only half of these accusations prove right, the state authority in charge should appropriately install an official committee of inquiry and, if the university fails to prevent further victimisation of their staff and students, take action to close it down as a last consequence.
This week I will start working as a lecturer in music theory at the Institute of Musicology of Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. I will be in charge of the artistic subjects included in Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf‘s musicology minor programme, such as basic elements of composition, musical form, keyboard practice, and a preparatory course in music theory. I will continue to live in Berlin for the time being, while commuting to Düsseldorf for two days a week. Thrilled about this new challenge in teaching!
Berlin’s municipal music schools do something they didn’t do in quite a while: They are hiring permanent employees. Until recently, their quota of freelance teachers was at 93%, which is now being reduced to 80%. However, this will not change the fact that freelancers are in charge of most of Berlin’s music education. Apart from an awkward controversy between the Berlin Senate and musicians’ unions on how many FTEs this means, some more questions remain. Should the new positions be publicly advertised or only serve to the benefit of a school’s freelance staff? Is it acceptable if schools do not require applicants to hold a demonstration lesson? And finally: Why are permanent positions considered more important than a general discourse on quality management and sustainability of music education?
Last year Helge Harding and I wrote an essay on contemporary music education, assessment of musical performance, quality management in teaching, and questions of artistic excellence in general. The text is now published as a leading article in the latest issue of magazine Üben & Musizieren. It will soon be available via the Schott Music website—for now I uploaded a PDF full-text version here. Looking forward to your opinions!