Wendelin Bitzan

Wendelin Bitzan

Landesmusikrat Board Candidacy

I am running for a position as board member of the Berlin music council, Landesmusikrat Berlin, with the intention of advocating for freelancers in music and contributing to issues of professional music education. If you represent an organisation that is a member of the Landesmusikrat, I’d be grateful for your support!

New Plugins on Open Music Academy

I am excited to announce that my digital teaching fellowship at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf has yielded some results. The public platform Open Music Academy, currently run as a project of Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, now features four new plugins that allow persistent user entries within tutorials, introducing functions such as form fields, file upload, and a customisable whiteboard. These plugins are available and ready for use within virtual learning rooms and collaborative environments, and also include a commentary function for assessment and individual feedback. Please feel free to create an account and give it a try!

It is my hope that these plugins will be applied with benefit for designing modular tutorials, teaching materials, and online assignments. Many thanks to the developers, Andreas Helmberger and Adriana Luchian, for their proficient coding, to Ulrich Kaiser for his most valuable support, and to some of my colleagues from the RSH music theory faculty who supervised and tested the new features.

Streams Come True

I decided to publish a selection of my compositions on commercial streaming platforms—not to earn a profit, of course, as I don’t expect any significant revenues, but to make my music more widely available. My first release is a short solo piece that I wrote and recorded some twenty years ago: Introduction and Waltz for piano, a capricious miniature inspired by Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. If you like it, please add the piece to your libraries or playlists, and consider following or sharing my artist page. Your support is much appreciated!

Fee Guidelines by DTKV Berlin

My professional body of musicians, Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband Berlin, has finally released a set of fee guidelines for gigs, rehearsals, and teaching activities that aim to secure a decent living income. This is the first such publication specifically dedicated to freelance work in Berlin with no public funding involved, addressing various types of artistic and pedagogical activity on the basis of a fair remuneration standard (#fairpay) for autonomous entrepreneurial musicianship, taking into consideration both business expenses and reserves, as well as social insurance and retirement provision. The paper refers to the previously published minimum fee standards of Deutscher Musikrat, DACH Musik Berlin, Koalition der freien Szene Frankfurt, ver.di Musik and some state associations of Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband.

Berlin musicians, please take notice of these guidelines and apply them in your own freelance work and fee negotiations, if at all possible. It might not be convenient to adopt a higher standard immediately, but do at least consider a gradual increase upon consultation with your customers. Your work is worth as much as you can reasonably claim in accordance with your education and qualification. Every professional musician is eligible to take a stand for fair payment, and for the ethical values associated with making a living from music as your dearest passion and profession alike.

» Download the fee guidelines of DTKV Berlin

Survey on Diversity in Music Completed

The results of my diversity survey for music students are now available. From April through September 2023 I conducted an anonymous poll among students from German universities and conservatories, inquiring their opinions and attitudes towards various issues in music business and professional music education. In particular, there were questions regarding the diversity of composers and repertoires, researchers and teachers, academic topics, and conceptions in musicology and music theory. I am sharing an overview of the results here, hoping that these will enable some insights and can maybe encourage to develop ideas and strategies for making curricula and course contents more diverse.

» Have a look at the survey results (in German language)