Berlin Music Schools: Quo vaditis?
Berlin Music Schools: Quo vaditis?

Berlin Music Schools: Quo vaditis?

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?

One comment

  1. I wanted to add some thoughts about the general expectations of freelance music teachers with regard to permanent employment. During the past decades, there have been hardly any hirings at Berlin music schools, which means that teaching staff is largely unfamiliar with the situation of permanent positions being offered. Many colleagues seem to hope or expect that they will be considered for being hired due to their achievements in the past, as if being rewarded for their ceaseless engagement in favour of their schools as freelancers. I’d like to emphasize that this attitude is a general misapprehension. A vital job market needs vital competition and continuous re-assessment of skills and abilities. As an employee in teaching or in the creative industry you are required to apply for new positions and challenges throughout your working life, and to undergo evaluation at regular intervals as a means of quality management. The belief that somebody ›deserves‹ or ›earns‹ a certain position on the basis of his or her past achievements or reputation is a misleading illusion. Therefore, the Berlin music schools should advertise their vacancies as publicly as possible in order to attract a wide field of applicants. Teaching staff must demonstrate their proficiency in open and fair-minded application procedures, and also in comparison to external candidates.

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