Foto: Musiklehrerausbildung an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock
Training music teachers at Rostock University of Music and Theatre  
Photo:  Oliver Borchert  /  Rostock University of Music and Theatre
Music education at school furthers the imagination, social skills and creativity. But for years Germany has had a shortage of trained teachers in this field. Here Ortwin Nimczik writes about recent developments and perspectives in educational policy.

Germany’s state education system is rooted in two basic principles: the right of the individual to receive an education, and the responsibility of the state to provide it. The system is basically structured in a series of successive stages, beginning with elementary education and proceeding with primary schools to secondary schools (levels I and II), tertiary-level studies and continuing education (see Fig. 1). [1]

Figure: Basic Structure of the Educational System in the Federal Republic of Germany

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However, since the 16 states (Länder) that make up the Federal Republic of Germany have independence in matters of culture and education, the legal foundations of the state education system are made up of 16 specific school laws. In practice, this has given rise to 16 contrasting educational landscapes differing markedly in their structure and subdivisions and in the names they assign to forms and types of school, particularly those that offer two or three educational channels. In some cases, they even differ in the duration of compulsory full-time schooling. True, the ‘Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in the Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany’ (Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or KMK) co-ordinates the interaction between the federal government and the states, and among the states themselves. But when all aspects are taken into account, the result is a mare’s nest that makes it difficult if not impossible to achieve an overview of school education in Germany. [2]

Foto: Bundesbegegnung „Schulen musizieren“
Nationwide gathering 'Schulen musizieren' (Schools Make Music)  
Photo:  Ortwin Nimczik  /  German Music Teacher Association (BMU)

Instruction at Germany’s state schools is aimed at all children and adolescents and is broken down into specific subjects, such as German, mathematics, English and art. In particular, the educational channels of primary school and secondary level I have increasingly augmented their curricula with so-called ‘learning areas’ as overriding principles. This is especially the case in the natural and social sciences, but it can also be found in music and the arts. In contrast, the scope and duration of general education are inconsistent: although several states successfully converted their grammar schools, or Gymnasien, from nine-year programmes (G9) into eight-year equivalents (G8) in 2013, thereby shortening the school time from 13 to 12 years, some have since reverted to the earlier nine-year model. [3]

The term ‘music education’ used below refers to music as a school subject. It includes a study of the subject’s prerequisites and underlying conceptions in the planning of lessons, as well as the actual conduct of those lessons, including an analysis of their place in the state school system. Lessons given at music schools or in the private sector are usually defined narrowly according to the ‘topic’ or instrument involved, such as piano, voice, percussion or music theory.

Music as part of the general curriculum

Music education at state schools enables music to be taught on a professional and lasting basis. It thereby opens up perspectives for living with music in all stages of the pupils’ lives and contributes specifically to the development of their musical and general competence. Politicians and administrators, in their official statements on educational policy, attach special importance to the contribution of music education in the school curriculum. Here the educational aims – whether related to the individual or society, to the subject itself or to its side effects – are usually viewed as equivalent in relevance. The KMK describes ‘education in music and the arts‘ (musische Bildung) [4] as ‘part of the cultural education of each individual and a prerequisite for participating in cultural life. It is an important precondition for coexistence in our society. Musische Bildung conveys such crucial skills as fantasy, imagination, heightened sensory perception and the ability to achieve a holistic view. Studying art and music is a source of self-expression and communication and makes it possible to acquire interpersonal expertise’. [5]

Foto: Bettina-von-Armin-Schule
Bettina von Armin School Berlin  
Photo:  Aaron Grahovac-Dres  /  Bettina-von-Armin-Schule

The KMK specified three guidelines for music education that cut across all school types and grade levels to unite the educational policies of the federal states. Terse and concise, they have lost none of their relevance today:

  • From a general teaching perspective, music education makes ‘a vital contribution to the social education of young people. The performance of music, whether alone or in a group, helps to fulfil the existential need of each person for self-expression; it also develops perception and sensitivity, encourages creativity and depth of feeling, furthers the ability to enjoy and create, and enhances imagination and tolerance’. The KMK stresses that music education has the task of ‘guiding pupils toward a responsible and independent attitude toward the media in the face of today’s sensory overload’, and considers that it ‘thus lays the groundwork for an independent and self-determined life’.
  • From the point of view of cultural policy, music education ‘is vital to maintaining and promoting musical culture in Germany. It conveys our musical herit age to members of the coming generation, giving them an understanding for the many forms of music by imparting deeper knowledge and skills. It also contributes to the development of the pupil’s own identity and inspires and enables the “audience of tomorrow” to actively take part and become involved in cultural life, where “cultural life” is understood to be not just the way that culture is passed on traditionally in local regions, but also an appreciation of the music of other peoples and cultures’. Popular music is expressly included: ‘The largely one-sided concentration on so-called highbrow culture that dominated the school music curriculum decades ago – i.e. classical or “art music” – has long given way to a broader understanding of musical culture that also embraces such phenomena as rock, pop and jazz as well as German and international folk music’.
  • Viewed from the perspective of the school as an institution, music has the potential to make ‘a significant contribution to a school’s public image. Its wide-ranging activities have an impact on the general public outside of the school, influencing the school’s image and encouraging a sense of loyalty among pupils, teachers and parents. Performances by music groups are a valuable addition to school events and help to improve a school’s atmosphere’. [6]

Music education as institutionalised at the elementary level should begin as early as possible and be led by qualified professionals, e.g. in day care centres, kindergartens or other preschool facilities. Thereafter, Germany’s state school system has the central task of potentially allowing every pupil to come into contact with music education. [7] Schools in the state system are the only places in society which can purposefully, continuously, systematically and constructively encourage and display the musical skills of all pupils. The overriding goal of this sort of broadly conceived music education for children and adolescents is to promote their selfdetermined participation and active involvement in musical culture and to enable them to contribute to its advancement and continuation.

In every type of school and in every German state, music is firmly anchored in the curricula of primary schools and all grades of secondary levels I and II. Either it has the status of a mandatory or ‘compulsory elective’ subject under its own name, or it is indirectly a component of larger learning areas or com bined subjects, where it is becoming increasingly fluid in its definition. The states differ in the number of weekly hours they allot to music. A pool or set number of hours is generally stipulated for learning areas. As a result, the schools themselves can, to a large extent, specify how the lessons are to be distributed or apportioned to satisfy local conditions. So-called ‘compulsory elective areas’, where one subject must be chosen out of a group of subjects, may provide additional opportunities for including music lessons in day-to-day school operations, some times in combination with other art forms. Given these diverse conditions, in many cases (especially in grades seven through ten) a school will offer music instruction in alternation with other subjects in so-called lesson blocks, or Epochenunterricht, i.e. where the subject is taught in concentrated periods rather than being evenly spread throughout the school year. Sometimes it can even be dropped or replaced by other subjects (see Figures 2a and 2b).

Figure 2a
Hours allotted to music at primary schools (2018)
Table: Hours allotted to music at primary schools (2018)
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Up to now there has been no firm data concerning the extent to which the weekly hours of instruction actually given in music coincides with the states’ lesson allotment plans. Instead, we have to rely on partial surveys and extrapolations conducted e.g. by musical education associations among their members. It is true that school authorities and some state ministries of education publish absolute figures for learning groups or weekly lesson hours in their official school statistics. However, they do not provide information on the actual relation these bear to what is set down in the allotment guidelines. Moreover, the statistics often blur the distinction between extracurricular activities (choir, orchestra, mixed ensembles etc.), actual classroom music and vague terms such as ‘rhythm’. [8]

Given the problems outlined above, the increasingly urgent question arises as to whether music is losing its status as a self-contained subject, with a creeping decline in number of lessons and ultimately a loss of dignity as a discipline. In this light, the KMK resolution of 16 October 2008, in its version of 11 October 2018, concerning the ‘interstate content demands for disciplines and pedagogical methods in teacher training’, [9] should be viewed with a critical eye. Its section on primary school education departs significantly from a need for solid musical expertise. Its ‘disciplinary perspectives’ and ‘basics of teacher training’ function as ‘minimal requirements’ for ‘aesthetics as a field of study: art, music, motion’. The ‘lesson contents and aims related to primary school education in art, music and sports’ are lumped beneath the heading of aesthetic education. Teacher trainees are allowed to choose a subject area of this sort as an alternative to the traditional study of music for primary schools. [10] If this resolution is put into practice in the federal states, the probable consequence will be a further deterioration in the quality of how music is taught in primary schools.

Foto: Workshopsituation Bundeskongress Musikunterricht
A workshop of the BMU's National Music Education Congress  
Photo:  Richard Filz  /  German Music Teacher Association (BMU)

The ‘Design of Upper Level and Final Examinations’ at Germany’s grammar schools was agreed upon at the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in its current version of 5 February 2018. It calls for a ‘subdivision into a one-year introductory phase and a two-year qualification phase, the assignment of subjects to three task areas, a division of subjects into mandatory and elective, the possibility of setting individual points of emphasis, and the provision of lessons at different levels of difficulty’. [11] All in all, pupils in the qualification phase attend ‘two to four subjects with higher standards. These subjects are taught at least four hours per week, or at least five hours for two subjects with higher standards’. [12] Music is assigned to task area 1 (language, literature and art), but unlike other school subjects (such as German) it cannot by itself cover the entire area. As a rule, this means that a second subject must be chosen from the same task area. In the qualification phase the pupils must attend lessons ‘in literature or the arts for at least two semesters’. [13] Occasionally achievements from instrument or voice lessons may be included in the qualification phase or the final grade, but without directly satisfying the stipulations of subjects in the arts. Germany’s states differ markedly in the way they deal with these regulations in detail, particularly as regards the different durations of grammar school and the peculiarities in those states that set down uniform statewide questions for final school-leaving examinations.

Grammar school students may take music as a ‘subject with higher standards’ (formerly called ‘advanced-level course’, or Leistungskurs) or as a subject requiring a written or oral final examination. However, this too depends on regulations specific to the state in question. If music is ‘taken as a subject requiring a written examination, the written examination may be replaced by a special subject-related examination containing a written section’. [14] When music is chosen as a course of study in the upper level of grammar school, the possible combinations of subjects, the course offerings at the school in question and the pupil’s own educational path
become increasingly delimiting factors. Similarly, institutional prerequisites, such as minimum course sizes or predefined subject or course pathways, form ever larger obstacles to the creation of music courses with higher standards. To ensure consistency and comparability among the federal states, the KMK has defined basic requirements for final examinations in music, as in all other school subjects. [15]

Figure 2b
Hours allotted to music at secondary school level I (2018)
Table: Hours Allotted to Music at Secondary School Level I (2018) (1)
Table: Hours Allotted to Music at Secondary School Level I (2018) (2)

Of the 623,000 pupils in the final two grades of Germany’s grammar schools in the 2017-18 academic year, 30.7 per cent took basic-level courses in music. This is 3.1 per cent more than in 2007-08, and one of the highest levels in the past ten years. The proportion of those who completed a music course with higher standards in 2017-18 was 1.9 per cent. Two thirds of all pupils in the upper two grades of secondary level II do not study music at all (see Fig. 3).

Finally, it is useful to look at the quite inconsistent treatment of music at so-called ‘vocational schools’ (berufliche Gymnasien, Fachgymnasien or Berufskollegien, depending on the state concerned), [16] which differ markedly in this respect from one state to the next. Such schools,
which offer a general school leaving certificate, are quite common in some states. They differ widely in the way they regulate the obligation to take music courses, ranging from the regular treatment found at ordinary grammar schools to complete disregard. [17] It should be noted that the number of graduates of this form of full-time school who obtain a general matriculation standard (Abitur) is steadily growing. [18] 

Figure 3
Music pupils in final two years of grammar school (Gymnasium)
Figure: Music pupils in final two years of grammar school (Gymnasium)
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Teacher shortage and lesson cancellation

The number of teachers who teach music at Germany’s various types of school cannot be precisely determined. [19] The education report Bildung in Deutschland 2012, using a special analysis conducted by the KMK, arrived at a figure of slightly more than 37,800 teachers with training or certification to teach music. [20] However, this report has gaps in the data from several states and also departs from the information provided by the Federal Statistical Office regarding the types of schools surveyed. It is safe to assume that between 5 and 7 per cent of teachers at general state schools possess this certification. The actual formal qualifications of these teachers, e.g. with regard to training and specific degrees, are not spelled out. Moreover, it should be noted that these figures shed no light on how the music teachers are actually deployed – information of great relevance to the distribution of resources in lesson allotment plans, but which has appeared in no published survey to date.

The shortage of music teachers remains a basic problem in day-to-day school operations. The education ministries of Germany’s federal states unanimously note a structural shortage of music teachers and rank music as a hard-hit case. The abovementioned report of 2012 already confirmed that Germany’s pupils are inadequately supplied with music education: ‘Assuming that roughly 6 to 7 per cent of compulsory instruction falls on art and music by the end of secondary level I, and that every teacher generally teaches two subjects, it follows that music teachers must focus their lessons almost exclusively on music if they are to meet the demand for compulsory music tuition’. [21] Continuity of instruction is not ensured, least of all in primary schools and, with subtle gradations, at secondary level I (apart from grammar schools). Surveys carried out by music teachers’ associations at the state level suggest that a mere 20 to 30 per cent of music lessons in primary schools are taught by trained music teachers, whereas approximately 70 to 80 per cent are taught either by teachers from other fields or not at all. The percentage of lessons cancelled is largely unknown. [22]

Picture: Rostock University of Music and Theatre
A prospective music teacher at Rostock University of Music and Theatre  
Photo:  Oliver Borchert  /  Rostock University of Music and Theatre

The glaring shortage of trained music teachers leads to an accumulation of problems in conjunction with the tasks and demands faced by schools today: educational inclusion, heterogeneity, language training, differentiation. This particularly affects special education, where music is known to have a great impact on the pupils’ advancement. The teacher shortage is further intensified by the fact that music instruction can rarely be handled in a professional manner when the teacher falls ill or is otherwise absent.

In view of the changes in society, the increasing age of music teachers and the growing number of pupils, there is no assurance that an adequate supply of qualified music teachers will be available at Germany’s state schools in the future. The shortage of trained music teachers is part of a larger problem, namely, the shortage of teachers altogether, especially in primary schools. The employment of later entrants and career changers, though promoted by state ministries of education, will not solve the underlying problems; rather, it will lead ineluctably to a creeping deprofessionalisation of the music teachers’ calling. [23] Here the ministries are enjoined to work in concerted fashion with educational institutions in order to establish extensive short-term further education and post-qualification programmes with clearly defined qualification standards so as to impart solid communication
skills in the teaching of music.

General regulations for music education

The contents and methods used in the teaching of music are regulated by the core curricula and/or general guidelines of the state concerned. On the one hand, these are aimed at the formulation of responsibilities or refer to the breadth of contents and the variety of methods to be employed. On the other hand, they also lay down specific contents for particular courses or thematic points of emphasis, including pre-defined works for the main school-leaving certificate (Zentralabitur). They place various emphases on educational theory with regard to its applicability in various types of school, and lay down corresponding framework conditions. The detailed elaboration of the contents and methods is, however, largely left to school conferences and qualified music teachers. School textbooks, songbooks, lesson materials, media packages and thematic booklets from various educational publishers, as well as articles in music education journals, provide ideas and assistance in the planning and conduct of lessons. Just as the staffing situation is inconsistent, so are the available space and media equipment for music instruction: excellently equipped schools stand alongside others without music classrooms, instruments or audio-visual resources.

There have been hardly any designated studies of what music lessons look like in day-to-day practice. Given the large-scale shifts in musical culture in recent decades and the strong bond between young people and music, conditions for music as a school subject have clearly changed and expanded. Because of its diversity and omnipresence in today’s audiovisual and other media, music has proved to be an integral part of our lives and the way we express ourselves. In light of Germany’s educational mandate in the whole of society, and given an open-minded view of culture, music instruction is meant to enable children and adolescents to participate actively and with self-determination in musical culture, its evolution and its preservation, and thereby to seek and find their personal and social identity. In light of altered conditions, which will surely continue to change in the future, it is safe to say that there can be no such thing as a single sacrosanct form of music education. The way music is taught in Germany’s state education system will depend inter alia on the pupils involved, their personal backgrounds, the location of the lessons, the socio-cultural context and the school concerned.

In 2005 the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat), in its Expert Committee on Music Education, defined a comprehensive framework for music instruction in Germany’s state school system. It consists of a total of seven points, covering a spectrum that ranges from pleasure in music and joint music-making to emotional and sensory experiences to intellectual insight, including teaching pupils to understand their own musical culture. [24]

Music performance in schools

Besides music instruction, music performance is especially important in those schools that offer specially designed music courses for pupils with a particular interest in music. These mainly involve grammar schools with a special focus on music and the arts, some of which co-operate with music schools at the tertiary level. In addition to an increase in music instruction, these institutes, some of which are boarding schools, also offer intensive lessons in musical instruments, voice, music theory or ear training. Such schools place a premium on orchestral and choral work. The overriding objective of these specially oriented schools is to promote highly talented pupils in a targeted manner and potentially to prepare them for a musical career in adulthood. There are also a good many schools that provide
expanded music instruction at various levels of concentration using a wide range of concepts.

In the case of Germany’s ‘normal’ state schools, intensive instrumental and vocaltraining is mainly provided in optional subjects or extracurricular activities. In such schools, choirs, big bands, orchestras, mixed ensembles, work groups in contemporary music, combos and similar formations are distinctive features of school life. However, their vitality depends equally on the commitment of the pupils and on teachers with sufficient powers of motivation. Such teachers have found it increasingly difficult, in administrative terms, to have this work counted as part oftheir teaching load.

Roughly over the last 25 years, different forms of classroom music-making have taken hold in Germany’s state schools with the aim of building up broad-based musical competence without special musical skills. These programmes specifically attempt to reach pupils who do not have the opportunity to learn an instrument outside the school system. Recently this trend has accelerated as schools seek to cultivate an image and develop greater autonomy, and as all-day schools become more widespread. In a general sense, the term classroom music-making is understood to mean all music-related activities performed jointly by a school music class, including reflecting on those activities. [25] Consequently, classroom music-making can generally be incorporated into any form of music teaching at a state school. More specifically, classroom music-making is carried out in so-called ‘music classes’ in which every pupil learns an instrument and/or receives singing lessons. Compared to regular weekly class lessons, music classes receive more hours of instruction per week (at least two hours on a continuing basis, and sometimes three or more). In addition to the closed form of music class, there are also what are called Einwahlmodelle (omnibus models) where the pupils come from parallel classes or an entire grade level. These models vary depending on the instruments taught: music classes may be held for winds, strings, voice (also known as singing, vocal or choral classes), keyboards, recorders, guitars, percussion, fretted mono-chords or diverse mixtures. They are most prevalent in grades five and six, with a tendency towards continuation at middle-level. They are also coming increasingly to the fore in primary schools. In all school types they constitute an important area where music teachers from state schools and teachers from music schools and the private sector can work together on a constructive basis.

Figure 4
Partnerships of public music schools with primary and secondary schools and other institutions
Figure: Partnerships of public music schools
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At present, music classes, with their various forms of classroom music-making,appear to be a very successful vehicle for music instruction. It is difficult to determine how many currently exist, but it is absolutely certain that their numbers have recently increased. The conflicting concepts and practices in schools also raise questions, of course. These questions are directed inter alia at conceptual objectives, course design and balance, methodological consistency, integration of classroom music-making or educational theory, and balance between those parts of the lesson devoted to general music instruction and those devoted to playing an instrument. [26] At the same time, classroom music-making specifically requires competence on the part of music teachers, meaning that changes are needed in the way they are trained. [27] 

Die Liederfeste zum Abschluss der Aktion „Klasse! Wir singen“ bringen Tausende von Kindern zusammen
The Song Festivals at the end of the ‘Klasse! Wir singen’ programme bring together thousands of children  
Photo:  Anja Albrecht

In recent years a number of practical projects of limited duration and variable quality and relevance have been launched to reinforce school music-making, particularly in primary schools. They began with the ‘JeKi’ project (for ‘Jedem Kind ein Instrument’, i.e. An Instrument for Every Child) that originally emerged from the work of Bochum Music School and continued from 2007 in a co-operation between the Federal Cultural Foundation, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Future of Education Foundation (Zukunftsstiftung Bildung). In 2010 the project was extended to the Ruhr area of North Rhine-Westphalia and became a model adopted in various forms in Hamburg, Hessen and other states. In North Rhine-Westphalia itself it was replaced in the 2015-16 school year by the successor programme ‘JeKits’ (for ‘Jedem Kind Instrumente, Tanzen, Singen’, i.e. Instruments, Dancing and Singing for every child), which was opened for every municipality in the state and added the two other points of emphasis as alternatives to instrument lessons. Equally worthy of mention are many other projects and initiatives that provide very important and creative regionally-tinged supplements to Germany’s nationwide mandate for music education from the preschool level to advanced training for music teachers. Many of these projects are the result of civic commitment and unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape. [28] However, such projects must be seen as complementary to school music instruction, not as a substitute for it.

Music education in the state school system is associated in many different ways with co-operative ventures with public music schools. The percentage of schools that enter co-operations with VdM music schools has stabilised at the level reached in recent years. In 2017, for example, almost 80 per cent of VdM music schools worked together with primary schools, and almost 45 per cent with grammar schools (see Fig. 4).

 No data is available on collaboration between state schools and private music schools or freelance instrument or voice teachers. With the expansion of Germany’s all-day schools, however, a closer co-operation at a guaranteed qualitative level is both necessary and desirable as a supplement to music education.

Future perspectives

The perspectives of music as a school subject are and will remain strongly influenced by ongoing developments in Germany’s cultural, educational and school policies. Within this framework, it is particularly important to strengthen the position of music in its specificity and uniqueness among the broad range of subjects taught at every level of the state school system, to place it in educationally meaningful learning environments and to appreciate its importance to the whole of society from every vantage point. It is especially vital to ensure that music is promoted and taught on a continuous basis. To do so, the number of music teacher trainees must be increased, especially for primary and special schools. Equally important is the need to enable and establish inclusive teaching methods in which music can successfully meet the many claims and demands placed upon it in school life, both in its contents and its methodology. Finally, it is essential to discuss the contribution that music education can and ought to make, both now and in the future, toward active and selfdetermined participation in our digital world. 

Über den Autor

Ortwin Nimczik is professor of music education and pedagogy at Detmold University of Music and honorary president of the German Music Teacher Association (Bundesverband Musikunterricht).
Empty State Autorenbild


  1. Illustrated in Grundstruktur des Bildungswesens in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Diagramm, ed. Sekretariat der Ständigen  Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Berlin, 2017).d Bonn, 2018), p. 4.
  2. Further discussion in Lutz R. Reuter and Margarete Menz, ‘Das Schulwesen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland’, in Gerhard Mertens et al., eds., Handbuch der Erziehungswissenschaft, vol. II/1: Schule (Paderborn, 2009), pp. 139-54.
  3. For details see Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs], ed., Das Bildungswesen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2015/16: Darstellung der Kompetenzen, Strukturen und bildungspolitischen Entwicklungen für den Informationsaustausch in Europa (Bonn, 2017), pp. 137f.
  4. To avoid historical connotations of musische Bildung (education in the arts) it would be meaningful and conceptually clearer to speak of musikalische Bildung (education in music).
  5. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ed., Kunst- und Musiklehrerausbildung: Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 06.12.2012 (Berlin, 2012), p. 2.
  6. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ed., Zur Situation des Musikunterrichts im Fach Musik an den allgemeinbildenden Schulen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Bericht der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 10.03.1998, (Bonn, 1998), pp. 11f.
  7. The total number of students in Germany’s general education system was 8.3 million in the 2017-18 school year. Slightly more than 7 million attended primary schools and schools of secondary level I. Figures from Federal Statistical Office, ed., Bildung und Kultur: Allgemeinbildende Schulen, Schuljahr 2017/2018, Special series 11, series 1 (Wiesbaden, 2018), p. 10.
  8. This vagueness is illustrated by the case of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the total number of hours allocated in primary schools to the ‘artistic subjects’ music and art in the 2017-18 school year should be roughly equal. In fact, the 2017-18 statistics reveal that 4 hours were accorded to art and art education for every 3 hours allocated to music and rhythm. See Ministerium für Schule und Bildung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, ed., Das Schulwesen in Nordrhein-Westfalen aus quantitativer Sicht 2017/18 (Düsseldorf, 2018), pp. 86 and 91.
  9. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ed., Ländergemeinsame inhaltliche Anforderungen für die Fachwissenschaften und Fachdidaktiken in der Lehrerbildung: Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 16.10.2008 i. d. F. vom 11.10.2018 (Bonn and Berlin, 2018).
  10. Ibid., p. 66. In the meantime the introduction of such learning areas has led to corresponding degree programmes, e.g. at Cologne University. However, the proportion devoted to music in those programmes is extremely limited compared to the proper study of music.
  11. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ed., Vereinbarung zur Gestaltung der gymnasialen Oberstufe und der Abiturprüfung: Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 07.07.1972 i. d. F. vom 15.02.2018 (Berlin and Bonn, 2018), p. 4.
  12. Ibid., p. 9.
  13. Ibid., p. 8.
  14. Ibid., p. 12.
  15. Einheitliche Prüfungsanforderungen in der Abiturprüfung Musik: Beschluss der KMK vom 01.12.1989 i. d. F. vom 17.11.2005, ed. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Berlin and Bonn, 2005).
  16. The status of music at this type of school is discussed by Philipp Ahner: Wahlfach ‘Musik’: Musikunterricht an beruflichen Gymnasien in der Sekundarstufe II in Baden-Württemberg aus der Perspektive von Jugendlichen, Musikpädagogik und Kultusverwaltung (Norderstedt, 2011).
  17. Vereinbarung zur Gestaltung der gymnasialen Oberstufe und der Abiturprüfung: Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 07.07.1972 i. d. F. vom 15.02.2018, ed. Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Berlin and Bonn, 2018), p. 8, note 4.
  18. In Baden-Württemberg this figure was 18,646 in 2016, i.e. more than a third of all grammar school pupils who graduated in that year. See Abiturienten nach Schularten, ed. Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart, 2018), online at (accessed on 5 October 2018).
  19. The Federal Statistical Office gives the total number of teachers in Germany’s state school system at 679,478 in 2017-18, breaking them down by type of school, scope of employment and sex, but not by subject, owing to the inconsistent sources relative to the federal states. See Bildung und Kultur: Allgemeinbildende Schulen, Schuljahr 2017/2018, ed. Statistisches Bundesamt, Special series 11, series 1 (Wiesbaden, 2018), pp. 696-744.
  20. Bildung in Deutschland [Education in Germany] 2012: Ein indikatorengestützter Bericht mit Analyse zur kulturellen Bildung im Lebenslauf, ed. Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung (Bielefeld, 2012), p. 335.
  21. Ibid., p. 191.
  22. In March 2015 the study ‘Jugend/Kunst/Erfahrung: Horizont 2015’ investigated the cancellation of music education at grammar and secondary-level schools by polling pupils in grades nine and ten. The findings revealed that music education did not take place at 22 per cent of the schools and was cancelled ‘frequently’ or ‘now and then’ at 27 per cent. The statistics were published by the German Music Information Centre in Ausfall des Musikunterrichts an Gymnasien und Sekundarschulen (9. und 10. Klasse) (Bonn, 2015), online at (accessed on 2 November 2018). The German Music Council and the Bertelsmann Foundation are currently preparing a study of this topic, with initial findings scheduled to appear in 2020.
  23. In 2017, 114 career changers were hired for music instruction in Berlin, 60 in North Rhine-Westphalia, 39 in Saxony and 31 in Lower Saxony, or 267 positions nationwide. See Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ed., Einstellung von Lehrkräften 2017: Tabellenauszug, ed. (Berlin, 2018), p. 9.
  24. Deutscher Musikrat [German Music Council], ed., ‘Sieben Thesen zur Musik in der Schule’, in Musik bewegt: Positionspapiere zur Musikalischen Bildung (Berlin, 2005), pp. 10-19, esp. pp. 11f.
  25. More detailed discussion in Michael Pabst-Krueger, ‘Klassenmusizieren’, in Werner Jank, ed.: Musik-Didaktik: Praxishandbuch für die Sekundarstufe I und II, (Berlin, 6 2017), pp. 158-68.
  26. Hans-Ulrich Schäfer-Lembeck, ed., Klassenmusizieren als Musikunterricht!? Theoretische Dimensionen unterrichtlicher Praxen: Beiträge des Münchner Symposions 2005 (Munich, 2005). Since then studies have been published on this topic, including Gerd Arendt, Instrumentalunterricht für alle? Zur langfristigen Relevanz des Klassenmusizierens und der Notwendigkeit einer Reform des Musikunterrichts (Augsburg, 2009); Thade Buchborn, Neue Musik im Musikunterricht mit Blasinstrumenten (Essen, 2011); and Katharina Bradler, Streicherklassenunterricht. Geschichte – Gegenwart – Perspektiven (Augsburg, 2014). For an integrative conception of music education see Bernhard Sommer et al., Leitfaden Bläserklasse: Ein Konzept für das erfolgreiche Unterrichten mit Blasinstrumenten (Innsbruck, 2018).
  27. Further discussion in Ludwig Striegel, ‘Klassenmusizieren als integratives Unterrichtskonzept: Das Mainzer Modell’, in Schäfer-Lembeck, ‘Klassenmusizieren’ (see note 26), pp. 118-24, and Ortwin Nimczik, ‘Studienfeld Klassenmusizieren: Ein neuer Schwerpunkt im Studiengang Schulmusik an der Hochschule für Musik Detmold’, in ibid., pp. 125-37.
  28. Examples include ‘Primacanta: Jedem Kind seine Stimme’; ‘SingPause: Singen an Düsseldorfer Grundschulen’; ‘GanzOHR! Musik für Kinder’; and ‘Canto Elementar’.