Association of German Music Schools

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The Association of German Music Schools ( VdM ) is the professional association and supporting association of public, non-profit music schools in Germany , based in Bonn . More than 900 music schools are currently organized in it (as of 2019). Federal managing director is Matthias Pannes, chairman of the federal board Ulrich Rademacher .

About the association

The member schools are organized in a total of 16 regional associations. In the schools affiliated with the VdM, around 1 million children, young people and adults are taught by around 35,000 music teachers. The association sees itself as the central carrier of independent youth welfare and specialist partner for the nationwide development and implementation of musical youth and adult education, which works closely with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth in youth education . It is funded by the latter, as well as from the federal child and youth plan.

The association works with the competitions Jugend musiziert , Jugend jazzt , the German Orchestra Competition and the German Choir Competition and cooperates with professional associations such as the German Singers ' Association , the Association of German School Musicians , general schools, training centers for professions in the music department and amateur music associations.

The association is a member of the German Music Council , the European Music School Union , the Federation of Music Education Associations in Germany (FMV), the Federal Association for Cultural Youth Education (BKJ) as well as the Federal Academies Trossingen , Remscheid and Wolfenbüttel , the Hören initiative and many others German and international institutions and organizations.

The association is the publisher of the monthly magazine Neue Musikzeitung and publishes in VdM Verlag Bonn on specialist topics. As part of its public relations work, it provides information about the work of the music schools and their offers.  


As a professional association, the VdM represents the interests of public, non-profit music schools vis-à-vis authorities, professional associations and other organizations at home and abroad and advises music schools and their sponsors on issues relating to education and organization. It develops and updates structural plans and framework curricula for music schools and music lessons, gives recommendations for pedagogical guidelines and develops and tests new music pedagogical models. In addition, concepts for the further training of music teachers are developed and seminars are offered in this regard. The VdN is particularly committed to nationwide comparable educational standards.

The association also organizes music school congresses, meetings and symposia.

Special projects (selection)

The association is the sponsor of the German String Philharmonic - formerly the German Music School Orchestra (DMO). Since 1997, the VdM has been awarding the Leopold Media Prize for CDs, MCs and CDROMs for children, funded by the Federal Youth Ministry, every two years . It promotes international youth exchanges in music schools as the central agency for funding from the Federal Youth Ministry, the Franco-German Youth Office , the German-Polish Youth Office and the German-Israeli Youth Exchange Coordination Center ConAct .

The German Music School Day is held every three years , on which the music schools across Germany go public with a variety of programs and concerts and provide information about their work. Since 1971 the German Music School Congress has been taking place regularly in different cities, each with a new motto. The European Music School Union (EMU), founded in 1973 on the initiative of the VdM, now consists of twenty European music school associations.

After a successful model experiment for early musical education in 1968, it has been an integral part of German music school work since 1969.

The model project “Playing instruments with handicapped people”, launched in 1979, has offered regular teacher training courses to 470 music schools to this day. The VdM is also a founding member of the Hören eV initiative

9,000 music students from 23 nations took part in the "European Youth Music Festival '85", the VdM's first music festival as a contribution to the European Year of Music . This festival was held several times in a row.

In 1994 the VdM was the first cultural umbrella organization to take part in the “ No power to drugs ” campaign. In 1998 the association launched the youth initiative “Alles Oper?” In cooperation with the Semperoper Dresden , which has taken place several times since then.

In 2007, the VdM, together with the German Orchestra Association and Jeunesses Musicales Germany, co- sponsored the “tutti pro” initiative, a collaboration between youth orchestras and professional orchestras.

Founding history

Between 1945 and 1952, a total of twelve music schools were founded on the basis of Wilhelm Twittenhoff 's “New Music Schools” . On the initiative of the newly founded German Music Council , at the suggestion of and under the direction of Twittenhoff, a trend-setting conference took place at Oberwerries Castle with 80 participants from all over Germany and Berlin - including Fritz Jöde , Helmut Mönkemeyer and Martin Wolschke , who later became the director of the music school Hamm. The conference ended with the founding of the Association of Youth and Folk Music Schools . In 1957 the first “Membership Guidelines” were drawn up, with the help of which the quality and educational mandate of the music schools organized in the association should be ensured. In 1959 a curriculum was drawn up. In 1966 the association with currently 136 member schools was renamed the Association of German Music Schools . The first office was set up in Bremen . The expanded structures resulted in a larger range of courses. In 1967 the VdM published a “plan for the expansion of music schools” with the aim of further developing the structures for the development and sponsorship of music schools and sent them to all municipalities. An annual “Annual Statistical Report” has been published since 1967.

After German reunification , over 150 music schools from the new federal states were integrated into the association

Federal Managing Director

Awards (selection)

  • 2004: Leo Kestenberg Medal from the Association of German School Musicians
  • 2005: German music edition award “Best Edition” for the VdM curriculum for early musical education “Tina & Tobi” (category school and teaching literature for children and young people ), presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mission statement of the Association of German Music Schools. (PDF; 142 kB)
  2. Orchestra sponsorships tutti pro. Retrieved December 25, 2019 .
  3. Helmuet Fortmann, Hamm Music School - 50 years of eventful times , in: City of Hamm, Municipal Music School Hamm. 1940 - 1990 , Hamm 1990.