Anyone who wants to study music will find a wide range of options at music and art colleges, and sometimes also at universities and teacher training colleges.

The field of study at a glance

The music study area is divided into three areas: music practical or artistic, music education and music science courses. The aim of the practical artistic and pedagogical training is to prepare students for pursuing an artistic or music education profession and to impart the necessary professional knowledge, skills and methods. In contrast, musicology primarily covers the theoretical and historical aspects of music.

  • The artistic study programs in instrumental music (solo, orchestral and chamber music) as well as in the study programs in church music, singing (solo, choir) and conducting (choir and orchestral direction) are primarily about the development of practical music skills on the respective instrument, in voice or conducting. As with the courses in accompaniment (rehearsal and accompaniment on the piano) and composition, ear training and music theory subjects such as music history and harmony are also taught.
  • In social work, there is an increasing need for specialists who can design, accompany and initiate musical-social educational offerings. The music education courses therefore impart not only musicological and music-practical expertise, but also social-educational specialist knowledge. This means that you gain not only theoretical but also practical knowledge. In addition to ear training and music history, methods and skills are taught on how to introduce children and adults to music.
  • The historical-scientific area is divided into music history, systematic musicology and musical folklore and ethnology - such as ethnomusicology, ethnomusicology, world music.
  • Training for teachers at general schools is also the responsibility of the universities. In addition, like music academies and conservatories, they train teachers at music schools and self-employed music teachers. A and B degrees in church music are also possible at both state and church music colleges.

Course offered

The artistic and pedagogically oriented bachelor's degree programs usually take place at art and music colleges, sometimes at teacher training colleges, and the musicology degree programs take place at universities. Possible names for the degree programs are: early music, historical instruments, choir conducting, conducting, orchestral conducting, singing, instrumental music (e.g. accordion, wind instruments, drums, guitar, woodwind instruments, piano, string instruments), jazz, pop and world music, folk music, church music, Composition, film music, accompaniment, singing pedagogy, instrumental pedagogy, music pedagogy, music education instrument/singing, musical, music research and media practice, music theory and ear training, applied musicology.

Contents of the course

Depending on the course of study, the following content is offered for practical-artistic music studies:

  • Conducting, Choir conducting: Choir conducting, Orchestra conducting, accompaniment for conductors, playing scores, work analysis
  • Singing: Singing didactics and methodology, breathing and movement techniques, speech training, singing, university and chamber choir
  • Instrumental music: string instruments, wind instruments, piano, harp, drums, musical analysis, listening training, ensemble, music history, music theory
  • Composition: Instrumental composition, electronic composition, music theory, music histor

In music education courses, for example, the following content is on the curriculum: rhythm, subject didactics, instrumental knowledge (e.g. guitar or piano), social pedagogical basics, music education, speech training, physical training, music psychology.

The historical-scientific area is divided into the basics and methods of musicology, music history or historical musicology, systematic musicology, music and mediality, notation and source studies as well as musical folklore and ethnology.

Admission criteria & application for study

An artistic aptitude related to the course of study must be proven in examinations. What is expected are, above all, a capable singing and speaking voice, mastery of a main and secondary instrument, good hearing and knowledge of general music and harmony theory. If you can provide proof of outstanding artistic talent, proof of university entrance qualification is not required - unless the course of study involves the first state examination for a teaching profession.

Special regulations apply in individual cases to training to become an independent music teacher.

Career opportunities after graduation

Graduates of the field of study can work in the fields of music, singing, composition, music education or editing, journalism and proofreading.

There are also employment opportunities in the areas of acting, dance, movement art or theater, film and television production.

Music teachers for general education schools find only limited employment opportunities outside of the school service, e.g. in media companies or music publishers.

Highly talented and well-trained graduates of a music degree work as singers, musicians, conductors, choir directors and bandmasters at opera houses, musical theaters, state and private orchestras or as music teachers and private music teachers. Professional musicians are also needed for the areas of amateur music and light music.