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Deutsche Version

Corona Ordinance of the state of Baden-Württemberg

The measures of the Freiburg University of Music are based on the current version of the Corona Ordinance (as of 1 July 2020) of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

The quarantine measures for entry and return travellers of the Ministry of Social Affairs are based on § 3a of this ordinance.

The list of risk areas indicated in the quarantine measures can be found on the website of the Robert-Koch-Institut.

Circulars on the situation at the university

Rector's circular letter to all university members (5 April 2021)

5 April 2021

Dear students, dear teachers, dear staff members,

It has been a long time since I have addressed you in a newsletter. Tomorrow, the new semester will start. The fact that I haven't contacted you for so long may have something to do with the fact that, despite all the restrictions and obstacles, we were able to pursue the things and goals that we always pursue at our university during the last semester: There was simply nothing new to report. On the other hand, it may also be an expression of the general exhaustion that has settled heavily over our everyday lives since the pandemic‘s state of emergency has become the perceived normality.

At first glance, the new semester does not seem to bring anything significantly new compared to the previous one. It is still the case that we are "driving on sight", that it is not possible to make binding predictions about how the next days and months will turn out. We will still have to be prepared to react and act at short notice. This semester, too, the procedures and hygiene measures established and successfully tested in the previous semesters will form the backbone of our overarching strategy.

Of course, this is a frustrating outlook - on the one hand. But on the other hand, we can also go into this new semester with the confidence that this time, too, we can probably succeed in guaranteeing a functioning course of studies, and that - as I would like to explain a little below - there are good reasons for upcoming constellations that will make our work easier and allow us to take further steps towards normality.

Let me mention a few basic things about the coming semester:

Business as usual

The university administration has already communicated early on that the 2021 semester will in all likelihood not differ fundamentally from the previous winter semester. The safety and hygiene regulations of the previous semester will also apply this semester. I see an advantage in the fact that we were able to practise these rules of conduct in the last two semesters without any major interruptions and I am convinced that the automatisms we have acquired will help us to get through this semester well too. The Coronaverordnung has not changed significantly with regard to the universities. We assume that the newly elected state administration will also give high priority to academic education and a lot of autonomy to the universities.

It is not yet possible for us (and probably never will be with ultimate reliability) to determine why our Hochschule has come through the pandemic relatively well so far. The evaluation of the data has not yet been completed. Moreover, it rests on too small a database to be able to make reliable generalizable statements. To our knowledge, 24 members from all university groups have been infected with the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic. Of course, we do not know whether this number actually includes all those infected. However, we can at least assume that all cases known to the public health authorities have also become known to us. These 24 cases also include cases that are not relevant for the university in terms of traceability because the infected persons were not in Freiburg or Germany and did not come into contact with other members of the university. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have had to take contact tracing actions in 14 cases of infection according to the current state of knowledge. This number refers to the period of the entire pandemic. As a rule, the cases occurred sporadically; only once at the beginning of the pandemic were there three cases occurring in parallel. In relation to the reference figure of approx. 1,000 people (students, teachers, staff, etc.), the development of the "internal" incidence rate of our university was thus largely analogous to that of the administrative district of Freiburg. Considering the fact that the age group with the highest infection rate is clearly overrepresented at our institution and that ensemble rehearsals and concerts were still possible, this is definitely worth emphasising.

Masks and distancing

Wearing masks and maintaining the required distance (social distancing) still guarantee the greatest protection. The wearing of medical masks at all teaching events at the university remains compulsory. Only where musical practice absolutely requires the mask to be removed is a waiver of this regulation permitted.


We may assume that the measurement of the rooms’ ventilation qualities by our Musikermedizin department and the resulting regulations for room usage have contributed significantly to the fact that a virus transmission through aerosols endangering the study routine has not taken place. The fact that the university members observed these regulations in a disciplined manner may be considered a great achievement of the last semester. This summer semester, many of our ventilation regulations will be easier to implement due to the outside temperatures. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasise once again that a prudent approach to ventilation is of one, if not central, importance in combating the pandemic, especially at the conservatoires.


In the past year, it has become increasingly clear that infection through contact or smear infection is much less important than infection through droplet infection. Nevertheless, this route of infection also exists and I would therefore ask you all to continue to observe hand hygiene. A recent review study concludes that "the breadth of scientific data does not support a uniform conclusion as to which drying method is safer or more hygienic." And this is true both in terms of actual hand hygiene and the spread of pathogens in the room. Drying hands with cloth-roll towels can be considered safe, as can drying with jet streams. Nevertheless, we have now also installed paper towels almost everywhere to enable contactless operation.

Gathering / University as a place of social encounter

This semester, the university unfortunately cannot once again become the central place for social encounters. I know that this in particular means a very considerable and painful restriction for our students. In the coming semester, all teachers will continue to have the task of reminding students of this fact again and again and of kindly resolving gatherings and advising people to leave the university. In my view, it is precisely the discipline in this matter that has contributed significantly to making differentiated and effective contact tracing possible in the first place.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing has been carried out with a great deal of effort in the last two semesters. An autonomous contact tracing is part of our security concept, which we subject to permanent self-monitoring. Due to their staff shortage problems, the local public health authorities were not able to provide really timely and detailed contact tracing in many places during the last two semesters. However, only the public health authorities can order people to go into quarantine. But the university, in the exercise of its domiciliary rights, can issue access and participation bans. Effective contact tracing, however, is primarily about removing contact persons from the contact circuit of the Hochschule as quickly as possible. In doing so, we have prophylactically "blocked" not only the direct first category contact persons of infected persons, but also the first category persons of the latter. In case of a negative test result of the contact person, the contact persons of the contact persons were immediately allowed access to the university again. We ensure rapid contact tracing by means of an "on-call service": every day of the week, a member of this on-call service is responsible for the contact tracing - day and night. Incoming messages are processed immediately. I myself have already made contact tracing calls into the night, blocked the persons concerned in the "system" and placed a printed list in the university gate for the technical staff during the night, so that the contact persons could no longer enter the university the very next day.

Some students critically objected that the access and participation bans did not follow any comprehensible criteria and were issued almost arbitrarily. I think that this impression is deceptive. Access and participation bans are always issued on the basis of a detailed individual analysis of a case, which, however, is always based on consistent evaluation criteria. In the course of the last year, we have continued to develop our analytical method based on experience and continuous evaluation of case histories. This internal dynamic may also have contributed to the impression of arbitrariness. For example, while at the beginning of the pandemic the entire ensemble or group was always "blocked" in the event of an infection, today only those persons who were in the immediate vicinity of the infected person are specifically blocked if all those involved (teachers and students) have otherwise confirmed compliance with our distance and ventilation rules. It is the task of the contact tracing process to ascertain this. For this reason, the seating/standing order must be both firmly maintained and documented.

Contact tracing will continue to be a central element of our safety strategy in the coming semester. It is based primarily on mutual trust and openness. Contact tracing can only be effective if it is based on honest information that is as complete as possible. Its sole aim is to avert harm and effectively limit the spread of the pandemic. No one has to fear being criticised or held responsible for alleged misconduct, disregard of regulations, etc. It is about limiting harm - nothing else.

Test strategy

The university administration and the Institute for Musikermedizin had already developed a differentiated test strategy for the last semester so that "artistic work by large ensembles can be made possible beyond obstructive hygiene and safety rules", as my Rundschreiben stated at the time. This test strategy envisaged a differentiated handling of so-called "rapid tests" as well as PCR tests. Unfortunately, this concept could not be implemented - for a variety of reasons. Our opera performance took place in the last semester while maintaining social distancing. We must take with us from this experience, which was also painful for us, the realisation that test strategies that can be implemented quite successfully on the free market cannot be implemented to the same extent at state universities.

I mention this here in order to put the planned test strategy for the coming semester into the right perspective right away. For we are striving for a test strategy to accompany and support a number of events and projects, which should make it possible to bring larger ensembles into play again. However, these test procedures will not override the basic hygiene, safety and distancing rules, but will only supplement and safeguard these rules. Rapid tests have been ordered in large numbers from the Ministry. We assume that we will be able to dispose of capacities in the planned scope, but we have not yet received any definite information about which tests are concerned and when they will be made available.

On the initiative of our Musikermedizin, a joint conference has already taken place with the university administration and the Virology Department of the Medical University Clinic Freiburg to plan sensible strategies for the use of rapid self-tests. It was pointed out once again that, especially in view of the higher infectivity of the British variant of the coronavirus - which now accounts for about 90 per cent - negative test results often reflect only a supposed certainty. It would therefore not be justifiable to suspend our hygiene rules on the basis of rapid tests. Nevertheless, rapid tests can be an additional safety measure. This is to be investigated in model projects for the cultural sector in the near future with special regard to the audience. Our Musikermedizin is directly involved here, so we assume that we could make corresponding strategies fruitful for our university as well, provided they are worked out and approved for us. Nevertheless, I must tell you that we do not expect to be able to open our Hochschule to the public this semester either because of new testing strategies. This semester, too, we are directing all our energy primarily towards maintaining and further normalising study routines as far as possible.

Vaccination strategy

We are currently in discussions with the Ministry on how a vaccination strategy for members of the Musikhochschule (teachers and students) could best be organised in terms of time and organisation. The university administration will inform you promptly about the progress in this matter. However, please be sure to keep yourself informed about vaccination possibilities. In view of the next winter semester, the highest possible vaccination coverage of the university members will slowly lead us out of the crisis. After a slow start to vaccinations, it may well now be that the younger age groups will soon come into view. As soon as this possibility is in sight, we will try to offer info sessions for those who need factual information.

In the last few weeks we have often been asked whether university teachers are not also teachers and therefore already entitled to vaccination. Unfortunately, however, university teachers are not included in the group of teachers at general-education schools or treated equally. The state government assumes that university teaching is basically done online. The numerous exceptions at universities, universities of applied sciences and Kunsthochschulen, which all institutions of higher education have repeatedly pointed out in recent weeks, have unfortunately not been able to change this basic categorisation so far. Only students who are required to work at general-education schools within their teacher training are entitled to an vaccination appointment.

Psychosocial counselling for students

The great psychosocial stresses experienced by many students as a result of the Corona pandemic have now been researched and described in general terms. They may hit students at the universities of music particularly hard. This semester, we want to make an effort to make special counselling options accessible to students here. The Institute for Musikermedizin would like to address students in particular here and ask them more precisely about their stresses and strains.

Face-to-face teaching

This semester, tuition in the artistic disciplines will generally take place as face-to-face lessons. In contrast to last semester, teachers should only offer individual tuition online if there are special reasons for doing so. Be it that the current infection situation does not permit face-to-face teaching, be it that the teacher or the student belong to a risk group or students cannot get to Freiburg. Since it can be assumed that there will still be considerable restrictions on mobility this summer, everyone, but especially the teachers, are urged to plan the semester in such a way that their usually weekly presence at the university can be ensured.

Entrance examinations

This semester's entrance examinations will generally take place as face-to-face examinations in June. In the event that a sudden strict lockdown does not allow for a face-to-face entrance examination, all applicants are requested to submit their application programme on video as a precautionary measure. This way, in an emergency, it would be possible to make an admission decision solely on the basis of the videos submitted. It is not yet clear whether such a regulation would also be possible in the case of our Schulmusik studies.


No one can say authoritatively at the moment what the next days and weeks will bring, what the spread of the viral mutations will really mean for us. So let's continue where we last left off. We should not slacken our efforts and keep our discipline high. If we constantly expand our scope of action by applying new methods and technical means, then this semester can also be a good one. And if the vaccination offer promised to all of us by the federal government finally comes at this semester’s end, then hopefully it will indeed be the last semester we have to cope with under such challenging conditions.

With this hopeful outlook, I wish you all a good and successful start to the new semester!

Ludwig Holtmeier

Circular letter of the library (15 January 2021)

15 January 2021

Dear faculty and students,

since mid-December, we have not been allowed to open the library as usual due to the state government’s Corona ordinance. However, the new regulations of 11 January 2021, will allow us to offer you ordering and pick-up services.

Opening hours

The library is open for the purpose of picking up items provided and returning items, tentatively Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Please note that there is a new online catalog. Currently, you can still research and order through the usual OPAC, but soon you will only be able to do so through the new Katalog+. To explain the ordering process via the new catalog, there is a short tutorial "Ordering Media for Pickup" on the library website.

All desired media must be pre-ordered. To do so, use the pre-order function in the online catalog. After processing, you will receive an e-mail about your media order. Only after receiving this mail, your desired title is reserved for you in the library for three lending days.

If necessary, we will be happy to help you with your research.

Further services

  •  Reservations on borrowed media remain valid.
  •  You can use the scanner during opening hours.
  •  Interlibrary loan requests can also be placed again; appropriately prepared interlibrary loan media can be picked up.
  •  You are welcome to send us requests for literature or sheet music using the "Suggest an Acquisition" form.
  •  In 2020, we have expanded our inventory of e-books. You can find all new titles in the online catalog. Please get in touch if you have any other requests.
  •  The library's digital offerings are still available as usual. Three different databases from Naxos (Music, Video, Jazz), the Digital Concert Hall, as well as the familiar databases MGG, Grove Music Online, JSTOR and so on are available as always.
  •  You will find the media return box in front of the library entrance. Please always return the media complete with all voices.

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone or e-mail.

We wish you a good semester
Your library team

Rectorat's circular letter to all university members (10 January 2021)

10 January 2021

Dear students, dear teachers, dear employees of the university,

Earlier this evening, the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts published the updated version of the "CoronaVO Studienbetrieb". It contains only a few minor changes for our university. According to this, the following requirements will be valid for attendance at our university from 11 January until initially the end of January:

The university is open

Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and

Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

for teaching and practising purposes.

Examinations and necessary internal class auditions may take place within these times. Appointments that have already been made outside these times will be rescheduled by the student's office in consultation with the candidates and the examination boards. Mr. Mammel may also have emailed you directly, in this case these times are binding.

The university is still only accessible to members and affiliates. Exceptions for important reasons must be requested from the Rectorate exclusively via Mr. Mammel (h.mammel(at)mh-freiburg.de).

The library may again offer a collection service ("click&collect"). We will inform you as soon as possible about the time slots in which media ordered via online catalogue can be collected on site at the university. Borrowed media can be returned at any time via the box to the right of the library entrance.

We are counting on being able to manage the next weeks with the many upcoming exams and the approaching end of the semester as well as possible in this way. More than ever, we are dependent on all students, teachers and staff at the university consistently adhering to the rules of our hygiene concept: Wear mouth and nose protection, keep your distance, and only stay at the university as long as necessary.

Based on student feedback, we would like to point out to all teachers in particular to consistently ensure that they wear mouth and nose protection at all times, both for themselves and for students. This rule applies - apart from the known exceptions - as a matter of principle and cannot be negotiated personally and "situationally", as it were ("Do they agree that we take off the masks?" etc.). Likewise, we would like to encourage all students to objectively point out the observance of rules. We are confident that these references will always be properly understood and appropriately received.

Likewise, we would like to ask you all to send infections and suspected cases immediately by mail to the address covid-19(at)mh-freiburg.de. Time is the decisive factor in following up and containing the infection.

Apart from all the uncertainties, however, above all: welcome back to the university in this year that is still new! We look forward to hearing your music and we hope that the circumstances in which it is heard will become more enjoyable in the coming months - even if we still have some time of restrictions ahead of us.

Kind regards
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Holtmeier
Prof. Christoph Sischka
Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Spahn
Dr. Dominik Skala

Information from the Rectorate to all university members (23 October 2020)

23 October 2020

Dear students, lecturers and staff of the university

On a current occasion we would like to ask you to read the following information carefully and to follow it consistently in order to ensure the smooth running of the university.

Behaviour in case of infection

  • For the purpose of taking protective measures for the members of the university, employees and students suffering from COVID-19 must immediately report the positive result of a corona test to the university in electronic form (covid-19(at)mh-freiburg.de). They are banned from all buildings of the university for 14 days from the date of notification and are also banned from attending any in-class lessons of the university.
  • Persons who are in quarantine due to an official order are prohibited from entering and attending in-class lessons.
  • Any intentional or negligent breach of the ban on admission constitutes an administrative offence under Section 19 No. 5 of the Corona Ordinance.

Category I contact persons (higher risk of infection):

  • Persons with cumulative face-to-face contact of at least 15 minutes with an infected person, e.g. during a conversation. This includes people from the same household, for example;
  • Persons with direct contact with secretions or bodily fluids, especially the respiratory secretions of an infected person, such as kissing, coughing, sneezing, contact with vomit, mouth-to-mouth respiration, etc;
  • Persons who, according to a risk assessment by the public health department, were most likely exposed to high concentrations of infectious aerosol in the room (e.g. celebrating, singing together or doing sports indoors without adequate ventilation);
  • Persons in a relatively confined space or in a contact situation with the confirmed COVID-19 case that is difficult to monitor (e.g. school classes, group events), regardless of the individual risk assessment

(compare the references on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.)

Rules for contact persons

  • Persons who are or have been in contact with an infected person and who are to be assigned to the group of contact persons in category I (higher risk of infection) as defined by the Robert Koch Institute are subject to a 14-day ban on admission since contact for all buildings of the university and a ban on participation in all in-class lessons of the university if 14 days have not yet passed since contact. The same applies if the typical symptoms of an infection with the corona virus, namely fever, dry cough, disturbance of the sense of taste or smell, occur. The ban on entry and participation is lifted if a medical certificate or a negative test result is available. The test result must be submitted to the university as a scan (covid-19(at)mh-freiburg.de).
  • Any intentional or negligent violation of the ban on admission constitutes an administrative offence pursuant to Section 19 No. 5 of the Corona Regulation.

Behaviour in the event of symptoms

  • People with cold symptoms or symptoms of illness of unclear origin are advised to stay at home. In the case of employees and lecturers at the university, such incapacity to work/incapacity for work must be reported immediately, i.e. as a rule by telephone by 9 a.m. on the first day of illness, stating the expected duration.

Loss of course and examination achievements in quarantine

  • If students are unable to take part in an exam or examination due to the SARS-CoV-2-related ban on admission and participation, the regulations of the examination law apply, in particular the regulations on withdrawal and compulsory attendance, i.e. if you are unable to take part due to the ban, a withdrawal is necessary for compulsory courses in attendance and a formal withdrawal from the attempt for examinations.
  • If courses with compulsory attendance are missed for the same reasons, this is not detrimental to the course achievement. These missing dates are not taken into account.

Entry from risk areas

  • Students and teachers entering the state of Baden-Württemberg from risk areas are generally required to take a test (see the Corona Ordinance on Entry Quarantine and Testing on the state's website).
  • The term "risk area" refers to "a state or region outside the Federal Republic of Germany for which there is an increased risk of infection with the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2)" (see the list on the website of the Robert Koch Institute). These "official" foreign risk areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute must be clearly distinguished from domestic areas at increased risk (domestic risk areas), for which these regulations usually do not apply.
  • A person is considered to have entered a risk area if "at any time during the last 14 days prior to entering [Germany], he/she has been in an area which was or still is a risk area during this period".
  • The test is not compulsory if you have been in a risk area for less than 48 hours.
  • Nor do these rules apply in the case of simple transit through one or more risk areas.
  • Upon arrival in Germany, the test must be taken "immediately, but no later than 14 days after entering the Federal Republic of Germany". Until a negative test result is obtained, those affected must be placed in strict quarantine. The quarantine area may only be left for testing.
  • The quarantine obligation is immediately waived if a medical certificate or a negative test result in German or English is available upon entry, confirming that there are no indications of infection with the coronavirus.
  • The test for the presence of infection with the corona virus may also have been carried out in a member state of the European Union or in another state published by the Robert Koch Institute. The test result must not be older than 48 hours when entering the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • The medical certificate or the negative test result must be kept for at least 14 days after entry.
  • Anyone who does not have the test done is acting in breach of regulations. This administrative offence can be punished with a fine of up to 25,000 euros.
  • Persons entering from a risk area are obliged to contact the Freiburg Office for Public Order immediately. The authority requires first name, surname, address, any place of residence other than this address, the date of entry and a telephone number. The persons concerned should contact polizei(at)stadt.freiburg.de by e-mail.
  • If a medical certificate or a certificate from a test laboratory with a negative test result is available, a copy of the medical certificate or the negative test result must be sent to the Freiburg Office of Public Order (polizei(at)stadt.freiburg.de).
  • Travellers from risk areas should immediately consult a doctor if, despite a negative initial test result, symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 illness occur within 14 days of returning home. In addition, the Freiburg Office of Public Order (Amt für öffentliche Ordnung Freiburg) should be informed of the occurrence of symptoms by e-mail at polizei(at)stadt.freiburg.de. As a rule, the Office will then contact the relevant public health department.

Entry of cross-border commuters

  • Persons "who are absolutely necessary and cannot be postponed for professional reasons ... and who enter the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany" are exempt from the test obligation, even if they enter from a risk area.

Masking obligation / violation of the masking obligation

  • The mouth-and-nose cover must be worn in all seminars or seminar-like events at the University of Music. These regulations do not apply to instrumental or ensemble lessons etc. The universities of music are granted greater flexibility in dealing with the so-called mask obligation than the universities. It is at the discretion and personal responsibility of each individual lecturer to allow any exceptions to the basic regulations. The security needs of all students must always be adequately taken into account.
  • Anyone who, in the sense of § 3, paragraph 2, number 2 of the Corona Ordinance, considers the covering of the mouth and nose "impossible or unreasonable for health or other compelling reasons" must provide credible proof of this by means of a medical certificate. The certificate must be submitted to the Rector (rektor(at)mh-freiburg.de). Only with the Rector's express consent may you enter the university without a mask.

Conduct in the university building

  • Please remember that neither in the foyer nor in the corridors are longer conversations to be held. Any lengthy conversation may result in contact that could become relevant in the event of an infection (Category I contacts) and make it difficult to trace the chain of infection.
  • It is not permitted to allow fellow students or external persons to gain access to university buildings with the own university ID. In the so-called "Streicherhaus" in Hansastraße there have been repeated violations of this regulation. They will be consistently punished in future.
  • The new Corona Regulation makes it mandatory that university buildings may only be used for university purposes. Events that are not related to the direct study and university concert operations are not permitted.

Violation of personal rights

  • The filming of digital teaching formats is not permitted. Unauthorised distribution of such recordings is illegal, as is editing them, especially for the purpose of disparaging and degrading fellow students or lecturers. We would like to point out that this is not just a harmless gimmick, but a massive violation of personal rights, with far-reaching consequences.

Technical Service and Administration

  • A case of infection in the Technical Service could result in the university buildings no longer being able to be used. For this reason, a back-up staffing must be maintained to ensure that operations can be maintained in such a case. For this reason, the Technical Service is working in an emergency staffing during these weeks. Therefore, support for the furnishing and equipping of rooms or the like cannot be provided or can only be provided to a very limited extent. We ask all university members to take this fact into account and to accept the refusal of service requests.
  • The university administration must also remain operational as long as possible. For this reason, please always contact the persons concerned by telephone or e-mail before you come to the offices in person.

Stay healthy!

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Holtmeier

Prof. Christoph Sischka
Prorector Teaching

Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Spahn
Prorector Research and International Affairs  

Dr. Dominik Skala

Rector's circular letter to all university members (9 October 2020)

9 October 2020
Dear students, dear lecturers and staff,

I sincerely hope that you have survived the lecture-free period unscathed and that you have been able to recover from the extraordinary stresses and strains of the past semester and now start the new semester with renewed strength. I wish the numerous students who began their studies at our university this semester, as well as the new colleagues in teaching, a good start into a new phase of their lives in these difficult times!

It is now almost exactly two months since I last wrote to you in a circular letter. The fact that I am addressing you with my first newsletter only now, at the end of the first week of lectures, may give you an idea of the challenges facing the university and all its members this semester as well.

It may have been clear to all of us that the health policy situation would not change abruptly in the summer months of the lecture-free period and that the virus would not simply disappear from our everyday lives, but secretly we are living for an "after" - and now it may seem as if we are caught in a time loop, like in Harold Ramis’ wonderful film "Groundhog day": The new semester begins - but somehow it is the old one again.

But this impression is deceptive. This semester will be very different from the previous one. The return to a more familiar use of space and the resumption of concert and ensemble activities are only the most visible changes. Our hygiene concept has undergone a fundamental strategic development: The room utilisation concept is now based on empirical measurement results, which allow indirect conclusions to be drawn about the room-dependent transmission risks from aerosols and lead to individualised utilisation concepts. The responsible ministry supports our Institute for Musician's Medicine, together with the University Hospital of Freiburg, in exploring the possibilities of group testing, so that the intensive artistic work of large ensembles can be made possible beyond obstructive hygiene and safety regulations. On the basis of this new testing concept, the opera performance is to take place this semester, if possible. In the following I will go into more detail about the innovations and the consequences, challenges and problems arising from them.

Many things will probably be freer, more "normal" this semester than last - provided, of course, that external circumstances permit. The flipside of this greater freedom is a significant increase in organisational complexity, which can only be mastered through the active cooperation and understanding of all, and which will require an even greater degree of discipline and patience from all of us than last semester.

The strategic baselines for this semester have been in place for some time now and have already been largely formulated in my last circular letter before the holidays. But the devil is really in the detail here. That is also the reason why I am contacting you so late, which is why I am asking you to excuse me. Our extensive organisational changes in relation to the previous semester must also be coordinated with an increasingly complicated social (domestic, European, global) situation and an increasing complexity of rules and regulations: The state reactions to the pandemic have now truly entered a late-scholastic phase. I would ask you to bear in mind that the Freiburg University of Music, as a state educational institution, is not free to make its own decisions, but must follow both the general rules of the CoronaVO, as amended, and the special rules applicable to the universities (CoronaVO Studienbetrieb und Kunst) of the state.

Empirical Turn

Although fundamental concepts from the last semester will be retained this semester, our strategy has undergone a profound change and significant development, which is perhaps best described by the term "empricial turn". In the last semester we countered the pandemic not only with "static" rules of conduct (distance and hygiene rules), but also with rather static risk assessments. In view of the role played by aerosols in the transmission of the virus, which was still largely unexplained at the beginning of the pandemic, we have basically placed the lessons in the "risk subjects" wind instruments and singing in large rooms. For safety reasons, teaching and practising practice were separated mechanically, the rooms were restricted to a certain number of users who practised exclusively in the assigned rooms. In the last semester, the university's internal concert life and ensemble music-making came to a virtual standstill as a result. I think we all agree that this system could not be a system for the future.

In the meantime, we still know surprisingly little about the infection pathways of Covid-19 - let me explicitly state this again at this point. But we do have a great advantage over other universities in that we have an Institute for Musician's Medicine, which is now also involved in trend-setting research into preventive measures, especially in the field of music practice, and is funded by the state government. The determination of an overarching hygiene strategy always remains primarily a political decision of the entire university management, but in the case of the Freiburg University of Music it is more resting on the basis of the latest and most recent research findings and empirical measurement methods than in the case of most other universities of music. This also explains the inherent volatility of our rules: They change when new findings require or enable changes. Taking this volatility into account will be one of the major challenges for all of us this semester.

New room utilisation concept

On the basis of current knowledge, it can be assumed that there is a very close correlation between aerosol concentration and CO2 content in a room. Our functional handling of rooms will therefore in future no longer be determined by the parameters "size" and "room volume" alone. The decisive factor is not only how many people can fit into a room while maintaining the minimum distance (which must always be maintained, even at our university) or how many cubic metres of air per person are available in a room, but above all the effect that intensive use of this room with different constellations can have on the CO2 content and, associated with this, the aerosol content. To put it bluntly, ventilation or the ventilation concept is the new centre of our room strategy. For this purpose, almost all rooms here in the main building were measured and tested in different constellations, which tried to reflect the everyday use of the rooms as authentically as possible. The different intensity of physical activity, the number of room users and the effectiveness of different ventilation strategies were investigated. Each measured room was thus exposed to a large number of different situations, so that certain generalising statements suitable for everyday use can be made about the use of a room, keeping the aerosol concentration in mind. These measurements were and are very time-consuming and are still ongoing. In addition, some of the measurement results surprised us and presented us with new challenges.

These are preliminary measurement results, from which we can of course only draw preliminary conclusions. The measurements will be continued for the remaining rooms, including those in Hansastrasse 3 and Hansastrasse 9. It is essential for our new approach that we take up the practical experience of all teachers and all students with the ventilation concept and incorporate it in the further development of our strategy. We are at the beginning of a comprehensive ventilation concept for this university, which must be continuously perfected.


The measurements have shown that the ventilation quality of a room is difficult to assess. In principle, however, they represent a reliable parameter. They were carried out with professional measuring equipment, and various measurement settings were tested and compared. The measurements also showed that the CO2 traffic lights available at our university measure reliably.

In principle, the large rooms with air conditioning systems have proved to be unproblematic: Although not all air conditioning systems function in the same way, they all supply fresh air on a permanent basis and are therefore not only harmless in our opinion, but also have a clearly measurable positive influence on the room climate and the CO2 content. The picture is very different for non-air conditioned rooms. From the individual measurement results, certain parameters or key figures were extracted for each individual room, which were attached to the outside of the room doors so that they were visible to everyone.

Key figures

The key figures attached to the doors do not represent binding specifications which must be observed. It is clear to us that practicable space management would be almost impossible if these key figures were always regarded as absolute limit values that cannot be exceeded. It is, however, the responsibility of each and every teacher to handle these key figures with care. It should be borne in mind that ventilation frequencies sometimes increase dramatically if the recommended number of people is exceeded. As soon as the key figures are exceeded, each teacher assumes the role of the researcher and is required to check the practicability of his or her teaching constellation himself or herself - preferably with the aid of a CO2 traffic light. It is very important that the teachers’ individual experiences are reported back to the Rectorate. If all teachers (and also students) participate in this "room research", we can arrive at increasingly differentiated statements.

CO2 traffic lights

Even before the expected delivery bottleneck occurred, the Freiburg University of Music had acquired a considerable number of CO2 traffic lights, which, although not sufficient for all rooms, will be used this semester. On the one hand, the traffic lights are permanently assigned to those rooms that have proven to be problematic from a ventilation point of view in the course of the measurements. They are therefore mainly used where general and generalising ventilation rules could not be easily extracted. Naturally this applies especially to rooms in which a large number of people usually stay. In addition to these permanently assigned CO2 traffic lights, it will also be possible to borrow at least one device at the gate for temporary use. If the recommended number of persons in a room is exceeded, this mobile measuring device can be used for monitoring purposes. These mobile measuring devices can be borrowed for a maximum of 2 hours. Operating instructions for the CO2 traffic lights are available in the rooms concerned or are handed out with the rental devices.

Why is a data-based room utilisation concept being introduced at all?

This is by no means a trivial question, because other universities (also in this federal state) have also released their rooms for teaching and practice - also for the areas of wind music and singing - without having measured the rooms beforehand. And indeed, this procedure also has advantages, because if you ask questions, you sometimes get answers that you don’t like: Our measurements have sometimes led to considerable restrictions in the usual use of the rooms. We would not have had to deal with them if we had not measured.

In an emergency, however, a room concept based on empirical data collection can have great advantages. This is because the empirical data basis represents a reference point for discussion and the elaboration of a differentiated and appropriate response to a hazard situation. It can thus help to protect against excessive and generalised measures. But above all, these measurements provide evidence, both internally and externally, that the university is really fulfilling its duty of care for all members and is attempting to determine the objective danger situations and to respond to them in a rational and differentiated manner. In our view, this is the only way to justify the continuous movement towards normalisation of the university’s academic activities. The university management is convinced that the crisis can only be countered in the long term if, with the help of all technical means, an ever more differentiated strategy of risk avoidance is developed and students learn to live with the pandemic.

Group lessons / Ensemble and chamber music

During this semester, chamber music and ensemble lessons as well as the larger ensemble projects will take place to the greatest possible extent. It should also be possible for seminars and larger small groups (4-6 persons) to take place as face-to-face lessons, or were already planned at the end of the previous semester as face-to-face lessons. The current measurement results force us to make changes to this preliminary planning with regard to some (few) rooms. In many cases, it does make a big difference whether a room can be used by twelve or "only" eight people, or whether an event in the planned group size can only take place if air conditioning is required every twenty minutes.

It is not possible for me to list all cases in detail. Here are just a few examples:

a) Rooms 101-105 have proven to be quite problematic when measured in traditional use. Room 101 and Room 105 are classical seminar rooms. If the distance rules are observed, room 105 could accommodate up to twelve people plus the lecturer. Based on our measurements, however, we recommend that the room may be occupied by a maximum of 6 people. A longer teaching time in this room with 6 persons is also only possible if the bottom hung windows remain permanently open.

b) For room 104 it is recommended not to exceed the number of four persons. According to our measurements, even if four people use the room, it should be ventilated after twenty minutes with the windows closed.

c) In some rooms of the vocal lecturers, longer periods of joint work by lecturer, student and répétiteur are not recommended because the CO2 values rose too quickly during the measurements.

Based on these examples, I would like to show some strategies with which the problems can be countered.

a) Wherever possible, larger formations, ensembles and groups should use the (air-conditioned) large rooms (concert hall, chamber music hall, room 117, room 156). These rooms are to be used as classrooms throughout the semester.

b) All “sensitive” rooms (101-105 et cetera) are equipped with CO2 traffic lights. As described above, they allow a more flexible approach to the key figures and should enable individual lecturers to gain more objective experience in dealing with these rooms.

c) The problems caused by the limited use of some rooms can also be countered by organising the use of the rooms differently within a department or departmental group. In the vocal field, for example, it has been decided to temporarily deviate from the static allocation of teachers to certain rooms. These changes must be organised within the departments or subject groups themselves.

d) In order to alleviate the acute shortage of rooms, additional rooms in Freiburg could be made available to the University of Music, spread over three locations:
1) Foyer and seminar rooms in the Stadthalle
2) 2nd and 3rd floor in the building Hansastraße 9
3) Matthias Claudius Chapel in Günterstal

In principle, these locations open up numerous options for our university. However, each new “location” has its own problems that need to be dealt with:

a) The foyer of the Stadthalle has already been used intensively in the last semester and is an ideal place to supplement or alternate, especially for ensemble teaching à distance. In addition, we have been able to secure two large seminar rooms on the first floor, which already serve as alternative locations for larger groups. However, the use of the foyer, and thus its inclusion in a forward-looking room planning process, is severely limited by the fact that no practicable way of heating the room has yet been found. The seminar rooms, however, can be heated. We are in intensive discussions with the responsible Office for Property and Construction and are looking for timely solutions. It is clear to us and the office that a solution must be found quickly.

b) The building at Hansastraße 9 is an architecturally very attractive four-storey old building from the beginning of the 20th century. This building was previously used by the building authority, which currently also uses the raised ground floor and the first floor as storage space. With this semester we can use the rooms on the second and third floors. This building represents a really attractive alternative and expansion location for the University of Music due to its immediate proximity to our second building at Hansastraße 3 (Streicherhaus). Furthermore, there is the prospect of being able to use the entire building in the medium term. Although the building is in good structural condition and the semester break has been used to upgrade the premises for use by the University of Music, the rooms are not explicitly equipped for use by musicians. The use of the rooms as rehearsal and music teaching rooms is therefore currently only possible to a limited extent. We are working on opening up the rooms for our purposes as far as possible this semester.

c) The Matthias Claudius Chapel in Günterstal is only sporadically used as a Protestant church. In our opinion, the church room could be very suitable for choir rehearsals, but also for ensemble rehearsals of all kinds, as well as for concerts and class evenings. Initial rehearsals by university teachers have confirmed our assessment. The chapel has an adjoining room with a small kitchen and sanitary facilities, which in our opinion makes it an attractive location for block seminars and ensemble projects. The building is owned by the Protestant Church and would have to be renovated and refitted by the university if it were to be used for a long time (for example, there is currently no piano). In addition, it is still unclear whether intensive musical use is even possible within the dense residential development. The Freiburg University of Music can use the chapel this semester to find out exactly that. In our opinion, the Matthias Claudius Chapel is particularly suitable this semester for ensemble projects in intensive rehearsal phases (string and wind chamber music, chamber choir et cetera).

Large ensembles / tests

As a further possibility to return to intensive, “normal” ensemble work, we are pursuing the goal of carrying out so-called group tests for the corona virus. I am very grateful to Prorector Claudia Spahn for consistently pursuing this approach in recent months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our University Council member Fritz Keller for establishing important contacts in the field of competitive sports, where these approaches have been pursued for some time.

There are currently several different approaches to testing and many companies on the market that specialise in testing and its further development. From the virologists’ point of view, testing using the PCR method is currently the most reliable. For our university, the principle of testing is particularly interesting for opera and choir, but also for orchestra, because - if testing is carried out and the risk of infectivity is reduced - restrictive hygiene rules could be dropped, at least in phases. We are currently in the process of developing concepts with the teachers and those responsible for the above-mentioned areas and planning them accordingly. In the near future, the financial and organisational conditions for testing will have to be specified. In principle, the Ministry of Science, Art and Culture has agreed to support the University of Music as a pilot university in its strategy. Without this support, we would not be able to pursue the path of testing: Currently, a single test costs around 100 euros and preventive testing is not directly within the University Hospital’s range of tasks.

Allocation of space / Responsibilities

It is clear to the university management that room organisation has a key function this semester. The “volatility” of many rooms this semester makes it a special challenge. The overall coordination of all rooms is in the hands of Hans Jörg Mammel, whom you can turn to in any emergency. Please contact Ms Matheis first as usual regarding the occupancy of rooms 117 and 156, Ms Kiourti regarding the chamber music and concert hall, and Mr Scheele regarding rooms 101-105. The external rooms (Stadthalle, Matthias-Claudius-Kapelle and Hansastraße 9) are managed directly by Mr Mammel.

Class auditions / concerts

We currently assume that each class will be able to hold at least one class audition. We also assume that the concerts will take place as planned. The class auditions this semester are generally public events at the university only, and only in exceptional cases are guests from outside the university admitted. Regardless of the venue, a maximum of twenty listeners are admitted. Teachers will each receive twenty tickets and must list the persons to whom the tickets have been issued or who attended the lecture evening. At the concerts, the number of visitors depends on the number of seats available at the venue. All concert-goers must leave their contact details at the entrance, even if they purchased their tickets online. External visitors must provide full details, for internal visitors a name or matriculation number is sufficient. Only those who leave their contact details can be admitted.

Elementary rules - Reminder

  • The distance rules of the last semester continue to apply without restriction (1.50 m in general, 2 m for vocals and wind instruments).
  • The keyboard instruments must be cleaned after use, as in the previous semester. For wind instruments, avoid draining condensation water on floors; this must be disposed of in a collection container or absorbent blotting paper. Wind players should not blow through the instruments for cleaning. Whenever possible, wind instruments should be cleaned in separate rooms outside the classroom or music-making setting. Particular attention must be paid to thorough hand hygiene if there is contact with condensation water or with the interior of the instrument (e.g. horn).
  • Studies have shown that a distance of two metres between wind instruments and singers provides sufficient protection against direct droplet infection. Plexiglas panels are therefore no longer compulsory. It is undisputed, however, that they provide additional protection and can thus naturally also be used - comparable to the use of CO2 traffic lights - to reduce uncertainties and feelings of fear.
  • It is mandatory to wear a mouth and nose protector when moving within the university. It can be taken off in the classrooms while maintaining a safe distance.
  • Only members and relatives of the university are allowed to enter the building. All other visitors must register in advance with Hans Jörg Mammel (h.mammel(at)mhfreiburg.de). Unannounced visitors will not be admitted (see also the sections on class auditions / concerts).
  • Hands must always be washed thoroughly immediately upon entering the university.
  • All persons entering the university must sign a voluntary commitment that no symptoms exist and that they will adhere to the applicable hygiene regulations.
  • As in pre-corona periods, practice rooms can generally be occupied without prior notice. If all practice facilities have been exhausted, there is a “waiting area”: There are six places for the classrooms and a total of ten places for the rooms in the practice cellar. The places/chairs are marked and may not be moved/changed. During the waiting period, mouth-and-nose protection must be worn.
  • Students can practise in the classrooms as long as they are not occupied by classes. To do so, they will receive a key after placing their student ID on the reader at the gate. It is not possible to gain access to a classroom without a pass.
  • The following rules apply in the basement: A list is displayed on the doors of rooms 001-017 and 034-036. The name of the student and the start of the practice period must be entered on this list. Depending on the room, a practising time unit is one or two hours. Fifteen minutes before the end of practice time, the room must be ventilated until the end of practice time. The student must leave the room for this purpose.
  • Teachers who come to the university to teach receive, in addition to the key for their room, a list on which the date, the room and the names of the students who have received lessons are noted. This list must be deposited in a box at the gate before leaving the university. After the end of the lessons, it is mandatory to hand in the key to the room at the gate. This also applies if a student who has just been taught wishes to remain in the room: the key can only be handed out again after registration (placing the student’s ID on the reading device). We are expressly obliged by the current CoronaVO to this complete data collection.
  • The university library is open in the winter semester for members and relatives of the university as follows: Mondays to Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm, Saturdays from 1 pm to 3 pm. A maximum of ten persons may use the library at any one time. The names/matriculation number and time of visit are recorded for all users. Guests and visitors can contact the library by telephone or e-mail.
  • Unfortunately, the foyer and all corridors cannot be places of encounter and social contact this semester either. In addition to the reasons described in more detail below, this is due to the unfavourable ventilation characteristics of the foyer and many corridors (especially the corridors in the basement). Unfortunately, discussions and group formations are therefore also not possible in the corridors or the foyer this semester. The computers and photocopiers will also remain locked for the time being, except for one photocopier.

Infection / Quarantine / Travel restrictions / Entry

We have been asked several times how to deal with the infection or a suspected infection of a student/teacher and how to communicate appropriately in such a case. We have therefore developed a leaflet which describes in as clear and pragmatic a manner as possible how to proceed in which cases. You can find the leaflet on our website in the Corona section.

Financial support / Assistance fund for students

In the last semester, a large amount of donations was collected and made available to students in need through a relief fund set up by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg e. V. (Society for the Promotion of the Freiburg University of Music) together with teachers and members of the University of Music. Additional funds are now available from the "Aid Programme for Music Students" of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. In this case too, applications should be submitted to the Society for the Promotion of the Freiburg University of Music. All application modalities including the forms can be found on our website. At the same time, the Studierendenwerk also remains the point of contact for financial support for students in financial distress.

Freedom and rigour: Final thoughts on a disciplined cooperation

I think it is fair to say that in terms of the subject matter - i.e. in musical and academic teaching and practice - a lot is possible at our university that is not yet possible again at other universities or only to a much more limited extent. This great freedom on the one hand must be matched by a great discipline and strict adherence to the basic rules on the other. And this for several reasons:

a) At the moment when “tested” students work together in the large ensembles in project phases, two states of being exist side by side at this university, as it were: On the one hand, there is the general corona hygiene and distance culture that continues to determine our everyday life at the university, and on the other hand, there is the special state of an apparent restitution of pre-coronal normality within a closed setting. In the future - and that means already in the course of this semester - our students will have to be able to move confidently and naturally between “free” closed and “non-free” open university groups and their respective hygiene concepts. And in our view, this represents a greater challenge than one might perhaps assume. We all have to learn to make use of different group-dynamic sociolects and to be able to switch between them: We must become “multilingual” in our social behaviour. And to do so, these different spheres and their rules and regulations must be as sharply contoured as possible.

b) The status of a higher education institution at which generalisable methods that can be transferred to other institutions of higher education are experimentally tested also implies that this institution is under special observation and that special care is - rightly - expected of it. New approaches are tested here - with all the opportunities, but also the risks. This also means, however, that the basic rules of social distancing, hygiene, etc. are to be taken seriously and fulfilled at this university: On the one hand, of course, because it is simply factually necessary, but also because it is a matter of creating a general aura of care and discipline that makes it immediately apparent to outsiders that this university is aware of the challenges and the special responsibility that goes hand in hand with the controlled return to largely free teaching and practice. I am firmly convinced that our “empirical path” is the right one and one with a promising future. Failure is always possible in these unpredictable times. But we should not fail because we, as a university community, are not able to maintain and implement simple distance and hygiene measures.


I would like to conclude with something fundamental: as much as it may seem at first glance as if no real development is taking place in the pandemic, as if nothing is fundamentally changing any more, this impression of statics seems deceptive to me. And this applies not only to the weighty and obvious changes in the organisation of studies this semester, but also to what can perhaps best be described as a general “socio-psychological” disposition. We - understood as a community of all university members and associates - will face the crisis differently this semester than last - less homogeneous, less closed, less united. This seems to me - and that is why I am expressing it here with a certain degree of certainty - to be in the nature of such a crisis-like development. The further the crisis progresses, the more clearly the different consequences and impacts on our lives become apparent, the more those conflicts will become apparent that are already visible now, the dispute about the right way or the right ways and consequences will determine public discourse.

In the past semester, the university management has endeavoured to develop a decidedly “factual” concept of action: and this both in terms of the individual organisational and logistical steps and procedures and in terms of internal university communication. For, regardless of all differences of opinion on the right or wrong political decisions in this crisis, we are united by the will to enable a day-to-day study environment at this university that comes as close as possible to a normal situation. For all the differences, for all the different opinions and attitudes I was confronted with in the last semester, and as deep and insurmountable as the rifts sometimes seemed, I was always able to find a common denominator with all my dialogue partners: That we make the maximum possible teaching and art possible for our students.

And we should continue to keep this goal firmly in mind this semester. I’m not addressing a “non-political” university, but I do believe that we cannot discuss general political crisis management and externally imposed rules here without jeopardising the course of studies, which is even more complex, sensitive and therefore more vulnerable this semester than last.

We are entering a semester in which many things are possible, but which also has many open questions and uncertainties: I am aware that this requires a lot of discipline, understanding and self-control from each and every one of us. Rest assured that we in the university management will do everything we can to ensure that your great commitment pays off and is worthwhile.

With this in mind, I wish us all a productive semester - and Fortune

Freiburg, 9 October 2020
Ludwig Holtmeier

Rector's circular letter to all university members (28 July 2020)

28 July 2020


Dear students, dear colleagues,

it's done! A special semester formally ended on 17 July, even though teaching and examinations will continue unabated until the end of the month. The pandemic posed (and continues to pose) great challenges for all types of higher education institutions, but universities of music are facing particularly great challenges. Teaching at a university of music can hardly be completely "digitalised" - not even temporarily. It seems to me that we as a university community have succeeded in many respects in meeting the organisational, logistical, content and emotional challenges of this time. Thus, the past semester was ultimately not lost for the vast majority of us, despite all the limitations. I am both very happy and proud about that.

When, at the beginning of the pandemic, it was announced in panic-stricken optimism that everything would not be so bad, that the semester would drag on for the universities of music for the entire summer and then move on almost seamlessly into the new semester, we distrusted this from the very beginning. It was clear to us that we should not underestimate the psychological and physical strain of this imposed isolation. A "digital" semester would mean anything but idleness (as some of those responsible in ministries and school boards seemed to assume at first). I think it was the right decision to resume attendance classes as early as possible (and as responsibly as necessary) in order to be able to (almost) end the semester in a regular way. This semester has been extremely stressful for me - many of you will probably experience a similar situation. We all need the lecture-free time for regeneration more than ever.

Basically, we assume that the coming semester will bring a clear return to normal operation. But of course our planning is burdened with a lot of uncertainties and unpredictability. We do not know how the pandemic will develop, whether the dreaded second wave will occur, nor do we know what scope the corona ordinance of the state, which will then be in force, will ultimately give the universities. For this reason, we have - as usual - developed and planned various scenarios for the coming semester in order to be prepared for all eventualities. The following basic outlines of our planning are therefore always subject to the general imponderability:


Lecture-free period

Practice during the semester break

From 3 August to 16 September 2020 the university is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on weekends. Both practice corridors are accessible 24/7 during the entire lecture-free period. According to our information, the currently still defective lower access door should be repaired in the course of this week. Should there be an unexpected delay, we will inform the students immediately. Even during the semester break, students can only enter the university through the small white entrance door next to the main entrance. Furthermore, the hygiene and safety regulations applicable during the lecture period (distance rule, compulsory masks, traceability, etc.) must be observed.

In contrast to the previous lecture period, each student is not assigned a specific room to be used exclusively. In principle, all rooms designated for practice can be used. The doors of all rooms that can be used for practicing are open. All students are obliged to enter their names and times in a list provided at the entrance every day after entering the university and washing their hands. Likewise, all students who use the university as a practice location during the semester breaks must sign the declaration of commitment again. The declaration of commitment must only be signed once when first entering the university on or after August 3. (Why this is also necessary during the lecture-free period is explained in more detail under the point "Traceability"). The students are then free to choose a practice room. When leaving the university, all students are obliged to enter their name, time and the name of the room they have used on each day they have practised at the university in a list displayed at the exit. Should a student leave the university for more than ten minutes, the used practice room is to be cleaned and cleared as prescribed. If a student re-enters the room, he/she must register again.

Since there can be no central room administration or reservation during the semester breaks and the Technical Service should not act as a controlling body, students are encouraged to make arrangements with each other, especially in the case of instrument- or subject-specific practice and teaching rooms (organ rooms, percussion, harpsichord/fortepiano, theory rooms [because of internet access], physical training [EMP; opera] etc.). As a general rule, individual students should not use a room that has been requested several times and cannot easily be replaced by another room for practice for more than three hours and 20 minutes at a time. We assume that in these cases the classes will coordinate among themselves and find practical and fair solutions.

Teaching in the lecture-free period

The large rooms (with the exception of the concert hall) are also available for teaching during the lecture-free period. As a rule, individual artistic lessons should also take place here. This applies to all wind instrument and singing lessons. Individual lessons in the other instruments can also take place in the rehearsal rooms if the rooms are free. The rooms cannot be reserved for teaching during the lecture-free period. We assume that there are always enough rooms available during the lecture-free period. However, if a certain room is needed for teaching, the principle of teaching before practicing applies during this time. In these cases, students are asked to leave the room free and find another room. Teachers are responsible for the careful documentation of their teaching activities. A list is available at the gate, on which the teachers are asked to enter their names, time, room and the names of the students.


Winter semester 2020/2021 - an outlook

Abolition of the separation of practice and teaching in WS 2020/2021

It is planned to abolish the strict separation of practice and teaching in the coming semester. This is very likely to apply at least to keyboard, string and plucked instruments. It is also very likely that the wind players will be able to return to their rooms. If the general situation at the beginning of the semester does not prevent it, the singers will also practice and teach in their rooms again.

If, in the other case, the singers are only able to use the large rooms alone in the coming semester due to the risk situation, this would severely restrict the entire organisational scope of our study programme and would have a considerable impact on the number of public and university events (lecture evenings, concerts etc.). Our ability to use the large rooms beyond teaching would be significantly impaired.

Online teaching vs. classroom teaching

We assume that in the next semester, the individual artistic lessons can in principle take place as attendance lessons at the university. However, it is still true that the lessons can still be held online in the coming semester. We would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all university members and staff to continue to show the tolerance and caring consideration that they have so impressively demonstrated this semester also in the coming semester. For the coming semester, too, it must be borne in mind that people deal differently with the latent threat to their own physical integrity. This must continue to be respected. It seems to me to be essential here that within the classes an open discussion between the individual lecturers and their students is cultivated and transparent agreements are made. No one has to justify his or her decision and explain its consequences. However, they should be presented early and openly. In principle, it is desirable that the individual supervision formats and forms be negotiated amicably between lecturers and students.

Teaching in the scientific and artistic-scientific subjects will also be "mixed" in the coming semester. Negotiating this mixed form within the college and defining it in detail is not entirely straightforward. This is also the reason why the course catalogue has not yet been completely edited and published. Basically, we assume that small group lessons, e.g. in music theory, can take place in the coming semester as attendance lessons. Likewise, a smaller number of seminars will take place in face-to-face teaching. However, the restrictions on the number of participants, which are imposed by the respective premises, must always be taken into account. For example, a maximum of 12 students can participate in a seminar in room 105. The department has made sure that enough non-participant limited online events are also offered to meet the curricular requirements. Some seminars will also be offered in a mixed form of classroom and online teaching: For example, although the teaching may in principle be online, it may still include some face-to-face sessions. For more detailed information, please refer to the course catalogue. At this point, students are explicitly advised that some courses are subject to participant restrictions and that they should therefore plan their next semester in good time. All members of the university will be informed immediately by e-mail about the publication of the course catalogue.

Courses in winter semester 2020/2021

We assume that the central university concerts and events can be held as planned. We are also endeavouring to make it possible for all classes to have at least one Vortragsabend. Together with the responsible lecturers, we have run through various scenarios and developed appropriate alternative concepts and programmes.


Already this semester - especially towards the end - the concept of traceability was sometimes criticized. The lifting of the separation of practice and teaching practice and the resumption of concert activities in the coming semester may well increase doubts about the usefulness of this approach. It is understandable that these measures, as well as others that are not immediately obvious to everyone, should be discussed within the university and also with the university management. However, I would like to remind you once again that our university is a state educational institution and must act within the framework of applicable ordinances and regulations. Since there is a special duty of care and responsibility towards the students, these internal regulations are often stricter than those outside the institution. We have seen this more often in the recent past.

We are now legally obliged by the current corona ordinance "to carry out a data collection according to § 6 CoronaVO for each individual course and other events [...], because a tracing of infection chains can only take place effectively if the different composition of the participants of different courses is reflected by the data collection." Although the current regulation will expire on 31 August 2020, it is not to be assumed that the subsequent regulation will be significantly different in this respect.

Security strategies

Basically, the current Corona Ordinance (CoronaVO) of the state and the "Risk assessment of a coronavirus infection in the field of music" of the Freiburg Institute for Musician's Medicine (FIM) in its current version form the basis of both our overall hygiene concept and all sub-concepts.

The current CoronaVO stipulates that the number of persons in a room must be determined "on the basis of the room’s capacity" in such a way that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres (2 metres for wind players and singers) can be maintained and "regular and adequate ventilation" can be guaranteed. As the FIM's "risk assessment" states, "infections [...] are likely to occur primarily in persons who spend long periods in enclosed spaces". It is also stated there that, according to the current state of knowledge, it can be determined relatively reliably whether a room is sufficiently ventilated by measuring the CO2 content. Several rooms should therefore be equipped with CO2 measuring devices (CO2 signal lights). They should contribute to making our ventilation behaviour and our ventilation practice more effective.

With regard to the practice of large ensembles or artistic events where close physical contact between the performers can hardly be avoided (opera, drama / scenic performance, dance, EMP etc.), the university pursues not only those "classical" concepts which, as it were, try to creatively implement the rules of distance by means of "mechanistic" procedures (and which nevertheless can only ever represent a half-hearted compromise), but also newer concepts which are beginning to establish themselves, especially in professional sports, and which are aimed at the rapid testing of a larger group of people.

The FIM's current "risk assessment" states that "corona tests, which can provide results within hours regarding an infection with SARS-CoV-2, [...] have great potential for hygiene concepts in ensembles. First application examples of regularly recurring tests as part of a hygiene concept are described by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Thomanerchor Leipzig". "These concepts", the "risk assessment" continues, "could be based on existing concepts in professional sport, with which extensive experience has already been gained in recent weeks - since the partial resumption of playing in national and international competitions in various contact sports. Regular corona tests (naso-pharyngeal swabs) could also be established, as is regularly practised in professional sport - for example, in the German Bundesliga. Joint ventures between sports associations and music associations could also be a viable way forward in the future."

Of course, it is uncertain whether these strategies can ultimately lead to a practicable result suitable for everyday use. However, I am extremely grateful to Claudia Spahn and Bernhard Richter for being in contact with all relevant current research discourses and for searching for practicable solutions to our problems. I am particularly pleased that this has also resulted in productive contact with our university council member, DFB President Fritz Keller.

Contract lecturer

It is still true that the contract lecturers at our university are particularly affected by the current crisis, since they make their living not only from their teaching activities here, but also from their work as freelance musicians, which has virtually come to a standstill in recent months. As in this semester, we will try to give all contract lecturers the opportunity to give their lessons in the coming semester as face-to-face lessons. However, should the university be restricted in the use of its premises in the coming semester, we would like to ask students, especially in the case of the contract lecturers, to continue to take advantage of the online teaching offer. As already mentioned, we assume that the entire individual artistic instruction can be given as face-to-face instruction.

Extension of the standard period of study

On June 24, 2020, a law was passed to amend the State University Act and the Student Union Act, according to which the "individual standard period of study" will be extended once by law for all students enrolled in the summer semester 2020 in Baden-Württemberg. This law is primarily aimed at BAföG recipients: The state legislation links the maximum duration of BAföG funding with the standard period of study. This law increases the maximum duration of BAföG support by one semester. This is intended to cushion pandemic-related hardships for students. It is not a question of the summer semester 2020 not being considered a full semester. Here, the state government has remained true to its original position. The application practice with regard to leave of absence and extension of study periods has not changed as a result of this law. Extensions of study time, which also include an extension of individual tuition, must still be justified individually in the familiar manner.

Promotion, financial support for students

It should be recalled here that there are a variety of support instruments for students who are in financial difficulty. These funding opportunities are listed very comprehensively and clearly on our website. In particular, we would like to point out the university's own aid fund of the "Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg e. V.", through which many students have already been helped, as well as the "Aid Program for Music Students" of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, which is administered directly by the university. All modalities of application including the forms will be available on our website in the next few days.


I would like to end this last circular in the summer semester 2020 with a heartfelt thank you:

The students have reacted to this crisis with remarkable understanding, calm and unexcited. I know that this cannot be taken for granted. In my opinion, the AStA has represented the interests of the students during this time in an excellent manner. The contact with the Rectorate was always close, our work was critically but always constructively accompanied by the AStA. There were many intensive discussions, which I would not want to miss in the future.

The Technical Service has borne the additional burden without complaint. Strict adherence to the hygiene and safety rules only worked because, especially at the gate, incredible things were achieved: Until the very last day, our staff made sure that with over 300 students and more than 150 lecturers (to whom more and more external visitors joined in during the semester), no one was allowed to enter the university who was not entitled to do so. And the TD fulfilled his task in perfect conviviality. The fact that this exceptional semester was also the first semester of Mr. Burger as the new head of the TD was probably not noticed by everyone due to the smooth processes everywhere: Can one receive a greater compliment for his work?

The entire administration, from personnel and financial administration to the student secretariat and the library to university marketing and the recording studio, has been pushed to the limit. The crisis has already hit them weakened due to various staff shortages. Nevertheless, they succeeded in conducting a highly demanding entrance examination, which was complex in terms of logistics and technology. The entire administration cannot be thanked enough for this. I am therefore particularly pleased that in the last Senate session, what is probably the largest increase in the number of jobs in the administration that this university has ever experienced was launched. Without our creative IT department and without the commitment of many IT-affine professors and students, this semester would not have gone the way it did. Here, too, we achieved far more than was to be expected (and probably healthy). As a result, the university has experienced a real digitalization push.

My closest colleagues in the rectorate have also rendered outstanding services to the university during this crisis semester. The fact that Claudia Spahn, a medical doctor, is now on the university's board of directors can justifiably (and without cynicism) be called a stroke of luck. Just as much as the fact that especially in the greatest crisis of the "analogue" entrance examination, the prorector for teaching is a leading expert on the Disklavier, which was used spectacularly in this entrance examination. And without the dedicated commitment (with many hours of overtime) of those responsible, the demanding room management could not have been implemented. My special thanks go to the old and the new chancellor, who faced the crisis without losing sight of the routine of everyday institutional operations.

My final thanks go to all the teachers of this university. They have taken up the challenge in a way one can only hope for: Committed, independent and full of care and responsibility towards the students. In many cases I am aware of how high the price of this sense of duty has been.

Not everything has worked out well this semester, I am aware of that. In the coming semester, we will do everything in our power to make procedures even clearer and communication even more transparent. I am convinced that the experiences we have had this semester will enable us to make the coming semester better, more productive and more orderly - in short, more "normal".


I wish you a relaxing summer and remain with best wishes
Ludwig Holtmeier

Circular letter of the library (25 June 2020)

25 June 2020

Dear students and teachers,

the library now again offers direct access to the media. Due to the corona pandemic, access was previously restricted to the entrance area and media could only be borrowed with advance booking.

As of 29 June we would like to make the media more accessible for you again. Students (and lecturers) will again be allowed to visit the shelves, compare editions etc. and of course take them with them to borrow. However, only a short stay is intended and of course on and between the shelves with the necessary minimum distance and with a face mask.

At the moment we will still limit the access to 3 persons per floor, so that a total of 6 persons are allowed at the shelves at the same time. Presentation of a university ID is required for admission. Lending after advance booking is still possible until we can resume normal operations.

For hygienic reasons, the PC workstations are not yet available. We also ask you to refrain from using the workstations for a longer period of time.

The current opening hours will remain until the end of the semester:

Monday to Friday from 10 to 12 o'clock and from 14 to 16 o'clock

During the semester break (see homepage):

In the period from 20 July to 30 July and from 31 August to 2 October
Monday to Thursday from 14 to 16 o'clock

In the period from 31 July to 31 August
Wednesdays from 13 to 16 o'clock

However, we are also available for your concerns during the semester break from Monday to Thursday by telephone (0761/31915 -13/-26/-27) and by e-mail (bibliothek(at)mh-freiburg.de).

With kind regards
Your library team

Rector’s circular letter to students (12 June 2020)

12 June 2020

Dear students,

it's been quite some time now since I wrote to you. In the last few weeks, our teaching activities have gone largely as we planned. It is still difficult to plan ahead exactly. Our concrete steps still depend on the current assessment of the health risks and the political decisions resulting from it. In the following I would like to give a brief recap and update of our hygiene and safety regulations and then a brief outlook for the near future.

In principle, the existing safety and hygiene regulations will continue to apply for the period after the entrance exams:

  • The safety distances of 1.50 metres in personal contact (distance between persons) and 2 metres when making music together must be maintained.
  • There is a wash basin directly behind the entrance door. Every person is obliged to wash their hands before entering the university. The water is activated by a foot lever. Please do not touch anything with your hands before washing them, avoid any direct contact.
  • All persons entering the university are registered by name and have to sign a self-commitment that they have no symptoms and that they adhere to the applicable hygiene regulations.
  • At Freiburg University of Music, masks are compulsory. A face mask must be worn when entering the university. It can only be taken off in the rooms when practising alone.
  • Practicing and teaching will continue to take place in separate rooms and areas.
  • During the ventilation breaks in the large rooms, the masks are to be worn by everyone present.
  • Face masks must be worn by all lecturers and students who do not play or sing during wind and singing lessons in the large rooms.
  • A minimum distance of 2 metres should protect against droplet transmission during teaching and repetition singing and wind instruments. Because of the danger of aerosol accumulation, intensive ventilation of the rooms must be maintained (see below).

It is also important to include recent updates:

  • When using rooms without air conditioning, the rooms must be shock-ventilated every 15 minutes.
  • As a rule, a maximum of 20 persons may now stay in the large rooms during courses. The ventilation rules must be strictly observed: The large rooms must be ventilated regularly 10 minutes before every full hour. Lecturers and students leave the university during the ventilation breaks if they do not pursue any other approved activity (practice or teaching) afterwards. Otherwise they remain in the large room with face masks.

The timetable of the near future for our university includes the following concrete measures:

  • The college is closed this week for the entrance examinations. On Sunday, June 14, 2020, the university will be open for practice from 10am to 8pm, just like last Thursday (public holiday). On these days you could practice as usual in the rooms assigned to you.
  • The university library will remain closed until 14 June 2020. The loan period for media that are due for return on these days has been extended. As usual, the library can also be reached by telephone or e-mail.
  • A photocopier will be available again from next week. When copying, the well-known hygiene and safety regulations must be observed. The machine must be disinfected after use. There is still the possibility to use the book scanner in the library.
  • From 15 June onwards, rooms 333-341 (so-called piano wing) will be opened for lessons. The rooms will no longer be available for practice from then on.
  • The development of the next few weeks will show whether we will be able to open the university to the public again this semester for larger events (concerts).
  • It is planned to re-admit ensemble rehearsals and examinations under special security precautions. In addition to the large halls in the university, it is also planned to use rooms in the Stadthalle as well as an open-air stage in front of the university entrance. Singing and making music in the open air should be given preference if possible because of the significantly reduced risk of infection.
  • Examinations, in particular final examinations, will again be open to internal and also external visitors. However, the number of visitors must still be limited for the time being. During an examination on the premises of the university, a maximum of 20 persons may be in the room (including the commission and the examination candidate). For organisational reasons, we would therefore ask all examination candidates to submit a list of all visitors to Mr. Mammel (h.mammel(at)mh-freiburg.de) as soon as possible. All external visitors are obliged to give their contact details when entering the university.
  • The large ensemble projects (university orchestra, university choir, chamber choir, big band) will unfortunately not be able to take place this semester. We assume that we will be able to carry out all planned major projects in the coming semester.

Financial support and assistance for students in the Corona crisis

The Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg e. V.  (Society for the Promotion of Freiburg University of Music), on the initiative of a group of professors of Freiburg University of Music, has set up a special fund for all students who need financial support in the Corona crisis. Further details on the scope of support and application will be provided in the next newsletter.

With best regards
Ludwig Holtmeier

Rundschreiben des Rektors an die Mitarbeiter*innen (30. Mai 2020)

30. Mai 2020

Liebe Lehrende, liebe Kolleg*innen,

schon in wenigen Tagen beginnen die Eignungsprüfungen. Wir sind eine von nur vier Musikhochschulen in Deutschland, die die Eignungsprüfungen bereits im Juni ausrichten. Die Vorbereitungen mussten aufgrund der Corona‐Krise unter enormem Zeitdruck erfolgen und die Form der Eignungsprüfung ist deutlich anders, als wir es gewohnt sind: Und das nicht allein aufgrund der besonderen Sicherheitsregelungen und Hygienemaßnahmen an unserem Haus.

Das jetzige Format unterscheidet sich von allen bisherigen Eignungsprüfungen. Es ist im Austausch mit den Fachgruppen und dem AStA entwickelt und festgelegt worden. Es ist Ihnen allen sicherlich über den Bericht Ihrer Fachgruppensprecher*innen bereits bestens bekannt und vertraut. Da es sich aber um ein ausgesprochen komplexes Verfahren handelt, das auch den Prüfer*innen viel abverlangt und dessen einzelne Abläufe sich ohne die Kenntnisse der organisatorischen und rechtlichen Hintergründe nicht immer unmittelbar erschließen, möchte ich die wesentlichen Aspekte und Erwägungen im Folgenden noch einmal ausführlicher zusammenfassen. Ich habe dabei weder bestimmte fächerspezifische Sonderregelungen angeführt, noch systematisch zwischen Studienzyklen differenziert, sondern mich auf die in meinen Augen relevanten Punkte konzentriert.

Für diejenigen, die mit den Fakten bereits vertraut sind, habe ich am Ende dieses Schreibens die wesentlichen Informationen zur Eignungsprüfung noch einmal gebündelt angehängt. Mein Schreiben schließt mit einer kurzen Rekapitulation und Aktualisierung unserer Hygiene‐ und Sicherheitsvorschriften, führt die kommenden Änderungen an und erlaubt sich einen kurzen „educated guess“ auf die nähere Zukunft.

  • Die Eignungsprüfungen werden vom 5.‐13. Juni, vom 20.‐23. Juli und an noch zu bestimmenden Terminen im September vor Ort als Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfungen im Hauptgebäude der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg stattfinden.
  • Die größte Herausforderung bei der Festlegung und Gestaltung des Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens für das Wintersemester 2020/21 war es, trotz der umfassenden Einschränkungen durch die globale Corona‐Krise allen Bewerber*innen die Chance eröffnen zu können, an den Eignungsprüfungsverfahren teilzunehmen und dabei den Anforderungen an Chancengleichheit und ‐gerechtigkeit Rechnung zu tragen.
  • Nach dem Grundsatz der Chancengleichheit, der das Prüfungsrecht beherrscht, müssen für vergleichbare Bewerber*innen soweit wie möglich vergleichbare Prüfungsbedingungen und Bewertungskriterien gelten. Isoliert unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Vergleichbarkeit betrachtet stellt ein einfaches Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfungsverfahren, wie sie nicht wenige deutsche Musikhochschulen für den September planen, nach wie vor die am wenigsten komplizierte Lösung dar.
  • In der Corona‐Krise muss aber unserer Meinung nach die Sicherung und Garantie vergleichbarer Prüfungsbedingungen und Bewertungskriterien im Kontext einer noch umfassenderen Beachtung der Chancengerechtigkeit verwirklicht werden, die insbesondere den Aspekt der Kohortengerechtigkeit im Blick hat. Ein erneuter Lockdown als Folge einer zweiten Infektionswelle im September, die dem RKI zufolge nicht ausgeschlossen werden kann, könnte den völligen Ausfall des gesamten Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens bedeuten. Damit wäre im schlimmsten Fall einer gesamten Semesterkohorte bzw. – je nach Studiengang – einer gesamten Jahreskohorte von Bewerber*innen der Zugang zum Studium verwehrt. Diese Kohorte würde dadurch gegenüber anderen Kohorten in nicht hinnehmbarer Weise benachteiligt.
  • Wir waren daher der Meinung, dass man im Interesse der übergeordneten Kohortengerechtigkeit nicht das gesamte Eignungsprüfungsverfahren auf einen einzigen späten Prüfungstermin ausrichten kann. Da zum Zeitpunkt der Entscheidung abzusehen war, dass ein Eignungsprüfungsverfahren im Juni/Juli mit sehr großer Wahrscheinlichkeit wird stattfinden können, haben wir uns deshalb für den frühen Termin entschieden. Insbesondere Vertreter des Asta haben darauf hingewiesen, dass zur Chancengleichheit im Sinne einer Kohortengerechtigkeit auch eine planbare Vorbereitung des Studienbeginns gehört. Eine Aufnahmeprüfung im September führte zwangsläufig zu einer Immatrikulation erst Ende September/Oktober. Umzug, Wohnungssuche, Anmeldung etc. würden somit mit dem Studienbeginn zusammenfallen – mit allen Konsequenzen, die das für den Studienverlauf bedeuten würde.
  • Ein Verfahren zu finden, das sowohl unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Chancengleichheit als auch unter dem der Kohortengerechtigkeit Bestand hat, gleicht der Quadratur des Kreises. Herausgekommen ist schließlich eine Struktur, die auf den ersten Blick verwirrend und widersprüchlich erscheinen mag und deren Maßnahmen nur im Kontext aller Aspekte verständlich werden. Sie seien im Folgenden kurz erklärt:
    • a) Chancengleichheit lässt sich am einfachsten herstellen, wenn sich die äußeren Prüfungsbedingungenen für alle Kandidat*innen nicht nur in vergleichbarer, sondern quasi identischer Form darstellen. In der klassischen PräsenzEignungsprüfung ist das der Fall. Sie bildet deshalb auch das Grundgerüst dieser Eignungsprüfung.
    • b) Um auch denjenigen Bewerber*innen, die den Präsenz‐Termin im Juni/Juli aufgrund der Corona‐Krise nicht wahrnehmen können, die Teilnahme an der Eignungsprüfung zu ermöglichen, soll es im September einen weiteren Präsenz‐Termin geben, wenn in den jeweiligen Studienfächern noch freie Studienplätze zu vergeben sind und die äußeren Bedingungen es zulassen. Studierende, die sich für den Septembertermin angemeldet haben, werden so bald wie möglich darüber informiert, ob der Termin in ihrem Fach stattfinden kann.
    • c) Die Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfungen im Juni/Juli und September stellen somit Teilverfahren eines einzigen zusammenhängenden Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens dar. Das bedeutet, dass die Bewertung der Prüfungsleistungen bei diesem Eignungsprüfungsverfahren sehr bewusst auf der Grundlage feststehender Bewertungsmaßstäbe erfolgen muss. Da ein direkter Vergleich aller Bewerber*innen vor der Gesamtimmatrikulation bei diesem Verfahren nicht erfolgen kann, kann der hierarchisierende Vergleich der Bewerber*innen untereinander kein relevantes Bewertungskriterium darstellen.
    • d) Unmittelbar an die jeweiligen Präsenz‐Teilverfahren erfolgen TeilZulassungsverfahren, sodass sich die zugelassenen Studierenden so früh wie möglich auf den Studienbeginn in Freiburg vorbereiten können.
  • Auch wenn Chancengleichheit damit in einem formalen Sinne hergestellt und dabei die Planbarkeit des Studienbeginns im Sinne einer Kohortengerechtigkeit ermöglicht wird, sind dennoch die Bewerber*innen, die den Juni/Juli Präsenz‐Termin nicht wahrnehmen können, gegenüber den anderen Bewerber*innen immer noch benachteiligt: Denn es bleibt ungewiss, ob alle derzeitigen Einschränkungen im September aufgehoben sein werden und der Termin auch wirklich stattfinden bzw. von den Bewerber*innen wahrgenommen werden kann. Damit wirklich allen Bewerber*innen, die im Juni/Juli nicht nach Freiburg kommen können, die Teilnahme an diesem Eignungsprüfungsverfahren ermöglicht wird, stehen noch zwei weitere Wahloptionen zur Verfügung:
    • a) PräsenzEignungsprüfung im Juni in Freiburg mittels einer interkontinentalen Instrumentalspiel‐Fernübertragung. Diese Option besteht nur für das Fach Klavier (mittels Disklavier). An der Eignungsprüfung im Juni kann über die Standorte Tokio und Shanghai teilgenommen werden.
    • b) Videobewerbung + PräsenzOnlineBewerbung. Die Prüfungskommissionen treffen auf Grundlage eingesandter Videos eine Auswahl. Die endgültige Entscheidung wird nach einer mündlichen Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung der ausgewählten Kandidat*innen getroffen.
  • Es liegt nahe, sich zu fragen, warum ich diese unterschiedlichen Wahloptionen hier so umständlich einführe und nicht einfach nacheinander anführe, wie es in den Anschreiben an die Bewerber*innen geschehen ist. Aber die Darstellung der kausalen Abfolge ist notwendig, um auch die rechtlichen Implikationen und die Forderungen, die für uns als Hochschule im Allgemeinen und für Sie als Prüfer*innen im Besonderen daraus erwachsen, zu verstehen. Denn mit diesen beiden Wahloptionen wird die einfache ursprüngliche Struktur des Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens, in welcher alle Bewerber*innen fast identischen (äußeren) Prüfungsbedingungen unterliegen, erweitert und dadurch in Hinsicht auf die Wahrung der Chancengleichheit verkompliziert.
  • Ganz wesentlich ist hier, dass Bewerber*innen, die sich für eine dieser beiden Wahloptionen und gegen eine Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfung im September entschieden haben, selbstständig eine freiwillige Wahl unter unterschiedlichen Optionen getroffen haben, um die Risiken und Probleme einer späten Eignungsprüfung und Immatrikulation zu vermeiden. Sie haben sich bewusst für diese Form der Eignungsprüfung entschieden, um garantiert am Eignungsprüfungsverfahren teilnehmen zu können.
  • Unabhängig von der Tatsache, dass die Bewerber*innen diese Form der Eignungsprüfung frei gewählt haben, muss dennoch über die unterschiedlichen Prüfungsformate hinweg nach dem Grundsatz der Chancengleichheit garantiert sein, dass „für vergleichbare Bewerber*innen soweit wie möglich vergleichbare Prüfungsbedingungen und Bewertungskriterien gelten.“
  • Deswegen müssen die Video/OnlineBewerbungen so weit wie möglich im Rahmen jenes PrüfungsSettings erfolgen, das auch für die Präsenzprüfungen gilt. Wir haben deshalb entschieden, dass die Videos der Bewerber*innen von der Gesamtkommission vor Ort in der Hochschule gemeinsam angeschaut/angehört und in der gleichen Form wie die PräsenzPrüfungen besprochen und bewertet werden müssen. Nur so können wir auch nach außen hin und insbesondere für die Bewerber*innen klar erkennbar dokumentieren, dass die Bewertungen unter vergleichbaren Prüfungsbedingungen erfolgen und dass der Grundsatz der Chancengleichheit so weit wie irgend möglich gewahrt worden ist. Eine gemeinsame Video‐Konferenz einer Prüfungskommission über die eingesandten Videos lässt sich derzeit noch nicht in dem Maße dokumentieren, dass es der Hochschule als (auch in rechtlicher Hinsicht) relevanter Nachweis dienen könnte. Vielmehr betonte sie eine mediale Differenz, die es unserer Ansicht nach durch ein gemeinsames und die medialen Unterschiede nivellierendes äußeres Setting im Eignungsprüfungsprozess gerade aufzuheben gilt.
  • Aus diesem Grund müssen auch alle Bewerber*innen im Video/OnlineVerfahren, die sich aufgrund ihrer künstlerischen Leistungen grundsätzlich für einen Studienplatz qualifiziert haben, von der Prüfungskommission in einer PräsenzOnlinePrüfung geprüft werden. Nur so ist die Video/Online‐Bewerbung mit dem Präsenzverfahren in einem umfassenden Sinn vergleichbar und Chancengleichheit garantiert.
  • Die Vergleichbarkeit von Präsenz‐ und Videobewerbungen erfordert auch, dass Prüfungskriterien, die nur in einer der Prüfungsformen relevant werden können, keine Berücksichtigung finden können. So kann in diesem Aufnahmeprüfungsverfahren z.B. das Kriterium der Sicherheit beim Auswendigspielen kein relevantes Bewertungskriterium darstellen.
  • Die Prüfungen in Musiktheorie/Gehörbildung finden in diesem Semester ausschließlich mündlich statt, die Prüfungen für das Pflichtfach Klavier entfallen. Die PräsenzOnline Prüfung besteht in den Instrumental‐ und Gesangsstudiengängen somit grundsätzlich aus drei Teilen: der künstlerischen Prüfung (Instrument oder Gesang), der mündlichen Prüfung in Musiktheorie/Gehörbildung (BM) und einem kurzen Gespräch.
  • In der PräsenzOnlinePrüfung findet die Prüfung in Musiktheorie/Gehörbildung (BM) und das kurze Gespräch statt. Weiterhin hat die Prüfungskommission die Möglichkeit nachzuprüfen, ob die Leistung der Bewerber*innen den grundlegenden Bewertungskriterien entspricht, wenn dies auf Grundlage der eingesandten Videos für die Kommission nicht mit Eindeutigkeit erkennbar geworden ist. So kann die Kommission etwa eine Bewerber*in bitten, eine schwere Passage noch einmal live zu spielen etc., ein bestimmtes Stück noch einmal anzuspielen bzw. anzusingen etc.

Es ist klar, dass dieses Eignungsprüfungsverfahren für uns alle eine ganz besondere Herausforderung darstellt. Es ist kein Zufall, dass sich nur wenige Hochschulen in der Bundesrepublik der Herausforderung eines so frühen Verfahrens stellen. Aber auch die Vorteile eines frühen Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens wiederum liegen auf der Hand: Hochschulleitung und Fachgruppensprecher*innen haben sich deshalb einstimmig für dieses Verfahren entschieden. Natürlich wurde auch die Möglichkeit diskutiert, eine Eignungsprüfung ausschließlich auf der Basis von eingesandten Videos durchzuführen, wie es aufgrund der Corona‐Krise an einigen wenigen Musikhochschulen in Europa (etwa Zürich) praktiziert wird. Hochschul‐ und Fachgruppenleitungen haben sich auf dieses Verfahren nicht einigen können. Es ist nach unserer Einschätzung auch keinesfalls so, dass dieses Verfahren aufgrund seiner vermeintlichen Einfachheit eine größere Rechtssicherheit garantiert.

Für die Verwaltung, den technischen Dienst, unsere ITler und die Hochschulleitung stellt dieses Verfahren einen radikalen Bruch mit den bekannten und vertrauten Arbeitsschritten dar: Die Planung einer Prüfung mit drei unterschiedlichen Prüfungsformaten (Präsenz‐Prüfung, Video‐ Prüfung, Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung), die alle ihren eigenen Besonderheiten und Gesetzlichkeiten unterliegen, setzt logistische Grundlagen voraus, die teilweise erst und in höchster Eile geschaffen werden mussten. So muss die Prüfung der Video‐Bewerbungen in Hochschulräumlichkeiten stattfinden, die mit dem entsprechenden technischen Equipment ausgestattet sein müssen. Die gesamte (digitale) Verwaltungsstruktur für eine Video/Online‐ Bewerbung musste erst eingerichtet, zusätzlicher Speicherraum geschaffen werden. Die Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung muss nicht nur allein technisch vorgeplant und umgesetzt werden (und zwar an beiden Enden der Kommunikationsverbindung), sondern kontinentale und interkontinentale Zeitverschiebungen innerhalb sehr diverser Bewerberfelder müssen so weit wie möglich mitgedacht werden. Und zu alledem müssen die Eignungsprüfungen unter den besonderen Sicherheitsvorschriften der Corona‐Krise geplant und umgesetzt werden: Mit drei separaten Eingängen, der Einrichtung zusätzlicher Waschbecken, dem Koordinieren „distanzbewusster“ Menschenbewegungen in einem geschlossenen Gebäude, und vor allem der Registrierung, Koordinierung und präzisen Terminierung aller externen Besuche, um nach wie vor die Nachverfolgbarkeit zu garantieren.

Die unbedingte Beachtung des Grundsatzes der Chancengleichheit und die daraus resultierende komplexe verfahrenstechnische Gemengelage habe ich hier versucht darzustellen. Sie hat zu einem Eignungsprüfungsverfahren geführt, das Ihnen als Prüfer*innen viel Präsenz und viel Disziplin abverlangt: Bei dieser Eignungsprüfung lässt sich an Terminen nicht rütteln, die gegeben Termine müssen so, wie sie stehen, wahrgenommen werden. Ich möchte Sie auch herzlich darum bitten, nicht mit den Mitarbeitern des Referats 2 über Terminänderungen etc. zu verhandeln. Dieses Verfahren lässt keinen Spielraum für Flexibilität. Dienstliche Verpflichtungen müssen an erster Stelle stehen, andere, z. B. private Verpflichtungen sind nachgelagert. Der Mangel an Flexibilität ist der Preis, den wir für das Durchführen eines frühen Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens zahlen müssen.

Ich weiß, dass Ihnen allen unsere Hochschule am Herzen liegt. Die Geschlossenheit, die Leidenschaft und die Zuverlässigkeit, die alle Mitglieder und Angehörigen dieser Hochschule – Verwaltung, technischer Dienst, Lehrende und Studierende – in dieser Krisensituation gezeigt haben, legt davon ein deutliches Zeugnis ab. Ich bin deshalb überzeugt davon, dass Sie sich mit dem gleichen Engagement auch für diejenigen einsetzen werden, die ihr Studium an unserer Hochschule aufnehmen wollen. Ich hätte mir selbst eine entspanntere und koordiniertere Vorbereitung gewünscht. Wir haben uns nach Kräften darum bemüht: Aber die vielen Wochen permanenter Sonderbelastung haben an den Kräften aller gezehrt. Ich bin deshalb sehr glücklich, dass es uns gelungen ist, dieses Eignungsprüfungsverfahren zu planen und umzusetzen.


Grundsätzlich gelten die bestehenden Sicherheits‐ und Hygienebestimmungen auch für die Zeit der Eignungsprüfung weiter. Ich bitte Sie insbesondere zu beachten, dass bei der Nutzung kleinerer Räume für die Lehre – wie derzeit in der Hansastraße – die Räume alle 15 Minuten stoßgelüftet werden müssen. Ich muss hier sehr dringend daran erinnern, dass diese Auflagen, die Ihnen über Ihre Fachgruppensprecher*innen weitergeleitet worden und den aktuellen Risikoeinschätzungen unserer Musikermedizin auf der Hochschulwebsite zu entnehmen sind, auch einzuhalten sind. Ich habe von mehreren Seiten erfahren, dass diese Vorschriften mitunter nicht genügend beachtet werden.

Es ist mir bewusst, dass die Sinnhaftigkeit mancher Anordnung nicht immer unmittelbar einleuchtet. Aber diese Anordnungen entstehen in einer auch für uns nicht immer leicht zu überschauenden Gemengelage aus ministeriellen Anordnungen, Reaktionen auf aktuelle wissenschaftliche Forschungen, politischen Vorgaben, logistischem Realismus und pragmatischer Lösungssuche: Unser Ziel dabei ist es immer, den laufenden Unterrichtsbetrieb soweit wie irgend möglich aufrecht zu erhalten und auch möglichst konsequent zu erweitern. Ich würde Sie bitten, im Interesse dieses gemeinsamen Ziels jene Anordnungen mit abgeklärter Souveränität aufzunehmen und umzusetzen.

Denn es ist davon auszugehen, dass sich diese Anordnungen nun in immer kürzeren Abständen ändern werden und wir auf dem Weg in Richtung einer (neuen) Normalität zügig voranschreiten werden. Nach unserer Information wird am kommenden Montag (1. Juni) eine Rechtsverordnung des Sozialministeriums für die Öffnung der Kulturbetriebe und Kulturveranstaltungen in Kraft treten. Darin werden voraussichtlich Veranstaltungen mit weniger als hundert Besuchern autorisiert. Diese Verordnung wird auch besondere Bestimmungen zu Bestuhlung und Abständen beinhalten, die sich an den Bestimmungen der Deutschen Unfallversicherung orientieren. Diese Verordnung wird auch für die Musikhochschulen gelten, sobald sie als Konzertveranstalter mit Publikum fungieren. Spätestens dann kann das Nebeneinander spezieller Regelungen für staatliche Institutionen einerseits und nicht‐staatlicher andererseits nicht mehr aufrechterhalten werden, das schon in der Vergangenheit vielen unter Ihnen nicht einleuchten wollte. (Ich erinnere hier nur daran, dass musikalischer Einzelunterricht für Privatmusiklehrer*innen erlaubt, an den staatlichen Hochschulen aber verboten war). Formell werden für größere Ensembles genauso wie für Veranstaltungen zwar weiterhin die Vorgaben von § 2 der Corona‐Verordnung gelten. Aber die Rektorate können dann wohl entscheiden, analog zur Rechtsverordnung des Sozialministeriums auch die Orchester und Chorpraxis an den Musikhochschulen wieder zuzulassen. Was das im Einzelnen konkret bedeuten wird, lässt sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch nicht sagen, da diese Öffnung immer im Kontext der aktuellen genehmigten Hygienekonzepte der Musikhochschulen erfolgen muss. Aber ich denke, man darf davon ausgehen, dass schon im Juni Veranstaltungen mit mehr als fünf Personen möglich sein werden. Es gibt also wirklich Grund, optimistisch in die Zukunft zu schauen.

Der Fahrplan der näheren Zukunft für unsere Hochschule beinhaltet konkret folgende Änderungen:

  • Die Hochschule wird für die Zeit der Eignungsprüfungen vom 5.13. Juni 2020 geschlossen. Die Hochschule wird am Sonntag, 7. Juni 2020, von 10‐20 Uhr, am Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2020, von 10‐20 Uhr, sowie am Sonntag, 14. Juni 2020, von 10‐20 Uhr für den Übebetrieb geöffnet sein. Anmeldung und Einteilung erfolgt in der gewohnten Art und Weise.
  • Ab dem 15. Juni werden die Räume 333341 (sog. Klaviertrakt) für den Einzelunterricht geöffnet. Die Räume werden von da an nicht mehr für den Übebetrieb zur Verfügung stehen. Ab dem 15. Juni werden ebenfalls die Räume in den Fächern Schlagzeug und historische Tasteninstrumente für die Lehre freigegeben. In diesen Fällen kann weiterhin auch in den Räumen geübt werden.
  • Die Hochschulbibliothek wird zwischen dem 5. und 13. Juni 2020 geschlossen sein. Die Ausleihfrist von Medien, die in diesen Tagen zur Rückgabe fällig werden, wird verlängert. Die Bibliothek ist aber auch an diesen Tagen telefonisch oder per E‐Mail erreichbar.

Ob die Trennung zwischen Übe‐ und Lehrbetrieb gegen Ende des Semesters aufgehoben werden kann, werden die nächsten Wochen zeigen. Ich bin jedenfalls sehr zuversichtlich, dass sich alles dynamisch in einem positiven Sinne entwickeln wird.

In diesem Sinne wünsche ich Ihnen allen erholsame Pfingsttage. Wir sehen uns bei der Eignungsprüfung.

Bleiben Sie weiterhin gesund!
Mit herzlichen Grüßen
Ludwig Holtmeier

Kurzzusammenfassung der wesentlichen Punkte dieser Eignungsprüfung.

  • Die Eignungsprüfungen finden vom 5.‐13. Juni, vom 20.‐23. Juli und an noch zu bestimmenden Terminen im September als Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfungen im Hauptgebäude der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg statt.
  • Die klassische Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfung bildet das Grundgerüst der kommenden Eignungsprüfung.
  • Prüfungen in Musiktheorie/Gehörbildung finden in diesem Semester ausschließlich mündlich statt, die Prüfungen für das Pflichtfach Klavier entfallen.
  • Um Bewerber*innen, die den Präsenz‐Termin im Juni/Juli aufgrund der Corona‐Krise nicht wahrnehmen können, die Teilnahme an der Eignungsprüfung zu ermöglichen, soll es im September einen weiteren Präsenz‐Termin geben, wenn in den jeweiligen Studienfächern noch freie Studienplätze zu vergeben sind und die äußeren Bedingungen es zulassen.
  • Die Präsenz‐Eignungsprüfungen im Juni/Juli und September stellen Teilverfahren eines einzigen zusammenhängenden Eignungsprüfungsverfahrens dar. Prüfungsleistungen müssen deshalb sehr bewusst auf der Grundlage feststehender Bewertungsmaßstäbe bewertet werden.
  • Unmittelbar an die jeweiligen Präsenz‐Teilverfahren erfolgen Teil‐Zulassungsverfahren, sodass sich die zugelassenen Studierenden so früh wie möglich auf den Studienbeginn in Freiburg vorbereiten können.
  • Um allen Bewerber*innen eine gesicherte Teilnahme an diesem Eignungsprüfungsverfahren zu ermöglichen, stehen zwei weitere Wahloptionen zur Verfügung: a) Präsenz‐ Eignungsprüfung im Juni in Freiburg mittels einer interkontinentalen Instrumentalspiel‐Fernübertragung. Diese Option besteht nur für das Fach Klavier (mittels Disklavier). b) Videobewerbung + Präsenz‐Online‐Bewerbung. Die Prüfungskommissionen treffen auf Grundlage eingesandter Videos eine Auswahl. Die endgültige Entscheidung wird nach einer mündlichen Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung der ausgewählten Kandidat*innen getroffen.
  • Video‐/Online‐Bewerbungen müssen so weit wie möglich im Rahmen jenes Prüfungs‐Settings erfolgen, das auch für die Präsenzprüfungen gilt. Die eingesandten Videos werden von der Prüfungskommission in der Hochschule gemeinsam angeschaut/angehört und in der gleichen Form wie die Präsenz‐Prüfungen besprochen und bewertet.
  • In diesem Aufnahmeprüfungsverfahren stellt das Kriterium der Sicherheit beim Auswendigspielen kein relevantes Bewertungskriterium dar.
  • Bewerber*innen im Video/Online‐Verfahren, die sich aufgrund ihrer künstlerischen Leistungen grundsätzlich für einen Studienplatz qualifiziert haben, werden zusätzlich von der Prüfungskommission in einer Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung geprüft.
  • Die Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung besteht in den Instrumental‐ und Gesangsstudiengängen aus drei Teilen: der künstlerischen Prüfung (Instrument oder Gesang), der mündlichen Prüfung in Musiktheorie/Gehörbildung und einem kurzen Gespräch.
  • Die Prüfungskommission hat in der Präsenz‐Online‐Prüfung zusätzlich die Möglichkeit nachzuprüfen, ob die künstlerische Leistung der Bewerber*innen den grundlegenden Bewertungskriterien entspricht.
  • Dieses Eignungsprüfungsverfahren lässt keinen Spielraum für Flexibilität. Die vorgegebenen Termine sind von allen Prüfer*innen wahrzunehmen. Es wird darum gebeten, von Diskussionen mit den Mitarbeitern des Referats 2 über Terminänderungen bzw. – verschiebungen abzusehen.

Circular letter of the equal opportunities office (7 May 2020)

Dear studying and teaching parents,

the period of the corona pandemic confronts people with family responsibilities, be it in their studies, apprenticeships or as employees with major tasks.

Even after the partial opening of schools, the majority of children have to be looked after and cared for at home and very often the simultaneous demand to combine teaching and learning in the home office or online courses with childcare leads to considerable burdens.

This is where the equal opportunities office of the university wants to support you in finding ways to reconcile these two demands - together with the university management we are looking for solutions to meet the individual needs of those affected in our university context.

Please send your questions by e-mail to gleichstellung(at)mh-freiburg.de.

Prof. Regina Kabis, Equal Opportunities Officer
Jacqueline Pfann, Equal Opportunities Office

Useful links

Information on emergency care:

Emergency child allowance for families with small incomes:

Overview of help for families in the Corona pandemic:

BAFoeG regulations:

Rector's circular letter to employees (27 April 2020)

There is no translation available for this circular letter.

Circular letter from the Prorector (19 April 2020)

Dear students and teachers,

tomorrow we will resume studies at our university. All essential information about this can be found in the last letter from our Rector to the students.

With the beginning of the coming semester, the University of Freiburg will make the wearing of mouth and nose protectors compulsory when entering university rooms. The admission regulations (individual admission) at our university do not (yet) make it compulsory to wear a mouth and nose protector at present, as the safety distances can always be observed. Nevertheless, the university management would like to encourage all students and lecturers entering the university building to do so at this stage. There is currently no official obligation on the part of the Federal and State Governments to wear respiratory masks, which means that it is (still) an individual and voluntary decision (you can find out about the various options for mouth and nose protection by watching a report on the ZDF television channel on its website).

Whether a risk-free distribution of breathing masks at the university itself is possible has to be clarified first.

I wish you/us all a good start into the new semester, which will take place under very special conditions. In the last few weeks we have worked intensively on making access to the university and movement within the university safe.

We are very happy that it can finally start again.

With best regards
Prof. Dr. Dr. med. phil. Claudia Spahn
Vice Rector for Research and International Affairs
Director of the Freiburg Institute for Musician Medicine

Circular letter from Division 1 to students (16 April 2020)

Dear students,

on behalf of all lecturers in the subjects Music Theory/EarTraining, Musicology, Music Physiology/Musician Medicine, Instrumental and Voice Pedagogics, Music Pedagogics for Music Education and Elementary-Level Music Education, we would like to welcome you to the start of this summer semester on April 20, 2020. As you have already learned from the circular letter from our Rector Prof. Dr. Ludwig Holtmeier, teaching in the academic and artistic-theoretical subjects will be exclusively online this semester, even if there should be further relief from the measures in the corona pandemic. In this way, the Rectorate would like to create clarity and studyability for you and at the same time keep the room capacity of our university building free for the artistic subjects. Should there be any changes after all, you will of course be informed in good time. Please keep up to date with the latest information by regularly checking the homepage of our university.

Courses in the above-mentioned subjects are accessible via the teaching/learning platform GLAREAN. Please register there for the lectures and seminars. Newly enrolled students will receive their access data for GLAREAN in the course of the week from 20 to 24 April 2020 and can then register for the courses there. If you have problems with your access to GLAREAN, please send an email to e-learning(at)mh-freiburg.de.

In order to facilitate email communication between you and the lecturers, please use your university address or link it to your private email address. You will find instructions on GLAREAN.

Representatives of the various subjects have compiled further information on the start of the semester for you in the following overview.

Despite many innovations and of course also ambiguities, we are looking forward to this semester with you. It will provide many exciting experiences and we will be enriched by many new insights.

With best regards
Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Spahn (Prorector for Research and International Relations)
Prof. Hans Aerts (Speaker of Division 1)

Music Theory and Ear Training

Small group lessons

The teachers will contact you by email and clarify the further procedure with you. If you have not been contacted by 24 April 2020, please write to h.aerts(at)mh-freiburg.de.

Seminars and Lectures

For some seminars the topic had to be changed to make it more suitable for online teaching. The printed course catalogue is therefore no longer completely up-to-date. Please therefore inform yourself about the courses offered in the online course catalogue.

The dates of the courses are listed in the online course catalogue. Even though video conferences or other forms of simultaneous teaching may not take place every week on these dates, you should set up your timetable in such a way that you do not have to attend other dates during these time slots.

For each seminar and lecture you will find a page on the GLAREAN platform where you can register for this course. In this way, contact with the lecturer is established. All further information will then reach you.

The College of Music Theory and Ear Training is looking forward to an experimental semester together with you!

signed Prof. H. Aerts
signed Prof. K. Georgi


Seminars, lectures, exercises, colloquia

In any case, please note the online course catalogue, which is now more up-to-date than the printed catalogue. There may have been adjustments of the topics and dates to the new situation.

For each course you should register on the GLAREAN platform with the corresponding course, if possible before the start of the semester. The head of the course will inform you in a suitable way how the teaching and learning contents of the course are organized and taught.

The dates/times of the courses listed in the online course catalogue are handled flexibly depending on the course (see above). In most cases, an impulse video conference will be held at the specified times and the further procedure will be clarified. They should be available online at these times.

The semester will be characterized by self-study, especially in the area of seminars and exercises. The results and questions can be discussed in video conferences in the plenum, but there will also be online discussions in smaller working groups and online one-on-one conversations between the course leaders and the students. As before, e-mail and telephone connections are also used for this purpose.


Video-conferences will be the main working tool in the colloquia. In the exam colloquium, individual consultations are also planned after the plenary session, as required.

Consultation hours

Arrange the desired consultation hours directly with the course leader via e-mail. Consultation hours can be held as telephone or video calls.

Participation in courses at the university and by university students at the university

Our IT tries to make it possible for students of both the university and the college to participate in the events of the partner institution in the subject musicology. It is not certain whether this will already be possible this semester. The university will start its semester on 11 May 2020 and the technical requirements for mutual online registration and participation are currently being worked out. We will inform you as soon as there are any news on this.

signed Prof. Dr. J. Willimann
signed Dr. C. Riedo

Music Physiology/Musician Medicine

In principle, all courses are carried out as planned. An overview of the courses can be found in the online course catalogue under " Freiburger Institut für Musikermedizin ".

You can register for all courses - with the exception of the courses for students of Minor Music Physiology and students of Master Music Pedagogics - on the GLAREAN platform and will then be in contact with us. On GLAREAN you will also find the date sessions and topics of the respective seminar. All seminars start on April 20, 2020. Please check there when the first online teaching sessions will take place for you from April 20, 2020 and which services are to be provided from that week on.

Synchronous lessons via video conferencing will take place on the weekdays and at the times scheduled for the seminar, please keep these dates free.

Depending on the content and setting of the seminars, we will use different digital formats for the lessons. In the practical and body-oriented seminars, most of the teaching will take place online or with interactive video recordings. In the more theoretical seminars, we will provide you with materials for written exercises, which you can also work on during the week in self-study and which will be corrected by us. You can also use the e-library of the university's online library, where our textbooks are available. All materials and references are generally deposited on GLAREAN in the area of the respective seminar.

All other technical and content-related questions will be clarified in the context of the respective seminar.

For important questions please contact c.spahn(at)mh-freiburg.de or the lecturers of the individual courses.

We are looking forward to this unusual, but also very exciting semester with you! We can all learn new things together!

signed Prof. Dr. Dr. C. Spahn
signed Prof. Dr. B. Richter

Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogics

For some seminars the topic had to be changed to make it more suitable for online teaching. The printed course catalogue is therefore no longer completely up-to-date. Please therefore inform yourself about the courses offered in the online course catalogue.

The dates of the courses are listed in the online course catalogue. Even though video conferences or other forms of simultaneous teaching may not take place every week on these dates, you should set up your timetable in such a way that you do not have to attend other dates during these time slots.

For each seminar and lecture you should find a page on the GLAREAN platform where you have to register for this course. In this way, contact with the lecturer is established. All further information will then reach you.

All further technical and content-related questions will be clarified in the course of the respective course.

signed Prof. Dr. W. Lessing

Music Pedagogics for Music Education

With a few exceptions, the planned courses will take place as online courses. Please refer to the updated online course catalogue and contact the respective lecturers if you are unsure.

At the beginning of the week you will also find a digital semester introduction on GLAREAN instead of our traditional plenary assembly. There we will provide you with a lot of information on the individual subjects.

The registration deadlines will not be as strict as usual - as long as there is still capacity in the seminars. So if you are interested in a course offer, please write an e-mail to the lecturers.

Use this unusual semester in particular to complete scientific-theoretical seminars and to write theses. Then you will have more time later in your studies for courses that can only be offered to a very limited extent at the moment.

I wish you an exciting and interesting semester despite all the problems and restrictions!

signed Prof. Dr. Thade Buchborn

Elementary-Level Music Education

All EMP events can be found on GLAREAN. There, all registered students receive further information about the courses directly from the respective lecturers.

For the time being, the times that can be found in the course catalogue will be retained. However, it is possible to decide on other times in the respective groups.

signed Prof. C. Savage-Kroll


Rector's circular letter to students (11 April 2020)

Dear Students,

due to the spread of the coronavirus, the state Ministers of Education have agreed on a common approach to organizing the 2020 summer semester: "The necessary conditions for the smoothest possible teaching and research operations in the 2020 summer semester" should be created.

In the following, I would like to familiarize you with the Rectorate's basic considerations, plans and strategies for organizing the coming semester, which have been developed in constant dialogue with many members of the Hochschule. The focus is on three areas, which are classified according to their urgency:

1. practice facilities in the Hochschule
2. examinations
3. teaching and lessons

Whether our preliminary plans can actually be implemented depends on the further course of the pandemic in our region and the overarching political decisions. They are therefore always subject to change.

I Practice facilities in the Hochschule

Teaching period

That the official summer semester 2020 will begin on April 20, 2020 and end on September 30, 2020, was expressly confirmed by the ministry the day before yesterday. The teaching period - and thus the teaching at our university – will begin on April 20, 2020 and end as originally planned on July 17, 2020. In this shortened semester, the teaching content and teaching load of a regular summer semester are to be accommodated and performed. Since the use of the university in this semester will be greatly affected by the specific conditions of operation, block-like and very compact face-to-face lectures towards the end of the semester will only be possible to a limited extent. To alleviate possible room and scheduling bottlenecks, the entire university will therefore still open to teaching until August 1, 2020. The teacher responsible will make the decision to extend the course of instruction beyond the official end of the teaching period in timely consultation with his/her students. It is not yet possible to know whether the university can also be open for teaching until the end of September.

Hochschule access

As it now stands, the Hochschule will re-open for practicing on April 20. Special hygiene and safety regulations must be observed. The Hochschule can only be entered through the small white door to the right of the main entrance. For authorization, the student ID card must be held against the electronic reader attached to the window. The door will be opened electronically from the Reception. If you do not have your student ID with you, you can communicate directly with the Reception. Only one student may be admitted to the Hochschule at a time. Please only come to the Hochschule if you have given notice or have registered. Please keep a sufficient distance from each other in front of the entrance and stand in a line.
Immediately behind the white entrance door is a specially installed wash basin. All students are required to wash their hands before entering the Hochschule. The water is activated by a foot pedal. Please do not touch anything with your hands before washing your hands, and avoid any direct contact.

In the Hochschule, the practice areas and the administrative area are strictly separated from each other by barriers. Please respect these barriers and do not cross them. In the university, the paths to your practice room will be marked. You will also receive directions in advance, along with a required declaration of responsibility, by email. The declaration of responsibility/consent also contains general and instrument- or subject-specific hygiene regulations. These regulations must be signed before entering the Hochschule for the first time and must be turned in to the designated location or sent by e-mail to the responsible member of the administration (h.mammel(at)mh-freiburg.de). Anyone who does not adhere to the hygiene regulations and instructions laid down in the declaration of responsibility/consent will lose the right to practice at the Freiburg University of Music.

You are not allowed to be in the Hochschule outside of your assigned room. The access rules and restrictions to the toilets as specified in the hygiene regulations must be observed. Contact between the students should be avoided as far as possible and direct communication (at least in the early days) should be kept to a minimum.

Practice spaces

In principle, priority will be given to those students who do not have the opportunity to practice outside of the Hochschule. You will have received the relevant information this week. Only those students who have applied for a practice space and been approved by the administration will be permitted access to the Hochschule and to a practice room. Please note that access to the rooms will not be possible without prior registration.

A fixed group of 3-4 students will be assigned to and will share the same room. For the time being, students will only be allowed to practice in that room. Only one person may be in the room at a time; chamber music or rehearsals with accompaniment will not yet be possible at this time.

Over the next week, we will inform those students who have registered for practice times which room has been allocated to them and with which fellow students they will share the room. In these times, this is an indispensable pre-requisite for being able to clearly and quickly identify possible contact between people in the event of infection.

Please make sure to wash your hands thoroughly when entering the Hochschule, to clean / disinfect the instruments as prescribed before practicing (means for this will be provided), and to ventilate the rooms after practice, as prescribed. You must confirm all of this in writing in the declaration of responsibility/consent, otherwise you cannot be assigned a practice time. This is necessary for the care for the entire institution and the health of all.

Protective suits / breathing masks

At our institution there is currently no obligation to wear breathing masks or protective clothing. Based on current knowledge, it is also unlikely that such an requirement will be made in the near future. Therefore, no recommendation can be made on our part. Of course, those who wish can and should wear masks and protective clothing without fear and with self-confidence.

Contact with the Technischen Dienst and with the administrative staff

It is a primary concern of the Hochschule management to protect the staff of the Technischen Dienst and the administration. Please avoid any physical contact with them and keep your distance. The barriers within the Hochschule must be respected. Try to send your inquiries by e-mail or phone if possible. Appointments must be requested in advance and can only take place in exceptional cases. Please be friendly and respectful even in difficult situations - it's a new experience for all of us.

II Examinations

Internal exams

We are assuming that all upcoming exams can be take place. Exceptions to this are examinations that require a large ensemble (orchestra, choir, etc.) or physical work in and with a larger group of people. We cannot guarantee with absolute certainty that these exams will be able to take place this semester, or will have to take place in the next semester. Exams that were scheduled at the beginning of this semester are postponed (for example, in Schulmusik). The administration will make any new dates known. Examinations or parts of examinations that require a larger group, especially a medium-sized ensemble (choir, orchestra, etc.) will be postponed to as late as possible during the semester. For example, it is planned to hold the choir and orchestra conducting exams for Schulmusik in September, immediately before the start of the following winter semester. It will also be possible to postpone Chamber music exams or parts of the exam that contain chamber music. In any case, we have to wait for further developments and the corresponding regulations.

So that the exams do not pile up too much at the end of the semester or extend into the following winter semester, it was agreed after consultation with the responsible colleagues to modify certain exam requirements (for example, by removing the chamber music parts) so that they may safely take place under the current restrictions. Your main subject teacher will tell you at the beginning of the semester whether your exam is affected by such modifications.

We are also assuming that the exams in the main artistic subjects can be taken in a traditional, "analog" way in the coming semester. They will take place in rooms that allow required safety distances to be respected and maintained. Unfortunately, the exams will not be open to the public.

Examinations in the scientific and artistic-theoretical subjects, which will be taught exclusively online this semester, are expected to be largely online in the minor subjects. In specific cases (major in music theory, partial examination in musicology, etc.), however, they will take place (at least in part) "analog". Here I ask you to wait for the information of the responsible instructor.

Entrance Exams

The entrance exams for the winter semester 2020/2021 will take place in this semester. In addition to the usual live examinations, a range of digital formats will also be used. The entrance exams in this semester will most likely be divided into several blocks over the entire length of the semester.

III Teaching and lessons


There will be no public concerts at the Hochschule until further notice, possibly even until the end of the semester. It is possible that the general public will not even have access to the building until the end of the semester. The possibilities of digital concert events / broadcasts are currently being considered. In our planning, however, they are not an immediate priority.

Large ensembles (orchestra, choir, etc.)

All previously planned dates for the orchestra of the Hochschule in April and May 2020 are cancelled. The same applies to the other large ensembles (choir, chamber choir, Big Band etc.). It remains to be seen whether planned exams that require one of these ensembles can be carried out at the end of the semester. It also remains to be seen whether the Suppé project of the Institute for Music Theater and the Freiburg Theater can go ahead at the beginning of July as planned. You will find out more information about these projects directly from the head of the Institute or the directors of the large ensembles.

Teaching in scientific (academic) subjects

Teaching in the scientific (academic) and artistic-theoretical subjects (music theory, musicology, music education, musicians’ medicine, etc.) will take place exclusively online this semester. The different teaching formats (small groups, seminars, lectures, exercises) will be coordinated via Glarean, our online learning platform. Over the next week you will receive detailed information on how to register for certain courses or how to contact the teachers. You will also learn from the teachers or via the platform which examination requirements are expected and how they may be fulfilled.

Individual lessons in artistic subjects / three-level model

The gradual return to regular face-to-face lessons should follow an ideal three-level model. It all starts with online teaching, which you should plan in direct contact with your main subject teacher. We have already been able to significantly improve the Hochschule’s video conference system “Conclave” and are confident that this positive development will continue. Our state does not have a clear position with regard to the use of commercial online communication platforms. Although the MWK explicitly advises against using Zoom, it has not yet issued a binding restriction on use. Basically, the Musikhochschule Freiburg is digitally well-positioned compared to many other music schools. It is important to expand the existing possibilities and, of course, to try new ones. Please do not be afraid to contact our specialists with your questions (e-learning(at)mh-freiburg.de).

The Hochschule has ordered several laptops, tablets, etc. as part of a support program from the state in order to equip students who do not have their own equipment. It is also planned to open a room in the Hochschule for those students who cannot or only poorly establish online communication from home. The room should have technical equipment that should enable active participation in this new form of teaching and learning, under good conditions. As soon as we have developed a viable concept for this we will contact you.

The second level in the three-level model is the master class teaching, the first form of live classroom instruction. There are a total of six large rooms available at the Hochschule (concert hall, chamber music hall, room 156, room 117, Rhythmik room, opera school), in which class lessons can be held while respecting safety requirements. Five of these rooms also have two independent entrances and exits. The wind and vocal classes, which are particularly "risky" with regard to droplet infection, can also move safely across the width of the concert hall, for example. It is planned to provide each teacher with a certain amount of time per week. How the respective main subject teachers use this contingent (in consultation with their students) remains open: it is possible to have group lessons or (shortened) individual lessons, with equally apportioned time, or more time for the exam candidates.

The third level in the three-level model is the classic one-on-one lesson. It also means the return to regular classrooms. To be on the safe side, we have had a certain number of plexiglass panels manufactured, which can be placed between students and teachers as needed.

These levels are not strictly chronological: online classes and master classes, for example, complement each other. And neither the master class nor the classroom instruction erase the possibility of online teaching. These levels will not be reached simultaneously in all subjects. I do not think it is out of the question that with a favorable overall development, in many subjects we could return to regular individual lessons in May. At the same time, this model enables us to react flexibly to fluctuations in the health situation and to adapt to external conditions.

It is clear that the three-level model and the structure of our practice are linked to each other: The more we return to the traditional form of one-to-one teaching at our Hochschule, the more the strict student-room bond dissolves. This then goes hand in hand with an increasing dissolution of the individual isolation of students and teachers and a gradual return to a - albeit regulated - coexistence. The following table shows this inner dynamic:

Three-stage model: opening of the MH Freiburg in Corona times


form of Instruction

possible start
(subject to official approval)

Level 1
Practice in assigned rooms of the MH lessons
central entry, disinfection, according to schedule

lessons digital/media

from 20.04.2020

Level 2
Practice in assigned rooms of the MH
Masterclass in large rooms, 1x / week

lessons digital/media
Masterclass in large rooms, 1x / week

approx. 1-2 weeks later

Level 3
Increasingly "free" practice in the MH classroom
Plexiglas panes as protection if necessary

classroom teaching in MH, possibly plexiglass protection;
Rehearsals with accompaniment + chamber music with distance

approx. 2-4 weeks later

If there is an overall positive regional development of the pandemic, the return to work in and with the large ensembles could follow in the last semester weeks - as a fourth step, so to speak.

Accompaniment / chamber music / Liedgestaltung / EMP

The subjects of accompaniment, chamber music, Liedgestaltung, EMP, etc. face particular challenges, because for them the transition into online lessons is hardly possible using the technical means currently available to us. I know from some accompanists that they record and send their instrumental part for their students at home. And although these “Music Minus One” recordings can never replace a live pianist, the teachers assure me that this kind of work is not completely useless. Teaching that is based less than usual on making music together also seems to open up the possibility to take a closer look at certain other parameters which sometimes take a back seat due to time constraints.

In the beginning, it is of course advisable to concentrate more on the interpretive aspect. I am convinced that working in a duo (possibly using plexiglass protection) will be possible again soon - and that the accompanists do not have to prepare for a long dry spell of inactivity. Practical solutions are currently being sought for courses that require physical presence and work in a larger group, for example in music education courses, especially in elementary music education but also in vocal training (opera, etc.).

Earning credits / ensemble certificates, etc. (Scheine)

The basic principle is that students must be able to acquire the certificates they need this semester. The teachers will try to find flexible and individual solutions in each individual case. The responsible teachers will contact the students in this regard. All students who should have obtained an orchestra certificate (Orchesterschein) this semester will have the opportunity to do so. Since no conventional rehearsals can take place at the moment, the intention is to enable students to earn a certificate  based on presentations/discussion of the planned orchestra repertoire. Further information will be provided by the orchestra office in May. The work of the Hochschule choir and the Big Band is scheduled to begin at the end of April using the online options that will then be available. How the work of the semester is to be summarized will be decided in the course of the semester.

IV General information

Semester Leave / extension semester

In principle, an application for a semester leave can be submitted at any time. The Hochschule administration is aware of the special and often difficult situation in which many of our students, especially from non-European countries, find themselves. However, the application should always be individually justified and address the particular personal situation. It makes sense to apply for a semester leave if a return from abroad to Germany does not appear to be reliably predictable in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, you should carefully consider before making an application just because you are currently afraid that the semester may be “lost”. I very much hope that face-to-face classes at our university will soon be able to start again.

We will generally treat applications for an additional semester (extension semester) benevolently. This applies particularly to students who are now in their examination semester. Our students should not suffer any disadvantages from this crisis. For students of an orchestral instrument who plan to apply for an extension semester, the rule still applies that a further orchestra certificate (Orchesterschein) must be earned in the additional semester.

Foreign students / entry / quarantine

For all foreign students, both European and non-European students, you must go into quarantine for two weeks after your return to Freiburg. If you will be entering Germany in the next and the following week, the quarantine time would largely coincide with level 1, the online lessons, and the end of the quarantine, with the master class teaching and thus with the resumption of face-to-face lessons. Home quarantine also means that practicing is not allowed in the Hochschule.

Tuition fees / financial support / BAföG

The state of Baden-Württemberg currently categorically excludes waiving tuition fees for this semester. The universities are working together to obtain further concessions from the state. At the very least an aid fund for students seems to be on the way. I still question whether the splitting of a semester introduced by the Stuttgart Musikhochschule can really be a solution. In any case, halving the tuition fees would have to be requested and approved separately from the ministry. In addition, "splitting" could lead to long-term distortions in the teaching staff's budget. We rely on the cooperation with the other types of universities (universities, universities of applied sciences etc.) in order to implement our demands to support the students. If all efforts fail here, we will endeavor to find location-specific funding opportunities. On our website you will find the current support options for students. In emergencies, you can always contact the Friends of the University of Music Freiburg.

Lecturers (Lehrbeauftragte).

The lecturers at our Hochschule are particularly affected by the current crisis because they do not make a living by teaching here, but also by working as a freelance musician. For many of them, the corona crisis suddenly eroded a significant part of their income base. It is all the more important that they can rely on their income through their work as lecturers. From this perspective, the willingness of the students to accept the offer of online teaching is of particular importance. The lecturers must also have the opportunity to give their lessons regularly in the first phases of the semester. Of course, the lessons that the lecturers have given between April 1st and 20th will count towards their degree. So show solidarity with our lecturers - this semester even more than in any other!

Use of the library

The library is open for lending and return from 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm. It will be possible to enter the Hochschule outside of the assigned practice time to use the library, in limited numbers, and only for the short period of time to facilitate the loan process. Only the library entrance area can be entered. You can access the book scanner with registration. Media must be pre-ordered by e-mail at the following address: bibliothek(at)mh-freiburg.de or by phone 31915 - 13 / - 27. You will receive an e-mail back as soon as your order request has been made available to you. Only then can you borrow or take it with you. There is a new media return box next to the library, which is available for return outside the opening hours. Literature research can be requested at any time.

V In conclusion

Finally, I would like to comment a little more generally and fundamentally on this exceptional situation and what it means for our cooperation and relationships with one-another at the Hochschule.

We see in the polarization of media positions and experience in our close surroundings every day that people react very differently to the pandemic threat: the topic is strongly connected with personal worries, fears, life situations and sensitivities. It is not easy to have a "factual" discourse at an emotional distance. Such a situation inevitably promotes thinking and talking in extreme positions: Between total lockdown and total liberalization and, as it were, between the idolatry and demonization of digitization, there seems to be no middle ground, and it seems that a compromise is hardly possible.

The decision of the education ministries now requires the universities to do just that: to enter the complex process of a mediating, "compromise" transition. It is important to return to the traditional structures, although they cannot currently be served with the traditional resources. The “old machine” has to be restarted while the threatening thing that could bring it to a standstill is still present.

This is particularly a challenge for those subjects that cannot easily be transferred to the digital realm, and that are genuinely dependent on practical, hands-on practice - just like our university form, the music academies. We immediately have to actively strive for a balance with the resumption of study - between the necessary safety requirements and practical necessities of the study, between the responsibility for the health of all Hochschule members and the expectations of the students regarding the fulfillment of the educational mandate, between the restoration of the proven teaching - and forms of communication and the creative development of completely new formats. Monday after next, the way back to the normality of our student life begins - and no one knows how long it will take and how it will change us.

In my opinion, this balance also requires an emotional balance in interpersonal relationships: it is more important than ever to accept different positions and to respect the content and communication consequences that arise from them. Nobody at this institution should have to justify themselves for their content-related reservations and preferences, for their reluctance in one or their engagement in the other, for worries and fears, for “elan” and creativity. There are members of the Hochschule community who have high degree of fear of contagion, who suffer from asthma or other pre-existing diseases, who have family members who belong to a group at risk, etc. Neither these people, nor those who still feel overwhelmed by the current situation should be under pressure to adapt or to disclose themselves. We cannot expect any generally binding procedures and standardized forms of instruction in the coming semester - neither the teachers nor the students. Students are not obliged to practice at the university, nor can all different forms of teaching be expected of all teachers. In short: The next semester will require a high degree of tolerance, consideration and gentleness from all of us.

I am convinced that the coming semester should be organized in such a way that it will not be lost for the teachers and for you, dear students. But it will not be structurally and methodologically uniform. This does not put a stop to constructive and factual criticism: I would just like to point out that in these difficult times, it will be difficult to establish uniform standards, and not only for technical reasons. Let us go together to new shores - and not leave anyone behind.

Sincerely yours,
Ludwig Holtmeier

Circular letter of the library (9 April 2020)

Dear teachers and students,

as the library as well as the university will be closed until April 19, 2020, we would like to contact you to inform you about the current possibilities of media use. In the given situation we are not able to offer you on-site use. As we have already announced on the homepage, we offer you a scanning service. You will find the conditions on the website. We are happy to help you with your research. Furthermore, we are working on expanding our e-book stock. Please contact us if you have any requests.

The password for the Naxos databases always changes at the beginning of the semester. Normally you sign at the circulation desk to receive the new password. This will be restructured in the summer semester. You can log on to the learning platform Glarean and apply for membership in the Naxos group via the library section. After approval you can get the new password and use the databases. On 17 April 2020 the new password will be activated.

The operators of the Digital Concert Hall have also reacted to the new conditions and are offering their databases for free access for an indefinite period. This means that the database can be used without an account. If you already have an account, it can continue to be used without revalidation. There is a large digital offer. Just go on the search.

The full text database JSTOR has extended its free offer until June 30th. For all those who like to work with databases, access is facilitated by the university login. For example, if you log in to JSTOR, all databases that you access via our homepage should be usable for 24 hours without further login. The links to the databases can be found on the library page.

The library plans to be open from April 20th from Monday to Friday between 10 and 12 a.m. and in the afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m. For the time being students and teachers can only enter the counter area. All desired loans must be ordered in advance by e-mail (bibliothek(at)mh-freiburg.de). You will receive an e-mail confirming your reservation. Only after receipt of this mail your requested title is reserved for you in the library for 3 lending days.

In order to avoid a rush from April 20 onwards and to give everyone the opportunity to hand in the sheet music in peace and with the necessary distance to other people, your loan periods have been extended once again. The new return date is 7 May 2020.

You will find a new media return box in front of the entrance to the library. Outside opening hours you can return your media there, please completely with all items.

Now we wish you happy Easter and hope and look forward to seeing you again afterwards.

With kind regards
Your library team

Rector’s circular letter to students (8 April 2020)

8 April 2020

Dear students,

many of you have created opportunities for yourself to practice outside of the university in the past few weeks. For others of you this is not possible or only possible to a very limited extent. We are currently assuming that we will be able to reopen the university for practice to a limited extent from 20 April 2020. However, this will be subject to the necessary safety precautions.

We will assign a certain number of students to a room, who will then be able to use this room at fixed times.

Furthermore, we expect everyone entering the university to commit themselves to hygiene measures to avoid infection.

I appeal to your solidarity and academic collegiality in this matter: Please consider whether you are really dependent on the university as a place to practice - or whether you have sufficient other opportunities to make larger time quotas available to your fellow students.

If you absolutely need a room at the university for practice purposes, please write to h.mammel(at)mh-freiburg.de by Tuesday, 14 April 2020 at the latest.

I would be very pleased to receive a quick response. We urgently need this information in order to make progress in the complex planning. Detailed information on the course of the semester, especially on the organisation of the lessons, will be sent to you in a separate letter shortly.

With best regards
Ludwig Holtmeier

Rector's circular letter to students (31 March 2020)

March 31, 2020

Dear students,

tomorrow, Wednesday, this year's summer semester (for some of you: the study at our university at all) would have begun. At present, the statewide regulation is in effect, according to which no courses and, unfortunately, no practice opportunities can be offered at the university up to and including April 19, 2020. It is of course difficult for me to speak to you about a concrete tendency and an expected development, because too much actually depends on how the general health situation will develop in the next days and weeks. However, Minister Bauer gave a clear signal in her press conference today and made a clear rejection of a so-called 'non-semester'. I therefore assume that the semester will indeed start again on April 20, although (at least for the time being) in a different and sometimes limited form.

These days, at the university we are intensively occupied with providing online-based alternatives for teaching and with informing and preparing our teachers. The transition to digital teaching will certainly not proceed smoothly and will not always function optimally: even after April 20, there will be start-up difficulties. I can assure you that the university management and administration will do their utmost to meet these challenges as best as they can. At the same time, I would like to ask you for patience and also for constructive feedback if you have helpful and creative ideas on how we can make progress in the current situation.

With this mail I would like to send you some information so that you at least have a perspective on how to proceed in the upcoming weeks.

1. For private lessons (one-to-one lessons), we are looking for solutions that are also practicable online, at least for the next weeks. Our in-house video conferencing system is currently being upgraded so that it will be able to meet the requirements in the future. As soon as this system is usable, teachers will be able to establish their online communication via this platform. How the one-to-one lessons "at distance" will be organised this semester is to be agreed with the respective professor or teacher.

2. We will coordinate the group lessons (small groups, seminars, lectures, exercises) via our learning platform as far as technically and content-wise possible. These courses should also start on April 20. The courses will be entered in our systems in the upcoming days and will hopefully be available for booking and registration from the middle of the month. We will send you more detailed information on this matter as well.

3. For some of you, intermediate or final exams are scheduled this semester. Please be assured that we are working intensively with the teachers and the examination office to find practical and fair solutions for this situation. The fact that the central examinations can take place has a very high priority in the planning of the university management. However, here too I must ask you to be patient until we can tell what the solutions in each specific case could look like. We will get back to you as soon as we can report something more precise.

4. For many of you, the lack of opportunities to practice is currently a major difficulty. Solving this problem is also a top priority for us at the moment. You can be assured that we are working hard to develop different strategies that will allow the university to be used as a place for practice. Should the situation epidemiologically and legally allow it, we will reopen practice facilities at the university in a responsible manner and under observance of special safety precautions.

5. Meanwhile, our library has extended the loan periods and offers a scanning service in urgent cases. You can find current information on this on the corona main page. Please also make use of the extensive digital services of the University Library, especially if you are enrolled at the university via the teacher training program (Lehramtsstudiengang).

I'm sorry I can't give you better answers right now. We are dealing with a dynamically changing situation to which we as a university can often only react. But rest assured that we are planning ahead for very different scenarios in order to enable a teaching operation in which you, the non-teaching staff and the teaching staff are equally protected. I am convinced that in the near future we will have to strike a balance between absolute restriction and absolute freedom. Much will change and cherished habits will require - at least for a period of time - stricter everyday discipline than usual. But live will go on …

Stay healthy and confident. See you soon!

With kind regards
Ludwig Holtmeier
Rector of Freiburg University of Music

Circular letter of the library (30 March 2020)

30 March 2020

Dear teachers and students of the Freiburg University of Music,

as you already know, due to the current situation the university is closed until April 19th - this includes the library. As it is not possible for you to hand in media, we have extended all loans until 23 April 2020. So you should not incur any reminder fees. As always, you can view your loans via the online catalogue under "My account". If an account has been overlooked and you do incur fees during this period, we will of course cancel it. In such a case, please contact us by e-mail.

In order to support you as much as possible in this challenging time, we would like to offer you a scanning service. This means that on request we will make scans of the required texts and sheet music within the scope of copyright law and send them to you by e-mail.

Please note that copyright law excludes the scanning of many of our media. The following media may be scanned:

  • free works
  • small-scale protected works (max. 6 pages for sheet music or 25 pages for a book) and journal articles for the purpose of scientific research
  • 75% of a protected work for the purpose of scientific research
  • 15% of a protected work for use in a digital semester apparatus

"Free works" are works whose authors died before 1950. However, many editions of actually free works are nevertheless protected, even though the composer has been dead for more than 70 years, since the publisher and the printing of the music must also be taken into account. Urtext editions and new editions, for example, are protected for 25 years and may not be scanned.

We are currently not working with a full cast and therefore have limited personnel capacity for this service. We kindly ask you to take this into account with regard to your inquiries and to request scans explicitly only in urgent cases. Many exams and submission deadlines have been postponed, which is why the urgency has also decreased in many cases.

If you are still looking for literature, we will also be happy to help you with your research. Please send your inquiries to bibliothek(at)mh-freiburg.de or call us (0761 31915 -26/27).

We wish you all the best
Your library team

Rector's circular letter to employees (30 March 2020)

30 March 2020

Dear colleagues,

next Wednesday the summer semester 2020 should actually have started. As you all know, the start has been postponed to April 20, 2020 for the Baden-Württemberg universities of music. Whether this date can be kept is anything but certain. Nevertheless, the postponement of the start of lectures at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg to 11th May 2020 should not be seen as an indication of a general course of action by the state and also by our university. Even the decisive instances of the state government now see that a closure of the entire practice area linked to the postponement of the start of lectures would have far-reaching consequences for the universities of music. A very central task of our university or our university institutions cannot be shifted to the digital world. It is still unclear what this means for the universities of music. Many things are possible. Both an extension of the current shutdown or a partial opening for practice under certain security measures. It is also by no means clear whether the semester will already end at the beginning/middle of July. In other federal states there is already relatively open talk of extending the teaching period into September. This option should also be taken into consideration when making personal plans for the summer.

The currently valid Corona Ordinance (CoronaVO, version of 22 March) states: "The operation of studies at the universities, colleges of education, colleges of art and music, colleges of applied sciences, the DHBW and the academies of the state will be suspended until 19 April 2020; studies already started will be interrupted until this date. Online offers are still possible." This means that, in principle, online teaching is also possible before the official start of the course. However, this freedom to teach online does not of course mean that teachers are completely free to plan their lessons and their teaching times. In principle, online lessons are not scheduled before April 1, the original start of lectures, and a "personal" end of the summer semester cannot be determined arbitrarily. When the summer semester ends this year is determined solely by the state government.

It is also open whether the entrance examinations will take place this year and if so, in what form. A nationwide survey of all universities of music has shown that almost all universities of music plan to hold entrance examinations. That the entrance examinations, should they take place, would have to be scheduled at a much later date this year, seems to me to be as good as certain. You should also keep this in mind when planning for this semester and this summer. In addition to the postponement of a "traditional" entrance examination under increased security conditions, we are also currently examining alternative forms of aptitude tests that could be used if a traditional entrance examination were not possible. We have to expect that travel opportunities to Germany, both within Europe and from outside Europe, will remain restricted for a longer period of time. This would have far-reaching consequences for a university with an international applicant base such as ours, to which we must react as far as possible.

A large part of the teaching in this semester will take place online. Not all the courses planned for this semester are suitable for online teaching. You can therefore adapt your course offerings to the new conditions and change your already announced courses even now. To do so, please go to the pages of the Digital Course Catalogue and, after logging in, edit the courses you wish to change. These will then appear updated on the homepage. Please remember that you can access all these services with your university login and password (as with your mail account).

We are currently working on making the technical requirements for online teaching available to as many teachers and students as possible "in-house". The central tool is our university's own video conferencing system "Conclave". "Conclave" is the program of choice, especially for smaller groups with about 10-15 participants. We are currently working on making Conclave operational - also for private lessons. The university also maintains a streaming server, which can be used to stream media content from larger events, e.g. lectures. As soon as the system is ready for use or can be tested in the course of studies, we will provide you with detailed instructions for use.

Currently, there is a colourful confusion in the use of commercial online communication platforms (Skype, Zoom etc.). Many existing systems do not seem to meet the current data protection requirements of the country. We have asked the MWK for detailed information on what is allowed and what is prohibited in the current situation. An answer is still pending. Moreover, many of these suppliers are reaching their capacity limits due to the current demand, which already significantly limits their practicability and ubiquity and threatens to limit them in the future. It is therefore in the interest of the entire university that a comprehensive e-learning platform is set up that is DSGVO-compliant and operates reliably at all times. This is what we are working on.

Our learning platform GLAREAN has been in existence since 2017. It is also currently being adapted to the current situation and the increased demand. It is also the central place for information about online teaching. Initial information on working with the platform can be found at https://glarean.mh-freiburg.de/goto_lehrplatt-form_cat_14404.html

There you will find general technical and didactic recommendations as well as information about possibilities of designing lessons with online elements and information about relevant tools. On GLAREAN, forums can basically be set up, "interactive" videos can be provided, documents can be edited together with an etherpad, etc. The instructions for the use of online tools are of course currently subject to a certain dynamic. It is therefore worthwhile to check regularly for updates. A team of teachers and GLAREAN experts is available to answer any questions regarding the new offers. This team is dependent on feedback in order to be able to optimise the process. For questions and suggestions/criticism please contact e-learning(at)mh-freiburg.de.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the staff from teaching, administration and technology, who are working hard to provide all these solutions. Digital products, as we can see quite clearly at the moment, only become really good through testing, through practice, through step-by-step improvements. This makes me all the happier that we have a team at the university that is motivated and takes on these challenges with great professional competence.

In Boccaccio's Decamerone, ten young people flee from plague-stricken Florence and gather in a "hortus conclusus" in Fiesole, which has escaped the horror. In isolation, they give their daily routine a fixed structure - and they tell each other stories. Boccaccio's people, thrown back on themselves, fall back on the most elementary. And art - in its most archaic forms: storytelling and singing - belongs centrally to this most elementary and life-supporting. Hopefully we will be spared the conditions of 14th century Florence. But extreme situations like these show us, today as then, what really counts in life.

Ludwig Holtmeier

Circular letter of the Institute for Musician Medicine (23 March 2020)

23 March 2020

Dear students and colleagues of our university,

the consequences of the Corona crisis have been reaching us as a university for a few days now.

Especially you, dear students, are thwarted by the closure of the university (including the practice rooms) until April 19, in your joy at the beginning of the semester and your desire to make music and learn at the university.

Of course, we are all very sorry about this, even though the necessity of the measures is undeniable and we would therefore ask you to strictly adhere to them.

However, in order that not only prohibitions and restrictions are imposed, but also to offer support in the area of health and music making, we have produced texts, audio and video recordings with our team of musicians' medicine over the last few days and have put them on the News page of the FIM homepage as suggestions for fitness, practice and good mood.

All interested people are welcome to have a look at our website. We would be very pleased if you could enjoy and profit from it!

We wish you all luck and health!
Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Spahn and the FIM team

For specific questions, you can reach the outpatient clinic of the Freiburg Institute for Musician's Medicine by telephone from Monday to Friday between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. on 0761 270 61610.

Rector's circular letter to employees (23 March 2020)

23 March 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,

the university is now closed to the public and the administration and technical service are only present in an emergency staffing. The Chancellor - having returned from Austria - immediately went into quarantine and, like many others, works from home. When I sit alone at my desk in my office, I sometimes hear the sounds of instruments, then I follow the sounds around the house, but they always come from the same trombonist and the same accordionist, who practice in the bright sunshine and under the blossoming cherries day after day in front of the university. The university itself is completely orphaned and mute. It is in a strange way threateningly peaceful - an unreal atmosphere.

On March 17th the new Corona Ordinance (CoronaVO) came into force, which abolished the teaching and studying at schools, day-care centres and universities until April 19th inclusive.

Many of you are very worried, especially of course the students and lecturers. The sudden standstill of the whole of society threatens the freelancers, our lecturers, but also many students whose economic foundations have suddenly broken away or are breaking away more and more. The university management is aware of this and is looking for solutions in cooperation with the other music universities.

At the moment, we have to plan as if the studies would be resumed as planned on April 20. As I already wrote in my last circular letter, we assume that the lecturers' teaching duties can be fulfilled by the end of the semester to the extent agreed upon for that semester (possibly also taking advantage of public holidays or the lecture-free period). The universities of music in Baden-Württemberg are in discussion with the state government and are attempting to raise awareness, in particular, of the special problems faced by lecturers and to make provisions for the event that the regulation remains in force beyond April 19. Opening up the possibilities for lecturers (as of course for all other teachers) to give their lessons online will certainly play a central role (see below).

Many of our students were faced with very difficult decisions in the last few days: Is it better to start the (sometimes very expensive) journey home in order to be able to practice at least, but at the risk of not being able to re-enter the country quickly and easily or being forced into a long quarantine after arrival in Germany? Or should one stay here and accept that one will not be able to work or only be able to work to a limited extent - and that for an unforeseeable period of time? Unfortunately, we could not and cannot relieve the students of these difficult personal decisions. Nobody can give a guarantee for the future. Although the financial problems of our students do not formally fall within the responsibility of the universities, the university management is also looking for new ways to provide support. The question of how to deal with the tuition fees already paid is also currently being discussed and will certainly be brought to a uniform nationwide regulation.

For a variety of reasons, music academies cannot - to the same extent as universities - orientate their courses of study towards online teaching in the short term. Apart from the purely technical problems, this is mainly due to the fact that the guarantee of studyability at our type of university is inextricably linked to the opening of the universities of music as places for practice. This situation, which is so specific to our type of university, is something we try to point out to the state government time and again. Nevertheless, a great deal of content is of course also available online at our university. According to current planning, you will receive an information sheet in the course of this week, which will summarize the different possibilities, formats and operations of our online services. Special thanks are due to our IT specialists, as well as to all those employees who keep the university running during these times.

These times are unsettling because there is no end in sight to the current state of affairs. However, the latest developments in China and South Korea show that it will not last forever. This should give us courage. What we need now is to stand together and act in solidarity. I am always available to answer any questions you may have. Take care of yourself, hold on and above all stay healthy!

Ludwig Holtmeier
Rector of the University of Music

Rector's circular letter to all university members (15 March 2020)

Dear students, dear professors and lecturers, dear employees of the administration, the technical service and the library,


On 13th March 2020, the Universities of Music in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Trossingen reached an agreement with the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg (MWK) on the following procedure to stem the spread of the corona virus:

The beginning of the summer semester will be postponed to Monday, 20th April 2020.
Until then there will be

  • no individual lessons, no lessons in small groups and no seminars or similar
  • no rehearsals, concerts or examination concerts,
  • no practicing in rooms of the university.

The university buildings may not be used for these purposes until April 19, 2020. During this period, access to the university is prohibited for students and staff of the university, with the exception of non-teaching staff and members of the university management, or is only permitted in exceptional cases and after prior consultation and approval (e.g. for the loan of instruments etc.).

The reason for this measure is the unanimous opinion that the decree of the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg to postpone the start of lectures also applies to universities of music, although no lectures with large numbers of students are held there.

From a medical point of view, the situation in individual lessons and in ensemble situations is particularly conducive to the risk of infection:

  • The recommended behavior is to avoid a body distance of less than two meters. However, this is often not possible in the everyday practice of individual instruction.
  • Especially in subjects such as singing and wind instruments, there is an increased risk of droplet infection because the respiratory system is actively involved in the production of sound.
  • Instrumental practice also means the risk of infection via instruments that are touched by several people. The intensive use of (mainly keyboard) instruments supports the spread of the virus. Especially for these reasons the practice rooms are closed.

Many people from the risk areas designated by the Robert Koch Institute study at Baden-Württemberg's universities of music. For this reason, which is specific to our type of higher education institution, the rectorates believe that a complete suspension of teaching and practice is necessary for the preventive protection of all.

The examinations and examination concerts scheduled before 20.04.2020 cannot take place. Further information will be provided in due course.

The library shall remain closed until 20 April. In case of emergency the library management is to be contacted.

The administration will be closed until April 20, 2020, i.e. there will be no public access. The administration staff can be reached by telephone and e-mail.

All committee meetings in the period until 19 April 2020 should be cancelled or held "at a distance".

With regard to the teaching assignments of the lecturers, we currently assume that they can be fulfilled by the end of the semester to the extent agreed upon for this semester, possibly also using public holidays or the semester break.

Business trips to the COVID risk areas will not be approved until further notice; approvals already made will be revoked. All teachers, students and researchers returning from the risk areas classified by the Robert Koch Institute must maintain a two-week self-quarantine.


Due to the dynamic development that can be observed, the university management must also react flexibly to the circumstances - not unlike society as a whole. These measures apply until 19 April inclusive. We will inform you in good time about how things will proceed after that.

I ask all students and staff of the university

We will send you information on the implementation of teaching "at a distance" or the use of university facilities "at a distance" etc. or publish it on our website.

We have probably never experienced an exceptional situation like this before. Rest assured that the university management will do everything possible to ensure that the university can continue to operate under extreme conditions and burdens. The motto is: health comes first. We stand together. Let us hope for the best.

With best regards and stay healthy!

Freiburg, 15 March 2020
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Holtmeier

Die deutschen Musikhochschulen