The Baunatal Music School near Kassel is an innovative music school in Germany. Here, digitization is a priority and music lessons were given online real soon.
The public and non-profit institution stands for the human right and basic need to make music. The goal here is to awaken everyone’s creativity and thus convey the joy of making music. This school is not only a pioneer in pedagogical terms: it was also one of the first to go digital. For instance, a digital school administration system was used early on – and that’s how Joachim Arndt came to be one of the first music school directors to offer online music lessons in a music school.
We are very happy to work with this sophisticated and so innovative music school in Hessen! We asked Mr. Arndt 5 questions about digital music lessons.
Here is the interview for you:
Please introduce yourself and your role in the music school
My name is Joachim Arndt. I am a studied flutist and cembalist and have been directing the music school Baunatal for 22 years.
1) What makes the Music School Baunatal in Germany special?
At the Baunatal Music School, we have a very broad spectrum of additional offerings that go beyond elementary, instrumental and voice lessons. This includes a wide range of ensembles, from the children’s choir and various instrumental ensembles to our Kunterbunt orchestra. We also have a children’s symphony orchestra, the symphony orchestra, the big band, the funk band and a large integrative ensemble for disabled and non-disabled participants.
We hold several rehearsal weekends a year and have lively exchange projects with two music schools abroad. Here, digital exchange and music lessons are also used.
On our homepage you can see a film with the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th symphony. We produced this video project during Corona time together with our partner music school in Vrchlabi, Czech Republic. It was great to be able to realize this ambitious project together, even if not in presence.
2) What are/were the toughest challenges at the Baunatal Music School in terms of digitization and digital music lessons?
We had to go digital practically from scratch, as our music school was closed overnight at the beginning of the Corona pandemic, like so many institutions.
While we were fortunate to have a good internet connection with good DSL bandwidth in our building, we had no end devices of any kind. Everything was initially handled via the private devices of the teaching staff, who also had to quickly acquire the necessary know-how. The commitment and readiness of the teaching staff were great.
We would like to see all our rooms even better equipped with microphones, cameras, laptops, etc.. This would allow us to switch even better from presence to online lessons (also blended in one afternoon.)
3) So what do online music lessons enable you to?
First of all, the digital lessons made it possible for our offer to be maintained, at all.
Many students and parents were very grateful for this. In the meantime, regular classes have resumed, but students are often unable to attend due to illness or quarantine.
That’ s where online classes often provide continuity in the classroom, which is very important, especially for younger students.
4) What is the best part about SIRIUS?
We are convinced by the excellent audio quality of SIRIUS.
Compared to other online platforms for digital music lessons, the sound quality is several times better. So you can also work with students on things like musical quality and composition a lot better.
The Support is excellent, as well.
5) What is your view of the future of music lessons?
The co-existence of presence and online lessons will remain with us in the Baunatal Music School in the long run. Even in the case of non-Corona-related illnesses of the students, online lessons are often a very welcome method.
We will probably experience a significant increase in the speed of digital processes compared to the past decades. For this, we have already acquired ( or rather had to acquire) quite good knowledge in the rush process. This offers many opportunities!
Nevertheless, the presence lessons and especially the special experience of making music together will remain.
Thank you very much, Joachim Arndt — for our great partnership and this interview.