Getting a second MM in Germany

January 7, 2022, 8:57 PM · Hello! I am looking into applying to schools in Germany or Austria because I have always wanted to study there. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a second MM in Germany if I am finishing up my MM right now in the US. I wanted to apply to Germany/Austria schools two years ago but it coincided with the pandemic so I decided to stay in the US for my Masters. However, I still very much want to study in Europe, and I want to do it before I start my DMA. I was wondering if anyone knows if it would be possible to get a second MM (or MA in the case of the degree name in Austria) after I have already gotten one. I know in the US you can't get a second MM unless you are doing a different instrument. I have heard from a friend who is in Germany right now who told me that oftentimes people do multiple masters over there, but I just wanted to be sure. I have reached out to schools and teachers but haven't heard back so I wanted to ask here.

Would a second MM be possible, or am I better off sticking with a post-graduate program? I also don't know if schools in Germany have a post-graduate program, it seems the only program they have after MM is the Konzertexamen which is a soloist degree which I will not get into.

Thank you in advance!

Replies (3)

January 10, 2022, 10:22 AM · Hi,
I am from and living in Germany. They established this system of bachelor and master etc. after my studies, though, so, I really don’t know, for sure. I think my so-called diploma is what is called master, now.

Anyway, above Master, you can do “Konzertexamen”. Why wouldn’t you do that?
It basically consists of violin lessons, only, without all the theory which you have studied, before, anyway.
You would have to audition and see if someone takes you.

Then, you might want to go into chamber music or orchestra studies, which is offered at some places.

It depends, as always, on your teacher how much you get out of it. The Konzertexamen, however, is regarded much higher than the other degrees, and thus worth more in your CV.

January 10, 2022, 12:18 PM · Hello Emily! The Konzerexamen is really hard to get - for example, for Cologne there are two rounds and no more than 4 people per instrument are allowed to even pass the first round. For another school, I read that they only allow 1 or 2 students studying the Konzertexamen at once. I am not at the soloist level and do not see myself applying. Maybe in another life I could be good enough to have it on my CV..

I think Cologne does offer the orchestra studies program, which I will check out. Thank you so much!

January 11, 2022, 1:29 PM · Cologne lies in the Federal state of NRW (North Rhine Westphalia). As far as I know, all NRW schools have some sort of collaboration for orchestral studies. There is the „Orchesterzentrum“ in Dortmund , which you might want to check out.

I still wouldn’t completely bury the idea of Konzertexamen. In any case, it is wise to get into touch with a teacher you are interested in, and visit her, in advance. Maybe she (or he) gives a master class you could attend. If someone really wants to take you, they are able to take you even against other opinions.
And you have to audition, anyway, for any program.

In Germany, there is also a difference between a performance degree, and a teaching degree. You might check which one you have, and then try the other, abroad.

Konzertexamen doesn’t mean that mainly soloists get out of it, by the way! I and many of my tutti colleagues in the orchestra have Konzertexamen. After all, playing in an orchestra audition is quite a soloistic challenge.

As a consequence, I would recommend to define your goals, and then try to make a rational decision on what the best next step might be. If you want to audition for orchestras, you might directly start with that, in case you have a master of performance, plus some experience in orchestras. Further studies have the disadvantage of your getting older. This only makes sense, if these further studies are of a really high level, which, again, makes the Konzertexamen attractive.
The CV is quite important, at least in Germany. We just get too many applications for the orchestra jobs!
We browse through the many CVs, everyone of our group, and decide who to invite to the audition.
I am sure that many good players just don’t get an invitation, because they don’t appear so good. If someone has been studying, on and on, without any somewhat impressive degree, it gives us the impression that this someone is just trying to fill some period of time without getting anywhere. I know this sounds arrogant, but these are exactly the aspects why some hardly ever get invited.
If no Konzertexamen, it is very interesting if someone has done one or more internships in professional orchestras. You could go for that. Then, this Orchesterzentrum could be your way. You need a proof of being currently a student, in order to be able to get an internship (called Praktikum, in German).

All of this is from the perspective of a career in a German orchestra. If you have completely different plans, then you might follow a different approach.

Anyway, it always helps to speak German, of course. If you don’t, yet, you might be able to afford some language class, for a couple of weeks, some time, in Germany. While there, you could check out violin teachers and at least get further advice from them.

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