Cultural education as a human right Edition: 2/23 | nmz

The difficult political and economic situation is eating away at many people,” says the Bavarian state association. “This can be seen very clearly among the members who, after Corona, are very worried that the next big crisis will follow and they will have to accept further financial losses. Professional requirements and day-to-day business are becoming more complicated and complex; This requires competent support, but also personal assistance from the association.” Advice and communication are therefore now important pillars in association life and will become an existential component of association work in the years to come. “The Tonkünstlerverband Bayern”, so TKVB-Managing Director Andrea Fink, “does not see this development as a challenge, but as a great opportunity.”

He also sees the greatest challenge for many musicians LV Berlin 2023 in securing a livelihood through hybrid gainful employment in a variety of flexible forms of employment: “The situation is getting worse due to rising rents, energy and living costs, a high inflation rate and an unchanged competitive working environment in the independent scene. Professional associations are called upon here not only to campaign for fair remuneration in the publicly funded area, but also to work towards the establishment of minimum standards for fees that secure a living for free music projects and music lessons.”

Increased trend towards digital

There is agreement on the finding that Corona has left its mark on the music world and has strengthened a trend towards the digital: “After the extensive elimination of all performance opportunities, the cancellation of concerts and the limited teaching options, we want continuity, reliability and planning security,” says the TKVB-Chairman Prof. Ulrich Nicolai. Like him, the other state association representatives also agree that the audience will return to the concert halls. “Many smaller concert organizers are finding it difficult to start over because the audience is still reluctant to accept the concert offers and some performance venues have simply been dropped,” says Peter-Christian Reimers, Chairman of the DTKV Saar. In addition to the late effects of Corona, he also blames the current economic crisis: “Artists who are dependent on these smaller-scale performance opportunities are still losing income.” Reimers sees the greatest challenge for performing and teaching members of his national association in the coming year Year, therefore, continue to try to build on the situation before the pandemic and at the same time adapt to the new circumstances. In the future, teachers would have to offer online lessons at least as an additional option, since many students would now expect this. This additional option has its advantages, according to Reimers: “But online lessons also require a considerable amount of technical effort, which is associated with considerable costs – for both the teachers and the students.” For some subjects, such as singing lessons, this is the case Possibility also no real alternative.

One would also like to see more audiences in Hesse for the musicians. The problem: “The organizers have smaller budgets than before, events are canceled or not booked at all,” Heike Schulte-Michaelis observed. And spectators are also still cautious, which makes events generally difficult: “Even the public sector has to save. If cultural budgets are cut, it affects us all.” The association must therefore fight harder in 2023 to ensure that there are no further cuts: “On the contrary: we need a financial boost.”

Adapt fees to the conditions

In the state association of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, too, economic aspects will not lose relevance in 2023, on the contrary: “Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania”, according to the local association DTKV– State Chairwoman Martina Scharstein, “is still the poor house of Germany. The highest fees at public music schools are currently paid at the Schwerin Conservatory – 25 euros, without holidays, without continued payment in the event of illness.” The cost situation is what causes the members the most problems: “The fees are not adjusted to the changed conditions,” says one Member from the north: The additional payments to be expected would probably exceed the existing assets, and many groceries are no longer affordable. The goals for 2023 would be obvious: “If I survive the new restrictions without major injuries, that would be good. It can’t be planned.” The energy crisis casts a shadow over the future of the industry, even for the economically better off Bavarians. “We are therefore striving,” says Andrea Fink, “to expand our funding in order to continue to open up many opportunities for our members. And last but not least, there is the wish that the cohesion in the association, among the members, which was created by Corona, will remain and develop further.

In 2023 (finally!), appropriate remuneration for artistic work is all the more important. An important wish relates accordingly to the appreciation of the musical-educational work. “I would wish for more appreciation and more attention for the culture industry on the part of politicians,” says Martin Behm, DTKV Brandenburg. In particular, the freelance sector all too often falls behind. In addition, the people of Brandenburg also see the shouldering of inflation, especially the increased energy costs, as the greatest challenge. It also remains to be seen what, according to Behm, “is still to come in terms of sales tax and bogus self-employment”. A topic that is also on the minds of the Baden-Württemberg state association: the change in the VAT obligation for educational institutions and the consequences for private music lessons in 2023 would be primarily about enforcing the required minimum fees and improving the social and economic situation of the members: “The partially precarious income situation has to improve,” says Managing Director Ralf Püpcke. For 2023 he wishes for openness to develop new business areas, a start-up culture and an entrepreneurial spirit. In this context, he emphasizes the importance of supporting local members in arguing their needs. Püpcke is rather skeptical as to whether this will work if the disciplines go it alone: ​​“It is time to anchor interdisciplinary thinking and action in relation to social megatrends.”

Focus on music issues

All regional associations also want to become more politically active. Baden-Württemberg would like to work to ensure that “culture is anchored in the Basic Law as a state objective”. A demand that is also on the agenda for 2023 in Saarland. “For the future, an extensive discussion would be necessary about what I believe to be the systemic relevance of culture in general and music in particular,” agrees Peter-Christian Reimers: “It cannot be that the range of culture and cultural events only after Cash position is done. Culture and, in particular, dealing with music is an original human means of expression and need and is an essential part of a decent life. The human right to cultural employment and education should be put on an equal footing with the human rights to physical integrity and freedom of expression, and the provision of appropriate offers should be one of the obligations of our democratic constitutional state enshrined in the Basic Law.”

In Hesse, they want to use the 2023 state elections: “We want to get in closer contact with politicians in order to focus on music concerns,” says Heike Schulte-Michaelis. “We would like to ensure that music schools receive better support, but that the self-employed music teachers, who make up the main part of musical education in the state, are not forgotten.” It is also important to continue to support musical education, including for qualified professionals in the All-day offers from elementary schools, for adequate payment and time windows, which also allow qualified offers such as individual lessons at schools. A demand that is also supported in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: “From the perspective of the music teacher, I would like more musical education for the little ones regardless of the parents’ wallet, i.e. offers in all day-care centers and elementary schools. It does cost money, but it is an investment in the future.”

Across all associations, Berlin advocates a higher degree of organization, especially among freelancers: “It is difficult to reach potential younger new members after (or shortly before) they start their careers. At most training institutions, professional associations are not well known and present enough, and targeted and strategic member acquisition would have to be pursued. The associations should try to expand their representation base and represent a significantly larger proportion of musicians in order to gain more political weight (also compared to the unions).” Gaining more members will be part of a return in 2023 in all national associations to be normal. This includes, among other things, it can be heard from Saarland, “to resume the offers before the pandemic”. So basics such as further education offers, preparatory courses for the entrance exam or regular student and member concerts – and basic information. In 2023, for example, the Hamburg State Association is involved for the first time in cooperation with the State Music Council and the University of Music and Theater in establishing a music fair, among other things to introduce a young target group to the diverse field of music professions.

For the musicians in Bavaria, 2023 is also marked by the 75th anniversary of the association. The new promotion TONKÜNSTLER LIVE SPECIAL enables about 190 concerts in all regions of the Free State until March alone. The aim is to continue this funding, which is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art as part of the funding package for free art. Further initiatives for the new year are the expansion of the advisory offensive, which will probably be extended, and the extensive expansion of the further training offers. The development of a podcast, which should start in the spring, is also exciting at the moment. As can be seen, the divide between south and north is still noticeable. While there are celebrations in the south, people in the north are still hoping for an awareness that “at an event, the artists can also cost as much as the buffet!”

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