Munich rector says music teachers may no longer touch

Munich rector says music teachers may no longer touch


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2019

Bernd Redmann, successor to the disgraced Siegfried Mauser as head of the Munich Academy of Music, has given a rare interview to Van magazine, acknowledging that the institution’s reputation has been damaged by Mauser’s sexual abuses and the forthcoming trial of another professor on charges of rape.

Redmann says that among the reforms he has instituted are a ban on physical contact by singing teachers and a prohibition on teaching in private rooms, behind closed doors.

Read here.

These are good, progressive measures. But we still need to know why the upper echelons of German music covered up for Mauser for so many years when, as Redmann admits, people knew what was going on behind his closed door.


  • SSD says:

    It’s all about protecting the institution, at any cost. Look at the Catholic Church, Penn State, and so many others. They thought they could avoid scandal by using the “see no evil, hear no evil” tack, but the truth always comes out, eventually.

  • Yv says:

    Vocal teaching without touching? Ridiculous
    Diaphragm, back, abdomen, mouth, lips

    …. Singing is body work, getting to feel your body and to realize what others do right before you are able to do it

  • John Borstlap says:

    Due to increasing awareness of possible abuse, the future for gynaecologists looks rather perillous as well.

    • Jack says:

      You think this is funny? Disgusting.

    • cym says:

      Being a pianist, can I still touch the keys ? some white, others black ? Will I be coerced to use the damper pedal even if the page turn me on ?

      • John Borstlap says:

        In the near future, you will be checked whether you give the black keys enough attention and music which mainly operates on white keys, will be banned for being racist. Debussy’s ‘Pagodes’ however, will enjoy an unexpected and wide popularity, because it uses a majority of black keys:

    • Sergio says:

      I think this John Borstlap character will be remembered more for his recurring disgusting jokes about sexual abuse on this blog than for any music he ever composed.

  • Bruce says:

    A couple of ideas that could be usable, if it isn’t too late:

    • windows in all office & studio doors, with a prohibition against covering them
    • studio classes, where all teaching (and any touching) is done in front of a roomful of witnesses.

    Also, being unable to touch students might make teachers more resourceful in how they describe the process of singing (or playing), instead of simply relying on “do it like this.”

    • John Borstlap says:

      Entirely sane recommendations. It’s not the touching but the possible unacceptable intentions and tactile deviations which are to be avoided.

  • Nick says:

    One simply CANNOT give a piano or violin lesson without “touching” the student’s hands, arms, shoulders.
    There is nothing, nothing “progressive” in this highly unprofessional and unintelligent measure.

    About “prohibition on teaching in private rooms, behind closed doors” and how one is suppose to teach now?!? Opening all doors, so nobody could hear anything?!? Is this music education or political correctness? It is the stupid PC. The problem is, as always, in human material! The institutions should vet people who they hire properly and the interviews should be multifaceted and done by professionals! And this is practically never done honestly and responsibly. This is the solution, not the prohibition of music education per se!!

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Interview? Really?

      Interviewer: “Do you abuse children”
      Applicant: “No”

      That will weed out these people won’t it.