Student first in German-U.S. music exchange program
A new partnership between Valparaiso University and a German church music university couldn’t have been timed better for junior Emily German.

This spring, the church music and German major became the first Valpo student to study at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in historic Rottenburg am Neckar, a program that is allowing her to fulfill her desire to study abroad and still graduate in four years.

“Music has always been a part of who I am,” German says. “There is  long tradition in Germany with Bach and Luther and the chorals of the Lutheran church, so studying church music and German complement each other well.”

Watch a video interview with German in which she discusses her experiences in Germany, the Chorale’s recent concert in Rottenburg am Neckar and the value of global learning.

The Hochschule für Kirchenmusik provides an intensive environment for studying church music, and students live, take classes and eat in a single building. German is studying organ performance, music theory, ear training, music history, and orchestral and choral conducting while also singing with the school’s choir.

“There are rooms on the residential floors that have pianos for practicing and even have beds next to them,” German says. “Myself and the other students joke that it’s probably dangerous for musicians to have a bed right next to your piano because we’ll be tempted to just sleep right there all the time. It really does provide a great setting to practice and refine your skills.”

German prepared for the program by arriving in Germany early to spend three weeks in an intensive language program in Berlin and another three weeks backpacking across northern Germany to listen to organ and classical music concerts and visit historic sites.

“All of these experience in Germany have taught me what it means to be dedicated to a goal,” says German, who wants to become a German teacher. “To do whatever it is you want to do in life, you need a passion for that. The most effective form of teaching, the most effective form of playing an instrument is with heart.”

The first exchange student from the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik will attend classes at Valpo next year.

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CHORALE ITINERARY

May 20: Concert - Leipzig, Lutherkirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 23: Service - Seyda (10 a.m.) and Gentha (1 p.m.)
May 24: Concert – Rottenburg am Neckar, Wallfahrtskirche Weggental (7 p.m.)
May 25: Choral Workshop – Rottenburg am Neckar (9:30 a.m.)
May 26: Concert - Bernburg, Schlosskirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 27: Concert - Köthen, St. Agnus kirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 28 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (5 p.m.)
May 29 - Cantata - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (3 p.m.)
May 30 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche 10 (a.m.)