I had been playing violin for several years and decided to pursue it as a career. My university study path was planned and I had applied to some of the big Australian music conservatories in my final year of high school. The news came back that I had been accepted and all I had to do was make my choice of university, pack my bags and kiss the family goodbye. But I wanted more. It occurred to me that if I could be accepted into a music school in Australia, then perhaps I could apply for studies in the heart of the classical music world, Germany. After some exploration, I found Germany a real possibility, with a couple of provisos. I had to attend in person to audition at each of my prospective universities.
I was required to have proficiency in piano (something I didn't play because it wasn't required for Australian studies), and, there was a Language Proficiency exam, again in person, before being allowed to remain and study. Nothing was set in stone. I had a checklist, and I had to do it all in 18 months to audition in June 2015. I needed to:
- Learn German (to a certified level of proficiency)
- Learn Piano (to pass audition)
- Apply (in German) for several music academies
- Leave Australia
- Audition in Germany
- Hope I get accepted.
The Hochschule für Musik, Detmold
I had applied to 5 music academies in Germany and my first audition was at my first preference university; the Detmold HfM (see picture above). What only needs to be said is that the audition process was daunting and conducted only in German. There were many applicants who did not pass the language test and were given 3 months to immerse themselves in German, and then resit the test with the result of being "de-matriculated" if they did not pass the second time. For my second audition, I was billeted in Berlin. A plaque located on the wall outside the apartment block in which I was staying noted that it had been Albert Einstein's residence in 1914, during his composition of the 'Theory of Relativity'. At this time I was notified of my acceptance into Detmold HfM and my success of passing all associated entrance examinations. I didn't continue with any other auditions because my dreams had come true and I made my way back to Detmold.
Having been a musician for many years, I know the importance of having elite tutors. Without finding a quality piano teacher and a certified language provider I wouldn't be a student (for the next 4 years) at the Detmold Hochschule für Musik. Joanne, Iris, Marion, Mali and all associated staff at the VLLC seriously understood the importance of my goal, tailored my programme and made the lessons enjoyable and pertinent. They are interested in my progress and continue to keep in touch. One of my tutors, Iris (who I had only ever met online) has since visited me in Detmold and it was my first contact with someone from home since I left in December. It was like a family member had come a calling.
I would highly recommend VLLC to anyone who wants to learn another language.