Music Dresden | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Music Dresden

  • The Carl Maria von Weber Hochschule für Musik

    Program History

    Since 1997, Capital’s Music Conservatory has offered an exchange program with the Carl Maria von Weber Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, Germany. Instruction is in German and you may study there for one semester while Hochshule students study Jazz at Capital.

    The City of Dresden

    Once home to composers Richard Wagner and Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden lies about two hours south of Berlin and is the capital of the Free State of Saxony. Founded as a fishing village and merchant's settlement in 1206, the city flourished through the renaissance and became a residence to the Royal courts of Saxony.

    During World War II, Dresden's city center and surrounding districts were completely destroyed by the British and American bombers. After the war, Dresden became a regional capital under the control of the Eastern German government.

    Following a peaceful revolution in 1989, the city once again became the capital of Saxony and extensive renovation efforts on the city began. Today, Dresden is home to nearly 500,000 inhabitants, making it the 14th largest city in Germany. Today, Dresden is described as the "Florence on the Elbe".

    Program Site

    Francesco Morlacchi (1814), Carl Mariavon Weber (1817) and Richard Wagner (1848/49) were the first to conceive of establishing institutional training for musicians in Dresden. On February 1, 1856, Royal Orchestra violinist Friedrich Tröstler opened the first educational music establishment.

    In 1881 the title "royal" was bestowed on the institute, which called itself a conservatory. The institution existed as a private educational establishment, and until 1937 it was called "Krantzsch Conservatory." In that year, the institution's ownership changed and the municipality took over the Conservatory. In 1952 the State College of Music (Hochschule für Musik) was founded and given the name of "Carl Maria von Weber."

    In the recent decades, particular emphasis has been placed on the education of singers and orchestral musicians, as this was the prerequisite for maintaining the high level of artistic quality of the Dresden Opera, The Staatskapelle Orchestra, and later of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The formation of singers and orchestral musicians was strongly determined by members of the Saxon State Opera, the Staatskapelle and Philharmonic orchestras working as teachers on an honorary basis. The artistic and scientific work of the college is expressed in 250 annual public events organized by students and lecturers.

    Program Requirements

    • Music Conservatory student junior level
    • 2.5 grade point average (GPA)
    • Two years of college German or high school equivalent
    • German language evaluation; ability to live, work and study independently

    Academic Program

    You will remain registered at Capital University in the course Study Abroad 200 for 12 credit hours the semester you are on the exchange. You must also register for Recital Attendance at Capital during the semester abroad and will take approximately 12 to 15 hours of coursework at the Hochschule. All courses are taught in German.

    You are required to take an intensive German course from early January to mid February. This is a self-guided study of German with course time of 30 to 60 hours. The German course is offered at the Academy für Weiterbildung und Wissenstransfer through the Technical University of Dresden. You will be placed into the appropriate level of instruction based on proficiency evaluation and class availability. Classes at the Hochschule can be arranged to coincide with most Capital conservatory degree programs.

    Typical courses:

    • Primary instrument instruction 2 hours a week
    • Piano 1 hour a week (non majors)
    • Accompanist/coach for your instrument 1 hour a week
    • Music Theory (depends on class/es)
    • Audiation (depends on class/es)
    • Conducting (choral/orchestral) 1.5 hours a week
    • Music History 2 hours a week
    • Ensemble participation (depends on ensemble)
    Most classes are taught as private lessons. These classes include primary instrument instruction, accompaniment, piano, and conducting. Other classes are taught in a traditional setting with approximately 25 students. For ensemble participation, most instrumentalists will participate in the Hochschule Orchestra, however for vocalists, the Hochschule Chorus does not meet in the spring semester. Thus, arrangements to sing in one of the Dresden professional community ensembles will be made, and may require an audition.

    You are also expected to take advantage of the wealth of culture and music of Dresden by attending outside performances, which may count toward your degree program. You may also be able to receive credit for UC 310 (Humanities) if you make arrangements for course work evaluation. Bob Patterson should make final approval in the Office of Academic Achievement. Students will be expected to maintain a scrapbook and log during the time abroad.


    To enjoy an immersion experience, you will normally live in dorms designed as shared apartments in buildings throughout Dresden. Dorm rooms are issued through Studentwenwerk Dresden and not the Hochschule für Musik.

    Rooms are reserved for students upon acceptance to the Hochschule, but the accommodations cannot be finalized until you arrive, sign your contract and pay the deposit. Costs will depend on if you want a double or single room. Rooms are furnished with a bed, closet, table and chair. The kitchen is also equipped with the necessary essentials.

    Important living details:
    • Bedding can be rented from Studentenwerk or you can bring it or buy in Dresden.
    • You’ll get a mailbox and can arrange for a private phone with Deutsche Telekom.
    • Laundry facilities are in the basement of each residence hall.
    • Dorms are within easy access to city transportation.


    In your shared apartment, you’ll buy food and cook your own meals. There is a Mensa (cafeteria) located in each of the Hochschule buildings with low cost breakfasts and lunches. Grocery stores and bakeries are numerous and easy to find.


    You’ll meet individually with Frau Werner to learn about campus resources and policies. She will also assist you in scheduling appointments to meet with faculty members. A Hochschule student will take the student on tour of the facility, the dorm, a tour of the local surroundings and assist with opening a bank account.

    The Hochschule student will also take the Capital student to the Studentenwerk to complete the application process for the dorm room. Class registration and information concerning the German class are arranged through Frau Werner in an appointment usually scheduled on the day of arrival.


    Tuition at the Hochschule includes a ticket for bus, tram and S-Bahn (regional) transportation when school is in session. Dresden has excellent public transportation so there is no need to rent a vehicle of any kind.

    Health Care and Insurance

    You will need a domestic health care policy while you’re overseas. If you don’t have a plan, you should purchase one before you leave the U.S. It’s important to have a policy that will cover you for illness or injury sustained in Germany, but that requires further care in the U.S.

    You must provide a letter from the domestic health insurer stating that your insurance will be valid while you’re in Germany. This must be translated into German and accompanied by the original English document and notarized. These documents must be presented to receive the registration papers from the Hochschule as well as a residence visa from the German government. The dorms maintain lists of doctors and the Hochschule can help you get appropriate medical treatment.

    Currently there are no special immunizations required to enter Germany. However, students should be up to date on all immunizations before overseas study, along with having a physical and medical statement. This statement is kept in your file in the International Education Office at Capital University and sent to the Student Services Office at the Hochschule.

    You will not be denied admission into an overseas program based on a medical condition, but you should know that living in another country can complicate or exacerbate certain medical and mental health conditions. You should consult with your doctor and the study abroad advisor at Capital about the appropriateness of the program for you and any existing health conditions.

    Dates of Study

    • Approximately the first week of January through second week of July
    • The Hochschule classes are from Mid March to mid July

    Travel Information

    You are responsible for all transportation from the U.S. to Dresden, Germany and back. You should begin looking for the flight arrangements at least three months before departure. Excellent fares and student specials are available through Council Travel. Note: Connecting flights directly to Dresden are available from most major European airports for a small additional fee and can save lots of time that may otherwise be spent on a train.

    Residence Visas

    As an American student, you are required to get a student visa from the German government for any stay lasting over three months. You must not get a visa for the first three months in Germany. The student must report to the Auslanderamt (foreigner's office) in Dresden to apply for a visa before the third month is over. The student should not apply for the visa prior to leaving the U.S. In order to receive the visa, the student must provide the following documents to the government official.
    • Passport
    • Hochschule registration papers
    • Rent contract
    • Health insurance papers
    • Financial documentation to demonstrate how living expenses are being met
    • City registration papers
    • Processing fee

    Living Expenses

    In Germany, foreign students may not work and therefore cannot earn money to cover monthly living expenses. Before you leave the U.S., you must have a typed document that states that you will have a certain minimum amount in a bank account or will receive from a sponsor a certain minimum amount per month.

    Contact the Capital Office of International Education for the latest amounts. It must be signed by you and/or yours ponsor. This statement must be both in English and translated into German as well as have both copies notarized. You cannot receive the necessary Residence Visa without these papers. The actual living expenses can vary greatly. On the average, you need to consider monthly rent, approximately 50 Euros a week for food, the initial fees upon arrival and any personal expenses.


    • See cost breakdown on the coversheet
    • Application:
    • Hochschule für Musik Application 
    • Letter of intent
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Official Transcript
    • Professional recorded audition tape (submitted to Frau Werner at Hochschule)
    • Complete language proficiency form (from the Hochschule) sent to the Hochschule
    Application materials should be submitted to Professor Rocky Reuter in the Music Conservatory no later than October 25. A copy of the application material (no audition tape) should be submitted to the International Education Office.

    You must complete the International Education Office required documents by November 1. These documents are Worksheet #3 – Course Approval Form (PDF) and Worksheet #4 – Budget Worksheet (PDF).

    All application materials need to be submitted to Frau Werner at the Hochschule by December 1. 

    Contact Information

    Professor Rocky Reuter, DMA
    Conservatory 116
    Capital University
    Phone: 614-236-6226

    Jennifer Adams
    343 Renner Hall
    Office of International Education
    Capital University
    Phone: 614-236-7102