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Professionalisation module

Summer Semester 2022 - Webinars/Seminars for Practice in the Professionalization Module at HfMT Cologne

The offerings will primarily take place as webinars. Prior binding registration is required via ILIAS. A maximum of 25 participants will be admitted per webinar.
Registration starts on Friday, 01.04. 2022 from 08:30.

FOCUS TOPIC: From the study bench to professional life: How do I become a successful freelancer?

You are an almost finished musician and dream of earning your money with music? Surely you have heard that it is no longer so easy to make a living from music. Especially in the beginning, many musicians have several jobs at the same time. But the more famous and experienced they become, the more they can focus on their core business and make music successfully. The big celebrities make up only a small part of all music creators. But the others are by no means all bread-and-butter artists, but earn their living with their passion and talent.

In the summer semester, we will focus on the topic of how to make a living as a freelancer in the music business, coming from the university bench. In "tandem seminars" and an "alumni round", we will present important topics that will prepare you for this task.

Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling (Robert-Schumann-Hochschule, Düsseldorf) and
Dipl. Kult. Rebekka Smolibowski-Fuchs M.A. (HfMT Köln)

A project can be time-consuming, tie up considerable personnel capacity and cause high costs. Therefore, with every project preparation, it must always be clarified and communicated why the project is important and special and why I am the right person for it. If a project is to be financed through application funding, it needs a project application. To evaluate the application, the decision-makers weigh several criteria and check the project for consistency with the existing project portfolio. The project idea must therefore be clearly structured, formulated in a target-oriented manner and 'sold' well.

Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, who received her doctorate in aesthetics from Bazon Brock at the end of the 1990s, has received several awards for her motion design projects. As a communication designer and creative director, she advises institutions, companies and independent constellations in the field of communication and public relations. Since 1998, she has headed the motion design course at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. In 2004, the Robert Schumann University appointed Heike Sperling as Professor for Digital Visual Media. She directs the master's program Sound and Reality and the Visual Music major at the renowned Düsseldorf University of Music. In 2015 she was appointed to the advisory board of the Center for Visual Music in Los Angeles, and in 2022 she was also appointed to the board of ON - Neue Musik Köln e.V.

Dipl.-Kult. Rebekka Smolibowski-Fuchs M.A. studied art history, English and American studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and cultural and media management at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule Berlin. She worked as a consultant for the Freie Universität Berlin, as a conference manager in Frankfurt, as a program manager for the city of Aschaffenburg, before joining the Cologne University of Music and Dance. Here she was a research assistant at the "Center for International Arts Management" from 2006 to 2015. Since 2015, she has been responsible for third-party funding acquisition and oversees major projects and EU applications. She is the head of the university's internal artist agency StartLive and organizes the area of professionalization. She is author of scientific texts on the topic of "Arts Management" and chaired conferences such as "International Arts Management Concepts - Higher Education for the Market?" or EXISTA 0806, a symposium for artistic start-ups.

Registration via Ilias Professionalization.

Dr. Heike Sauer (Head of Communications and Fund-raising at HfMT Cologne) and Andreas Braun (Head of the Andreas Braun Concert Office).

It is not only artistic skills that bring success in later professional life. It is also important to make yourself visible as a musician/dancer with an unmistakable profile in the relevant places. This includes appealing and professionally designed presentation materials as well as an extensive network. How do you develop an individual profile and artistic goals? How is appealing presentation material put together in a meaningful way? How can one set appropriate focal points and control the perception of the artistic profile? Do you need a website? Do you have to be active in social networks? What actually distinguishes a "good" network, what can it do? How do I get to know the "right" people - and stay in touch with them?

Dr. Heike Sauer studied musicology, history and journalism at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster and completed her studies with a doctorate in musicology. She then worked in public relations and orchestra management at the NRW State Youth Orchestra. In 1999, Heike Sauer moved to the Cologne University of Music and Dance (HfMT Cologne) as press officer. Here, some time later, she took over the management of the staff unit for PR and event organization, then the staff unit for project development, communication and fundraising, and today heads Department 3 for communication and events. She continues to serve as the university's press spokesperson and manager of the Cologne International Music Competition. Heike Sauer is also involved on a voluntary basis in various associations. Among other things, she is chairwoman of the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Musik NRW e.V. (LAG Musik), president of Jeunesses Musicales NRW e.V. and deputy chairwoman of the Landesvereinigung Kulturelle Jugendarbeit NRW (LKJ).

Andreas Braun studied German and musicology and during his studies was already active in the management of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra and the Brühl Castle Concerts. In 1980, he founded his concert agency and has since been looking after internationally renowned conductors, instrumental and vocal soloists, vocal and chamber music ensembles as well as chamber and symphony orchestras in local or general management. The founder and owner of the Concert Agency, Andreas Braun, is a member of the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV), the Association Européenne des Agenets Artistqiues (AEAA) and the Editorial Advisory Board of "Classical Music Artists".

Registration via Ilias Professionalization.

Friday, 13.5.2022, 15:00 - 17:30
What legal know-how do I need?

Marc-André Höper (bosh consulting) and Stephan Benn (Head of Administration Gloria)

The event deals with the legal framework of a creative and entrepreneurial activity. From the establishment of a company to the evaluation of one's own creative work. Included are cost issues and considerations of expediency as well as elementary information on GEMA.

Stephan Benn has worked for many years as a lawyer, advising artists and creative companies on all legal issues relating to creative and entrepreneurial activity. In the course of extensive lecturing activities, he regularly speaks on topics relating to the creative industries, in particular on copyright and trademark issues as well as the practice of GEMA and the KSK. He is currently head of administration at the Gloria in Cologne and lecturer at the University of Paderborn as well as on the board of several event organizer associations.

Marc-André Höper is a certified systemic coach and trainer. As a lecturer, he continues to hold lectures on copyright law as well as on the topics of communication and presentation, among others, at universities. He has given over 300 lectures on copyright and participated in numerous panels in German and English. As a trainer, he follows a constructivist, interdisciplinary approach and specializes in team building, conflict management and presentation techniques. He is also active in adult education in these areas and as an IT trainer at adult education centers.

Registration via ILIAS Professionalization.

Wednesday, 15.6.2022 15:00 - 17:30
How can I put myself on solid financial footing?

Matthias Budden (Consulting Finance and Funding cologne on pop GmbH / c/o pop) and Tobias Thomas (Project Manager Creative NRW).

What financial resources are needed for a project and where do these resources come from? How can I create a business plan and what needs to be considered? At what point in time are incoming and outgoing payments expected, i.e. when are funds needed and paid in and out? What result is to be achieved with the planned venture?

The current tandem seminar is intended to provide a basic and practical insight into the subject matter using illustrative case studies and project-oriented contexts and to shed light on structures and processes in the planning of projects with regard to financial planning.

Matthias Budden studied business administration, musicology and cultural and media management in Bielefeld, Cologne and Hamburg. He has been working in and with cultural and creative industries companies for over 20 years. He advises companies and institutions (c/o pop Festival, Reeperbahn Festival, Bundesverband der Konzert-und Veranstaltungswirtschaft (BDKV) e.V., among others) on the planning and management of cultural events, the acquisition of public funding (state, federal and EU funding) and the development and implementation of funding projects. He also advises artists and ensembles on commercial project management.

Tobias Thomas has worked in various pop cultural fields as project manager, author, journalist, promoter, curator, DJ and music producer. At the music magazine SPEX, Thomas was editor from 2000 to 2007, and at the music festival c/o pop he was program director until 2013. Between 2014 and 2021 he worked for the Kompakt label as booker, artist and event manager. As a graduate of the advanced training course "Transformation Management Sustainable Culture" of the Aktionsnetzwerk Nachhaltigkeit, Tobias Thomas advises cultural institutions on the way to a better future. For CREATIVE.NRW he is mainly responsible for communication and website maintenance.

Registration via ILIAS Professionalization.

My experiences as a "freelancer
Friday, 1.7.2022, 14:00 - 16:00

Three successful "freelancers" and alumni of our university report and discuss about opportunities and risks after graduation and how to assert oneself in the jungle of offers and the music business.

Pascal Hahn studied music at the HFMT KÖLN, first as a teacher (Bachelor & Master) and then jazz composition. Already during his studies Pascal Hahn wrote numerous compositions and arrangements for different ensembles and was awarded several times (Deutschlandstipendium, scholarship of the Werner Richard - Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung, support by the MKW NRW). Despite his young age, Pascal Hahn has already written numerous arrangements and compositions for theaters and orchestras in addition to his own projects such as Stadtgespräch (e.g. for Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Bergische Symphoniker, lutz - junge Bühne Hagen, Orchester Osnabrück, Theater Hagen, Apollo Theater Siegen). An essential characteristic of his work is the search for new sound worlds beyond genre boundaries. He has already initiated and directed several crossover projects. In his projects, musicians from different musical cultures meet and create innovative sound worlds.

Anna Neubert plays, directs and infiltrates concert settings as violinist, master of disaster of ensemble uBu or accomplice of other artists. So far she has performed at the Schwetzinger Festspiele, AchtBrücken Festival, Bundeskunsthalle and Beethovenhaus Bonn, Villa Massimo Rome, as well as in various culture bunkers and kindergartens. She has directed numerous concert projects, such as most recently for the INTERVALL series of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (WEBERN_BEWEGT 2019). Since 2020, she has been researching the interfaces between music and weaving art as part of the "Weaving Concerts" with textile artist Nicole Kiersz. Furthermore, she can be experienced as a violinist and performer in concerts of electronicID, in productions of the Junge Oper am Rhein, in duo with guitarist Leonhard Spies and together with soprano Marie Heeschen in a staged version of G. Kurtág's Kafka Fragments. Anna Neubert studied violin and contemporary music in Cologne and Paris. She has received awards and support from the International Alois Kottmann Competition, the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now concert sponsorship, the Boris Pergamenschikow Prize, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation and the stART.up scholarship from the Claussen-Simon Foundation, among others.

Lorenz Rommelspacher first studied oboe with Prof. Armin Aussem at the Hochschule für Musik Saar. This was followed by vocal studies with Prof. Kai Wessel at the Hochschule für Musik und Tank Köln and with Prof. Konrad Jarnot at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf. In 2018, further studies in Live Electronics and Creative Performance followed at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Rommelspacher now lives in Cologne and works as a composer-performer, audiovisual artist and music producer in the field between contemporary classical music and experimental techno.

Registration via ILIAS Professionalization.

If a total of 20 hours of professionalization time is taken (certificate of attendance required), 1 credit will be accepted.

Calendar overview

20.5.2022 10:00-12:30
How do I find my individual artist profile and unique selling point?    
Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling / Dipl. Kult. Rebekka Smolibowski-Fuchs M.A.

22.6.2022 15:00 - 17:30    
Who is my target audience? How do I present myself successfully?
Dr. Heike Sauer / Andreas Braun

13.5.2022 15:00 - 17:30    
What legal know-how do I need?
Marc-Andre Höper / Stephan Benn

15.6.2022 15:00 - 17:30    
How can I put myself on solid financial footing?
Matthias Budden / Tobias Thomas

1.7.2022 14:00 - 16:00    
Alumni: My experiences as a "freelancer
Pascal Hahn / Anna Neubert / Lorenz Rommelspacher

The time hours of these courses cannot be credited in the central professionalization area.
Further offers in the Professionalization module can be found in the online course catalog, in the overall directory by subject' or directly in your degree program in the Professionalization module there.

Performance Coaching
Elke Dommisch

13:30 -17:00
Stage coaching for conductors
Theo Strauch

Stage presence training
Elke Dommisch

Communication and shaping pedagogical relationships
Jana Sophia Ihle

12:30 -14:00
Concert design
Dörte Soon

9:00 -14:30
Concert moderation
Katharina Höhne / Marion Leuschner

Ready for Concert
Hannah Keßeler

16:30 -18:30
Marja van der Berck


KSK - Webinar offer

The KSK offers free one-hour webinars.

Dates at

Students have many questions at the end of their education:

  • What is the KSK, and how does it benefit me?
  • What is the Bavarian Chamber of Pensions and what does it provide?
  • Which insurances are important after your education and which are less important?

These webinars are not credited.


  • Sabrina Kobler
    Projekt "Guter Studienstart", Koordination und Weiterentwicklung der Beratungs- und Serviceangebote für Studierende Standort
  • Rebekka Smolibowski-Fuchs
    Wissenschaftliche Referentin, Referentin für die Akquise und Entwicklung von Drittmitteln, Leiterin des Künstlerservice StartLive Standort