25 years of music therapy in Friedensau

24. Jul. 2023 / Learning & Studying

On the Wings of Music

Friedensau and music - these two terms simply belong together. Music has always been an integral part of training and worship practice. It was certainly no coincidence that even in the difficult post-war years, Mendelssohn's oratorio "Paulus" was performed with a large choir and orchestra on the occasion of Friedensau's 50th anniversary in 1949. At the beginning of the sixties, Wolfgang Kabus was recruited as a personality who had a decisive influence on Friedensau until his retirement in 2001.
Those who got to know him as a choir director, as a teacher or as a pastor were able to experience something of the meaning and beauty of music - especially in the context of church services.

Music programme reinvented

The foundation of a deacon course with a focus on music in 1967 gave artistic education an institutional framework.
It was therefore only logical to reinvent the music programme when the college was awarded state recognition in 1990. Although the man of the moment - Prof. Baldur Pfeiffer as Rector - had had little to do with music until then, he nevertheless supported the idea of an expanded concept. Thus, he saw the future university with four focal points: Theology, Christian Social Work, Music and Health Sciences, whereby the plans for music included a multi-level education from pre-university courses (Propaedeutic and Church Music C) to Master's degree courses with a focus on church music, music therapy and popular music and, in the future, even music education.
Unfortunately, it was only possible to realise a few elements of this vision so far. But a solid start was made with the founding of an Institute for Church Music in 1994. This provided the framework for the further development of musical work in Friedensau.

In 1998, the subject of music therapy started for the first time.

In 2000, the Institute for Music Therapy at Friedensau Adventist University was founded. Changes in personnel led to changes in focus. The area of church music could not be further expanded.
The first music therapy training programmes at Friedensau developed into the Master's programme in Music Therapy under the direction of Professor Dr. Petra Jürgens.
Petra Jürgens has now been teaching and researching in Friedensau for 25 years. With her experience from the Institute for Music Therapy Berlin-Zehlendorf, she and her colleague Dr. Regina Lorek are continuously developing this part-time Master's programme as well as specialised education courses further. Here theory, practice and research are combined in an exemplary way.

Healing people with music

There is a great need for qualified music therapists. Their field of work or research accompanies all phases of life up to hospice work, both in the medical, socio-pedagogical and counselling in the pastoral field. The variety of possible applications of music therapy in our society will continue to increase the demand for professional training in the future. In this respect, the first 25 years of music therapy at Friedensau Adventist University are a good starting point for the future. We wish all staff members continued success and God's blessing (Johannes Hartlapp).

Bild der THH Friedensau
On the Wings of Music – 25 years of music therapy in Friedensau
Photo: FAU