Blog entry #6/5-1-17

I realized it’s not as easy to write regular blog posts as I thought! Every time I wrote something and was about to finish it something new would happen and immediately I felt like I had to update everything. This happened over and over again!

Here is a picture I am proud of. I took it during Passenger’s concert at the Ryman on April 8th, 2017 (one of my favorite, favorite, favorite concert venues here in Nashville). For once I took a picture nearly as good as the ones my Germany roomy Jojo takes.


A new person every day
Here is something I realized in the last weeks. I introduce myself and get to know a new person every day. Sometimes I have lunch and think something like “hmm, today I haven’t talked to a new person, I wonder if I will meet somebody today” AND THEN I HAVE ALWAYS MET SOMEBODY! Isn’t that crazy? I think that is something only an exchange to a new place/ foreign country at best can give you.


I am starting to play a couple of gigs in Nashville. On April 5th I played a show at the Curb Cafe on Belmont University’s campus and was surprised about how many people came out and were curious. I play loads of songs that I wrote in a bluegrass setting with (from left to right) Ben Valine on banjo, Marc Greenspon on mandolin and Andy Byrd on double bass. Great fun was that! Also, I showed the audience some Dresden style acoustic guitar and solo arrangements for guitar and voice. On my Website, you can follow my activity on writer’s rounds and whatever else pops up. The dates in October in Germany will be double concerts with Richard Holzmann.

Here is a picture from the concert at the Curb:



The Smokey Mountains…

are something you should have seen when you spend some time in Tennessee. It also gives you a deeper understanding of where the roots of tradition bluegrass music lay. Together with my roomy Jojo and our dear Bliss from England we spent a couple of days. This is what happened:

Day 1 one hike


Life-threatening river crossings


And lots of selfies


Music Business

I like it so much in Nashville that I will stay until mid-September. Apparently nobody wants to fly on September 11, so that was the cheapest date to fly back. I will intern with Music For Life Alliance, a non profit charity with the goal to put instruments into the hands of kids in need. Together with the guitarist Muriel Anderson who founded the organization I will work on putting together our fundraising concert called the Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night.

Second, I will intern for a publisher in Music Row, Round Hill Music. I Publisher owns songs written by songwriters and works tirelessly to make money of those songs by pitching them to big artists so they record them or playing them in films or tv commercials (these are just 3 of the many revenue streams for a publisher). I will work specifically with the licensing/synchronization department. Synchronization includes everything where music gets synchronized with pictures.

Bye Bye Belmont

Just before the semester would end Belmont opened the GIG – Gallery of Iconic Guitars – in a wing of our library. Guess what, the overall value of the instruments adds up to 10.5 MILLION dollars! That why a voice speaks to you out of a speaker sometimes telling you “You are too close to the exhibition, please step back”. It’s a good example for the power of Belmont, being able to gather all these instruments from various collectors and music stores and also to find the sponsors to financially stabilize the project. Hats off!

Here is a video from the opening ceremony. Here are (from left to right) Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Belmont Grad Student Ben Valine playing a song that Vince wrote when he was quite broke.


It was time to say goodbye to Belmont and move out of my beautiful apartment on campus. I found a great place with tons of instruments and a small recording studio in the basement. I will stay there for the whole summer with one of my American roomies. I was so grateful for the support I experience by my Nashville friends and found that place and a car (which you really need in this town/country) within a week.



The only things I won’t miss is having to eat 8 times a week at the cafeteria. The selection of food is huge (especially compared to the selection my tiny University of Music in Dresden has to offer), but for a European mouth, 90% of the food doesn’t taste great anyways (too much sugar/ fat).

Here is an overview over all the classes I took during my time at Belmont:

1st semester – Fall 2016

Survey of Recording Technology
Private Lesson Commercial Voice Private Lesson Commercial Guitar Private Lesson Commercial Composition Survey of Music Business

Music Technology I Belmont Pops Songwriting Mentorship

2nd semester – Spring 2017

Classical Guitar Seminar
Private Lesson Commercial Voice Commercial Voice Upper Seminar Private Lesson Commercial Guitar Improvisation II
Private Lesson Commercial Composition Internship & Career Foundation
Studio Instrumentalist
Digital Musicianship II
Belmont Pops
Songwriting Mentorship

I realized that sometimes I overcommitted a little bit. Well, that’s maybe nothing new for me. The problem really wasn’t to find things that would interest me, but to squeeze them into a week and into the amount of credits per semester that I was allowed to accumulate as an exchange student.

Here is a picture of Dr. William Pursell and me at his retirement celebration after 37 years at Belmont. At age 90. I studied composition with him during my first semester and enjoyed every minute we talked about planes, politics, how it was to play piano for Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins down on Music Row and sometimes we even composed a couple of notes. I will truly miss him a lot!


Another very precious new friend is my commercial voice instructor Kate Paradise who always found words of encouragement for me and always had advice and tons of critique for what I showed her in our lessons.

I just named a couple, but everybody I met at Belmont, be it a teacher, staff, fellow student or cafeteria personnel they all become dear to me.