Top schools pride themselves on extra-curricular activities, believing that education does not come from books alone. They encourage pupils to play a sport or learn an instrument. A rugby/hockey tour is a common school trip. Now schools take music on tour. This article looks at visiting Germany.
Where to Go
If a school trip is going abroad, it is important to experience the host country. For many, that will take the form of organised tours, but it might also include some visits with local families, perhaps as part of an exchange scheme. Some research and planning ahead can ensure that pupils and teachers get the most out of the trip.
Berlin: A beautiful city combining modernity with history in abundance, Berlin has plenty of venues for musicians to perform, many of which are churches. When not performing, visitors have many options to keep them entertained in this great capital. The Musical Instrument Museum, with 2,000+ exhibits might be appropriate for an orchestral tour.
Rhineland: A great destination for school groups, there is something for everyone to enjoy, although tours of school children will need to abstain from the wine-tasting! The many spa towns along the River Rhine have some great small venues for visiting schools to perform in and some of the small villages turn out the most appreciative audiences. Many castles still exist in the region and with some of the most beautiful countryside in the country, a river trip is a great way to explore and spend some time.
Bavaria: Munich is the regional capital but if the city is not enough to bring a school to the area, the border with Austria falls within the Alps. Mount Zugspitze is the highest peak in Germany and the snow-peaked mountains provide plenty for thrill-seekers, whether in winter sports or mountain biking.
Tips for an Enjoyable Tour
Manners cost nothing. The Germans are known for being meticulous and punctual, so don’t be late. If you children are visiting a German home, ensure they take a gift flowers, for example as a gesture of thanks, are bound to be appreciated.
Shake hands. It’s the established form of greeting, so be deliberate; take your other hand out of your pocket and make eye contact.
Teach your child some German phrases. It’s unlikely that they’ll need them because so many natives speak excellent English, but they really do appreciate the effort.
Ensure they look after their valuables. Although the violent crime rates are very low, petty crime in the big cities can be a problem for those who are not careful and a distracted pupil on a school trip is an easy target for an opportunist.
Whether the field trip’s main aim is touring a sporting team or an orchestra, the chance to showcase their talents is a valuable opportunity for a young person. Beyond that, what they learn in terms of language, social skills and self-confidence is invaluable.
Tom Campbell writes regularly on various travel themes for a range of websites and blogs. He is a keen traveller himself and is hoping to pass on this passion to his children. As part of their school orchestra, Tom’s twins recently took their first trip abroad themselves through http://www.travelbound.co.uk/music-tours.