18. Mai 2022

“Singing course” instead of “master class”

An old-fashioned term is being kicked out!

The German “Meisterkurs” or English „masterclass” are well-known terms that we use all the time. However, I would like to say goodbye to them for the following reasons:

First, the term “Meister” (teacher) and “Schüler (student) represent a hierarchical teaching culture that, in my view, is no longer appropriate. They manifest the historically evolved notion of the teacher as “genius” and are based on structures that are prone to abuse of power.

Second, “Meisterkurs” (masterclass), “Meister” (master) or “Meisterschüler” (student) derive from a time when only men were referred to as such.

This does not adequately reflect today`s circumstances. Also, a gender-appropriate rephrasing is not easily possible in German due to the standard of the generic masculine.

Moreover, the English gender-neutral term “masterclass” is not unproblematic, since the word “master” originates from the time of slavery in the USA and refers to a discriminating, hierarchical social order. Due to its racism-replicating effect, the term “master” is even no longer used by some institutions and companies (such as Google, Apple or SAP).

Therefore, I simply kick out “Meisterkurs” and “masterclass” and henceforth give only “Gesangskurse” and “singing classes”!