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March 31

Check Tour Blog for some of the experiences the students had with their host families today.  

Dr. and Mrs. D, Jarrard Harris and Mr. Sharp had coffee with the Assistant Director of the Stuttgart Musikschule, Andreas Jaeger, and learned a little more about it.
The school has been housed in this city community center for 20 years.  There are 30 teaching studios and rehearsal space for the 100 ensembles they have (from the Stuttgart Youth Symphony and one younger orchestra, a band (which was also hosting a band from Portugal while we were visiting) to guitar and other chamber music ensembles).  The school only has one jazz band (ages 18-40) and not much interest in jazz by younger students.

50% of their operating income comes from the City of Stuttgart. They charge for lessons, but not orchestras.  There are 6300 students at this location and satellite centers in other parts of the city, and 180 teachers. 

Only about 2% of their students go on in music.  Interestingly, there are three professional orchestras in Stuttgart, a city of about 600,000 people (the Radio Orchestra, Opera Orchestra and Philharmonic).  Nationally, about 12,000 musicians are employed in professional orchestras (down from about 14,000), mostly supported by city governments.  
This photo collage of their visit to Chicago hangs in the school!  

After the school tour, Mr. Harris, Mr. Sharp, and Dr. and Mrs. D took a train to Ludwigsburg, about 20 minutes outside of Stuttgart.  
Toured a magnificent baroque palace built by Duke Ludwig of Wurttemberg from 1704-1733.  
Met up with other MYA students and their German hosts during an English speaking tour of the 452 room palace.
Hillary and Cordelia in one of the beautiful halls.
Home of Frederick I, crowned King in 1806 by Napoleon.  King Frederick weighed 450 lbs and was 7 feet tall.  He also spoke 7 languages. 
Frederick married queen from England (daughter of William III, last king before the American Revolution), who also weighted nearly as much. 
Tabloids called it the "Elephant wedding."
Most beautiful were the gardens surrounding the palace.
Ronald resting after tour along with Jarrard and Tom Sharp.
Also ran into Jake, Andrew and Alexander at the palace.
Glass atrium full of flowers in the palace garden.
And a big surprise in a corner of the garden. . a park for young children. 
Never seen a better place to take young children; fairy tales told with animated figures in numerous settings.
Could have spent longer, but time to walk back to the train station.
One last photo op.