Open Music School

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    The Open Music School is a musical skill-sharing community with a focus on the integration of newcomers into Berlin's world famous and diverse music scene. Together with our sister project Open Music Lab, we facilitate a wide range of musical programs and events aiming to open up and connect Berlin's existing music scene with often isolated newcomer communities.

    Our weekly classes include classic guitar, bass guitar, oud, drums, piano, singing, ukulele and more!

    The Open Music School is a musical knowledge and skill-sharing project that aims to support diversity in the music scene of Berlin and beyond. The project focuses on the inclusion and empowerment of migrants, marginalised people, and those seeking a positive social network in Berlin. Everyone is welcome to join and contribute to the Open Music School activities regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity or migration status. Participation is free of charge.

    Our talented volunteers develop and run workshops and weekly classes from guitar to ukulele to electronic music production. Several musical branches formed within the Open Music School such as the Open Music Lab, that focuses on electronic music production and released their first participant-made compilation album in September 2020.

    The Open Music School won Berlin Music Commission’s “Listen to Berlin” Award in 2017 and was also the recipient of the “Active for Democracy and Tolerance” Award of the Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance in 2020.

      What is the Open Music School about?

      The Open Music School is a free, volunteer-powered, knowledge-sharing community. It creates spaces that are open to anyone, in which participants can develop real relationships that break isolation, cross cultures, encourage self-expression and inspire community engagement. We believe that whether they are teaching or learning, every member of our community is an individual with endless potential if given equal opportunities. The Open Music School offers various workshops and weekly classes, all run by talented and experienced volunteers. The project aims to develop participants’ creative talents and self-confidence, while at the same time nurturing meaningful relationships and promoting intercultural dialogue. Participants who are more musically advanced are often encouraged to act as helpers and/or translators, thus creating a knowledge-sharing community where everyone has something to offer. Many community members teach an instrument or skill, while being also studying another instrument. The Open Music School is more than just a music school or a “Refugees Welcome” sticker on the wall. It is a place where people meet new friends, build networks and discover their own creativity.

      Open Music School activities

      Volunteer instructors offer workshops and weekly classes in Guitar, Guitar workshops just for women*, Bass Guitar, Drums, Piano, Singing, Ukulele, and electronic music production, just to name a few. The workshops are always evolving to reflect the needs of our community.

      The Open Music School also provides support to people to produce their own music through workshops on how to create, record, and share music. The Open Music Lab, a group within the Open Music School, works specifically to acheive this.

      All activities of the Open Music School are free of charge.

      In addition to the weekly activities, the Open Music School also helps newcomer musicians to book and perform at festivals such as the Eastside Music Days Festival, Popraci Festival Rixdorf, Sommer für Alle Festival Neukölln, as well as countless smaller gigs across the city. It also regularly hosts events such as our New City Sounds concert series.

      Time and location of activities

      Open Music School’s classes are slowly starting to take place offline again. To find out which activities are taking place offline, check our calendar of activities on our Events page or go directly to the Open Music School project website where you’ll find a detailed program of activities and instructions to participate in the online classes.

      Get involved with the Open Music School!

      Donate to sustain our work!

      We are limited only by the expenses for instruments and the space used for our classes and workshops. We appreciate all donations, big and small and you can choose a one-time donation or set up regular monthly or yearly contributions. You can donate by following the instructions on this page.

      Donate instruments for learners and instructors!

      We are constantly growing and changing to meet the needs of our community and instrument donations help us to offer free tuition to more people. You can send/drop off donations to Give Something Back to Berlin e.V. office address: Lenaustrasse 4, 12047 Berlin, or simply get in touch to organise pick up.

      Teach at the Open Music School!

      We are always looking for friendly, passionate and patient volunteers who have a good understanding of their instrument to join our pool of volunteer teachers. You do NOT have to be an expert, have years of teaching experience or commit to many hours per week. We support people with musical skills to share with others, and giving just one hour a week can be really helpful.


      If you are looking for new friends, you might find them here! Join us! Our classes are relaxed, social, and a safe place for everyone. Find out more information about the Open Music School here:

      For inquiries related to the Open Music School contact Joe Marshall at

      For inquiries related to the Open Music Lab contact the coordinators directly at

      Read more about the Open Music School:

      An article by GSBTB Open Music School student Renzo D’Andrea about connecting with others by learning to play music

      GSBTB Open Music School hosts the second edition of its New City Sounds event on the eve of Fête de la Musique 2018

      GSBTB Open Music School Manager Tom Young writing about its birth and two-year anniversary

      Celebrating two years of the GSBTB Open Music School at New City Sounds #1

      An interview with hip-hop and Afrobeats artist Afrikan Boy, who performed for East Side Music Days 2017

      Ableton Loop peels back the layers of technology and club culture

      GSBTB Open Music School puts on its first Student Performance Night

      GSBTB meets Fête de la Musique 2017

      GSBTB Open Music School hosts the Yale Spizzwinks 


      Thanks to Lotto Stiftung Berlin for their continued support of the OMS over the years!

      A huge thank you to our partner and supporter Anschutz Hilft e.V.!

      Thanks to Allianz Kulturstiftung for the support in 2016!

      Thanks for the support Creaid!

      Thanks for the support East Side Music Days!

      Thanks to the support from Qatar Foundation International!

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