Swiss university launches country's first ever degree in yodelling

Caroline Bishop
Caroline Bishop - [email protected]
Swiss university launches country's first ever degree in yodelling
Swiss yodeller Nadja Räss will teach the course. Photo:

From the 2018/19 academic year it will be possible to study yodelling to degree level in Switzerland for the first time.


The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is adding yodelling to its Folk Music programme from the autumn, offering both a three-year bachelor’s and a two-year master’s degree in the alpine vocal technique, it said on its website
The university has offered folk music degrees since 2012, and it now becomes the first in the country to offer the traditional Swiss art of yodelling at degree level.
Students will not only learn yodelling skills but will also take modules in theory, history and business.
Speaking to the Tribune de Genève, Michael Kaufmann, head of the university’s music department, said he had long wanted to offer yodelling but couldn’t find a sufficiently qualified teacher – until now.
The course will be taught by Nadja Räss, a Swiss yodelling star and trained vocal teacher who runs her own yodelling academy in Zurich.
“As well as having good vocal technique students must be taught about different styles and voices to expand their repertoire. The whole yodelling scene will benefit from their new skills,” Räss told the paper.
Three or four students are expected to be taken on in the first year, with applications opening from February 28th.
The art of yodelling is a long-standing tradition in Switzerland which is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. 
It is one of eight Swiss traditions the government intends to submit to Unesco for inclusion on its ‘intangible heritage’ list, along with alpine livestock traditions, watchmaking and the Helvetica font.


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