Paul Hindemith began his studies at Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main during the winter semester of 1908/09. Through Adolph Rebner he obtained a stipend and was admitted to Rebner's violin class after completing elementary school.
Hindemith dedicated the first semester exclusively to studying the violin with Adolph Rebner. Only beginning in the autumn of 1912 were the subjects of composition and counterpoint added; Hindemith initially studied these with Arnold Mendelssohn, completing them one year later with Bernhard Sekles. Karl Breidenstein taught him score reading and Fritz Bassermann instructed him in conducting. Nonetheless, instrumental studies had top priority at first, not least because Hindemith helped earn a living for his family by playing the violin. Alongside his studies, he taught privately, substituted for Rebner and performed at numerous concerts.
Hindemith was considered a highly gifted violinist whose «soft, beautiful tone» and «soulful expression» received high praise. A critic wrote the following in the Karlsruher Tageblatt on 5 February 1916: «His playing is marked by serenity, utter flawlessness in fingering and bowing technique, a convincing noblesse of tone, thrilling élan and profound intimacy.»
During his final semester, however, Hindemith concentrated exclusively on composition instruction with Sekles. Here, too, he was so successful that he received an award, as can be read in the Annual Report of 1915/16: «From the instrumental classes, Mr. Paul Hindemith – composition class of Mr. Sekles and violin pupil in the Rebner class - is being awarded a prize of 750 marks in recognition of his achievements (submission of a string quartet [Quartet in C major, Op. 2]) from the estate of the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation. At the competition for the 1915 Joseph Joachim Prize, Mr. Hindemith received a valuable violin.»
He completed his studies during the winter semester of 1916/17.