Rudolf Bode studied philosophy, science and music in Leipzig from 1901 to 1906. He then became Kapellmeister in Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg. In 1911 he founded the still existing Bode school for rhythmic gymnastics in Munich, which he re-started after World War II in 1948. His wife Elly Drenkmann took over the administration of his school in 1935. During the Nazi regime he was head of the student body "Gymnastics and Dance" in the German Reich Association for Gymnastics for sports and gymnastics teachers. After the war, Bode was classified as a follower. He then worked as a sports teacher, and devoted himself to creating music for his lesson.