Profile Early Keyboards

The master's degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam prepares you for a varied professional practice in which you can function as a musician at the highest level. Against the background of this versatile professional practice, CvA's personal master profile or PMP gives you plenty of opportunity to give your studies a personal direction, and to create a tailor-made package of courses.

If you are accepted for your principal subject and admitted to a master profile, when you set out on your master’s study programme you will meet with a study advisor with whom you can discuss your personal profile; on this basis, working agreements are made for the courses you will follow and further facilities for your study.

A Personal Master Profile (PMP) can be given shape in many ways. In consultation with the head of your department, a wide range of well-reasoned choices can be made and set down in the plan of study, such as choosing to work with a historic  version of your instrument, improvisation, the romantic lieder repertoire, or a teaching profile, for example. If you choose, you may also focus your studies exclusively on your principal subject and instrument, without any further delineation.

The Conservatory has worked out several examples of specific content for your Personal Master Profile that you can choose to follow in your principal subject. These profiles are composed of a number of elective subjects and modules. Admission requirements apply for some of them. They can be followed separately, as part of your own individual PMP, but when taken in a particular combination and relationship, they lead to a specialisation in a specific field of study. The CvA offers the following specific profiles for this: Chamber Music, New Music, Orchestral Performance, Creative Performance Lab and Applications of Karnatic Rhythm to Contemporary Music. A limited number of places are available for such profiles and specific admission requirements may apply. In such cases, a supplementary audition or selection is part of the procedure. A supplementary audition or selection is sometimes held after you have been accepted and admitted, often before the summer (May/June) or in the first month of the new academic year (September). On this point, see the admission requirements for each profile.

If you have chosen a specific profile, this is shown by an addendum to your master’s degree stating all subjects and modules you have completed and the associated credits. If desired, on the basis of your approved plan of study and the study track you have completed, the CvA can append an additional statement about your personal master profile to your diploma (Master of Music) and to your diploma addendum. If you have any questions about this, please contact the student secretariat ( If necessary, they will refer you to the coordinator of the master profile, the study advisor or to one of the heads of programmes.

Profile Early Keyboards
The Master profile Early Keyboards focuses on the keyboard practice current until in the 19th century. In the past keyboard players had a thorough command of various keyboard instruments and were highly skilled in diverse forms of repertory performance, improvisation, and basso continuo. The master profile Early Keyboards is a combined master’s degree based on the successful completion of two principal subjects in the Early Keyboards curriculum. This master profile affords historical keyboard performers an excellent basis with which to achieve a position in the current professional field.

Students can choose this profile after successfully passing the admissions procedure for two principal master studies (harpsichord, clavichord, organ, fortepiano, basso continuo). In consultation with the principal subject teachers and the director of studies, the study plan is worked out and the selection of minor subjects for each academic year is determined. These minors consist partly of individual lessons, partly of group lessons. For student with less experience in basso continuo and improvisation these lessons are mandatory.

Individual lessons are given by specialists in each instrument. In projects and masterclasses the similarities and differences between the various keyboard instruments are clarified and detailed. In addition, visiting teachers give group lessons, excursions, and workshops. Students regularly present themselves at concerts and performance evenings.

The master research programme is preferably devoted to the student’s principal subject combination and is supported by the principal subject teacher(s) concerned.

The candidates are expected to have great affinity and a high prospective master’s level on several instruments. This master’s programme requires an above average artistic charisma and sufficient dedication.

The final presentation consists of a public concert, 75 minutes with intermission, during which the graduating student presents him/herself on various instruments.
The final presentation can also consist of two separate public recitals lasting a maximum of 40 minute per instrument; the first presentation is at the conservatory, the second in a church, with the student actively organizing publicity and the concert itself.

Principal subject & related instrumental lessons: 70
Ensembles, orchestra, projects, internships: 10
Research: 10
Electives: 20
Individual credits: 10