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Master in Musical Leadership

The Master in Musical Leadership is a principal subject course within the Master of Music degree. The target group comprises students holding a Bachelor of Music in Education (ODM) or a Bachelor of Music. The master offers the knowledge and skills required to be able to lead musical projects in a range of community settings. Completion of this master's programme leads to the international degree of Master of Music (MMus). 
Key features are: 

  • foundation in practice, with social-music music projects and/or social-music education projects
  • strengthening of the student's own musical expertise and musicianship
  • research
  • enhancement of a professional practice, where making music and creative entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand


We offer a practical and reflective teaching environment over a two-year (120 credits) programme. The course centres around musical production, leadership and research within a socio-musical context or educational school/non-school work. As a musical leader, the student will be dealing with a range of target groups within society. The starting points will be the student's own interests and fascinations. From there, the master's programme focuses on topical (social) community music issues such as participation and inclusion. We zoom in on the creative process and the resources (practical, theoretical and research-related) that are needed to set up and accomplish a participatory project as a musical leader. These projects are the stepping-stones from which other modules are offered. Individual coaching sessions are interspersed with working groups, seminars, research modules and tailored music-making courses. 

This master is very well suited for musicians and music teachers who want to further develop themselves in the artistic, organizational and educational field.
Merel Brusselers

Core values: participation, connection, inclusion

The master's programme is based fairly and squarely on the connective power of music. Music resonates with every single person. Music is a vehicle for endless amounts of music-making, from which we consciously or subconsciously arrive at shared experiences and meanings. Music lets us forge connections - with the world outside, with one another (for instance at musical festivals), with the past (those suffering from dementia), with events in a particular place or culture, with our souls and emotions, and with beauty and aesthetics. [Boele, Bisschop E. (2014). De Muzikale Ander. [Groningen: Hanze Kenniscentra, University of Applied Sciences.]
The study programme accordingly concentrates on musical inclusion, on practical music-making and musical experiences accessible by and for a wide range of groups in society, including the socially disadvantaged. 

The master taught me to do research, to fully immerse myself in a subject, while giving me the space to broaden myself musically. It opened new doors and gave old ones more foundation. A true addition to my Bachelor of Music Education degree.
Noa Samson

Building blocks of musical leadership

Social-musical projects bring practice, theory and research together, thanks to these building blocks of musical leadership.

Practice indicates the musical projects that the student initiates and carries through:

  • musicianshipand artistic practice; the objectives here are to enhance musical leadership and to highlight the students individual musical signature and expertise.

The knowledge and information required to support musical leadership, including:

  • project management: chaordic project management, knowledge of leadership styles, business modelling
  • music pedagogy: employing perspectives from pedagogy in designing musical projects
  • insight into socio-cultural context: i.e. the community  that has an impact on the aims and results of the social-music or educational project;

Design-orientedresearch is the systematic and integrated development of solutions to problems in practice. Musical leadership is articulated through topic-based research, allowing students to position their projects in a broader research context.

The master offers me the chance to realize my dream project under professional guidance: making music with children in the hospital! I learn how to set up high-level projects and how to manage them organizationally and financially.
Julia Bitter

Programme subjects

The master's course lasts two years. Related to the building blocks of musical leadership are the subjects of the master's programme, with, in each year:
1. project design
2. musicianship: artistic practice related to personal artistic development and the projects
3. theory in:
a. working groups and thematic seminars dealing with project management, music pedagogy, current developments in the field,
b. intervision meetings covering the progress of projects and personal development
4. research, linked to the projects
5. master electives
6. open subjects

By setting up and carrying out this educational music project, I learned about my inquiring, managerial, designing and compositional sides. The master allowed me to develop these new, totally different roles.
Iris van Doggenaar

The project

Working on projects is a key element of the curriculum. The student is looking for projects that can provide an innovative impulse to the field of community music, proceeding from the starting points of participation, connection and inclusion.

A project might be an inter-generational ‘choir for young and old’; a project where refugees and local residents compose musical narratives together; a musical project where people with some form of disability present a musical performance that makes them heard; setting up an inclusive project ensemble that concentrates on urgent questions from socio-cultural contexts, ranging from hospitals to local neighbourhoods; producing a musical event with the residents of a care home and their local neighbours.

On the basis of project, there will be an examination of what is needed to enhance and enrich the expertise that the student already possesses. This may be divided partly between a fixed course programme and partly meeting the student's individual learning requirements. For each project, students must: 

  • initiate, set up, implement and lead the projects
  • address and deploy their own artistic signature
  • apply expertise in music pedagogy, appropriate to the nature of the project
  • demonstrate a connection within the community environment
  • enter into structural collaborative arrangements with the relevant stakeholders
  • develop a project plan with a realistic business/project model
The master Musical Leadership has given me the space and tools to design a music project for children living in a refugee center. The knowledge, experiences and network I gained from this master are of much value for my career as a music educator.
Tessel de Rijk

Practical Information

The Master Musical Leadership has given me the opportunity to further expand my practice as a leader within various social and musical contexts. The combination of theory, research and practice-oriented subjects reflects the balance that is expected in the professional field. In addition, I was able to pay a lot of attention to my own artistic development and to expand my network.
Jonathan Szegedi

Student and Alumni Experiences

The Master of Musical Leadership has been a transformative experience for me, artistically, academically, and personally. The level of education is unparalleled, and I have been fortunate to learn from professors who have a broad knowledge of the subjects and are also kind and supportive. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to using my new-found knowledge and inspiring others to do the same.
Wagner Vasconcelos