The Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers a two-year master's programme in Early Music focused on continued development of the student's principal study, the aim being to train and produce versatile musicians of the highest level, whether they be performers and/or composers.
Students on the master's programme focus on broad, in-depth study of their principal subject. The programme is flexible and students are expected to map out their own course of study.
Students are free to choose their own areas of emphasis. They may, for instance, decide to concentrate on their initial instrument, but they can also focus on an early or historical version of it (see also the section on Early Music). Other alternatives are to study abroad, or specialize in chamber music, orchestral playing, accompaniment, or even educational or theoretical aspects of their field of study. They may also make other choices, in consultation with their study supervisors.
Master's students also carry out thorough research into a subject related to their principal study. Students of classical and early music conclude their research with a dissertation and a public presentation (e.g. a lecture, lecture-recital, workshop or interview). This research is supervised by either internal or external experts.
The master electives cover subject areas that are relevant for musicians of various disciplines. They enable students to train special skills (e.g., entrepreneurial skills; auditioning skills, writing cadenzas for a solo concerto), or familiarize them with a body of specialist knowledge (e.g., on music theory and analysis, tuning systems, or the mental and physical aspects of performing). The study load amounts to 5 or 10 credits.
Some principal subjects and specializations (e.g., principal subjects such as String Quartet or Repetiteurship; and specializations such as New Music or Orchestral Performance) entail a pre-conceived menu of electives. Such menus are limited to a maximum study load of 15 credits. Students then need minimally one elective of their own choice to complete their electives program. If they take yet other electives, these will earn them individual credits.
Information about such preconceived elective menus, and the concomitant space for other electives, can be found in the programme outlines of the principal subjects and specializations concerned.
The list of electives changes every year; it is published by the end of May. Students can register for electives by sending an e-mail to the coordinator of the classical electives programme, Michiel Schuijer.
Please click here for an overview of the master electives.
To a certain extent master's students are free to determine their own course load. They may, for instance, gain professional experience by being placed in a professional orchestra or ensemble. They may also choose to take additional master's electives, masterclasses, attend workshops or international competitions, or concentrate on an early instrument, improvisation, ensemble playing or world music. Another alternative is to deepen their theoretical knowledge by attending a single or even several series of lectures at the University of Amsterdam.
The master's degree programme in music comprises 120 credits (based on ECTS; the European Credit Transfer System) to be obtained in two years of study (1 credit = 28 study hours).