The drums faculty is characterised by versatility. Students are trained all-round, acquiring experience both in the studio and on stage, with all kinds of ensembles: big band, jazz combo, Latin and fusion ensembles and rock bands.
Teachers are Lucas van Merwijk, Marcel Serierse and Martijn Vink, Yoran Vroon and Mark Schilders. Guest teachers have included Peter Erskine John Riley, Adam Nussbaum, Brian Blade, Jeff Ballard, Bill Stewart and Kendrick Scott. Please see the overview of all guest teachers here.
Co-ordinator: Lucas van Merwijk
For all candidates there is a preselection by means of a recording of three pieces to be uploaded to the application form by the candidate. Two of the pieces should be from the jazz idiom, the third is the candidate's choice. If the candidate's playing on the recording does not match the required level, they will not be invited to the entrance examination.
Please note: candidates will not be admitted solely on the basis of the recording; being invited to the entrance exam does not mean candidates are admitted to the school.
During the entrance examination, the candidate is tested on:
1. Playing skill
a. The committee will choose two pieces from three pieces prepared by the candidate in which the candidate shows the committee both command of the instrument and musical understanding, preferably in various styles such as jazz, latin or fusion.
b. Playing à vue of a short little drum etude at the level of Mitchell Peters' Intermediate Snare Drum Studies no. 14.
The committee reserves the right to interrupt the candidate's playing as according to the committee, he/she has supplied enough information (because of the limited time of 30 minutes). Therefore it is important for the candidate to show his/her skills as quickly as possible: not too many and/or too long solos of fellow players, no unnecessary repetitions.
2. Hearing, tempo/timing and reading skills
This may consist of:
- playing by ear an unknown, simple piece, without any previous information
- playing of some rhythms at a given tempo (clicktrack)
- playing à vue of some rhythms for percussion. In these rhythms some rudiments have been incorporated.
- playing a simple 'play along' of 8 bars, including written part
The committee supplements the examination with some exercises which must show the candidate's skills which have not been sufficiently disclosed up till then.
The possibilities to follow a principal subject study will be discussed by the committee.
Important issues for the assessment are:
- musicality and hearing
- feeling for rhythm and tempo
- affinity with the instrument and the musical styles that are connected with this instrument
- technique and tone quality
- reading of rhythms
The candidate must submit via the application form three links (YouTube, Soundlink etc). to audio or video recordings of their performances. On the basis of these materials, the committee will assess the candidate's level. If the candidate's level meets the requirements for the master's degree programme, the candidate may be invited to do a practical audition. During this audition, the candidate will play three pieces, including:
- one original composition
- one jazz standard *)
*) originality and a high level of improvising are required
Candidates may bring their own accompaniment. It is also possible to make use of a conservatory trio; if you wish to do so, please state this on the application form.