The bachelor programme for guitarists provides training in jazz from all periods. Students are encouraged to develop their own style. They can be taught by various principal-study teachers throughout the study and there are opportunities to play in a wide range of ensembles (Latin, fusion etc.).  

'From what I've seen being at the school the last few years, you are all the best and the brightest from around the world.'
Peter Bernstein, Artist in Residence, Guitarist, Professor

The teaching staff: Maarten van der Grinten, Martijn van Iterson, Jesse van Ruller, Reinier Baas and Durk Hijma (technique). Peter Bernstein is regular guest teacher/Artist in Residence of the section. In the past guest teachers have included John Scofield, Jim Hall, Mike Stern, Leonardo Amuedo, John Abercrombie, Nelson Veras, Nelson Faría, Lula Galvão, Charlie Hunter and Lage Lund.

Co-ordinator: Maarten van der Grinten

Admission requirements
A pre-selection will take place for the entrance exam by means of recordings of two pieces from the jazz idiom and one piece of the candidate's choice, to be uploaded by the candidate in the application form. If the candidate's level of playing does not match the requirements, he/she will not be invited to take the entrance exam.

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

  1. Repertoire: the committee will choose from three pieces from the standard jazz repertoire prepared by the candidate including one (jazz-) blues theme and at least one jazz standard. The candidate will be expected to play the chosen jazz standard melody single stringed (without the underlying chords). Each piece must contain theme, improvisation and accompaniment. The candidate will be accompanied by one of the guitar teachers unless he/she has brought their own accompaniment. 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).
  2. Technique: the candidate must show sufficient knowledge of chords and major and minor scales in position. When this is not evident in the chosen repertoire, the candidate may be asked to provide further proof.

The course assumes the use of a pick (plectrum). When the candidate does not use a pick, the committee will give special attention to the quality of the single string (melody) playing.

2. Hearing, tempo/timing and reading skills
This may consist of:

  • repeating a played line by ear (no key given)
  • soloing by ear on a played harmonic progression without having received any indication
  • playing of a written melody, after a short preparation
  • (optional) playing of a harmonic progression to given chord symbols

The committee supplements the examination with some exercises which must show the candidate's skill which have not been sufficiently disclosed up till then.

3. Assessment
The possibilities to follow a principal subject study will be discussed by the committee, while the candidate waits outside the room. The candidate will receive the result right after the deliberation.

Important issues for the assessment are:

  1. musicality, hearing and melodic understanding
  2. feeling for rhythm and tempo
  3. affinity with jazz

but besides these also

  1. harmonic understanding
  2. technique, tone quality
  3. sight reading

Please submit via the application form links (YouTube, Soundlink etc.) to the following:

  • recordings of three or four pieces of a different character featuring the guitar
  • a recording of an original composition
  • if possible, a video of the bachelor's final exam

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 an audition.

The committee will choose from five pieces; the candidate will receive the requirements along with the invitation to the audition. Required will be at least: one modal piece, one medium two beat piece, one fast bebop-like piece, one Coltrane piece and a rubato ballad for solo guitar. Please note: check the requirements.

The candidate will be accompanied by one of the principal subject teachers. There will be no rhythm section.


Maarten van der Grintencoordinator
Reinier Baas 
Martijn van Iterson  
Jesse van Ruller   
Peter Bernstein Artist in Residence
Durk Hijma technique, methodology
Eric Vaarzon Morelflamenco