The principal study Percussion at the CvA offers a many-sided program which focuses on various musical styles, such as jazz, crossover, rock, pop, salsa, flamenco and music of African, Cuban and Brazilian origin. These styles are a model for the many musical styles in which an all-round percussionist in contemporary Western-European/US must be able to express himself.

The objective of the course is to train students to become all-round percussionists with optimum possibilities for a successful career. Besides the ability to play a large number of instruments - like timbales, conga, repenique as well as cajon, udu and miscellaneous small percussion instruments - the all-round percussionist must also be aware of each instrument's cultural background and its individual qualities. The creative development of the student is also of great importance for (future) performing, studio sessions, and/or a possible teaching position. This enables him/her to combine instruments and techniques in such a way that they will come up with unique grooves and sound.

Teachers are Bart Fermie and Lucas van Merwijk. Ensembles are taught by Abel Marcel and Danny van Kessel.

Admission requirements

1. Playing skill
a. The committee will choose from three pieces prepared by the candidate in which the candidate shows the committee, in addition to command of the instrument and a reasonable rhythmic understanding, a distinct musical understanding, preferably in various styles such as Cuban/Brazilian/African.
b. The student is to prove in these pieces that he has mastered sufficient skills on different instruments, played by hand as well as sticks. The committee can ask for this, if necessary.
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. Hearing, tempo/timing and reading skills
This may consist of:
* playing by ear an unknown, simple piece, without any previous information
* singing and playing by ear a sung and played rhythm
* playing of a part of the student?s choice at a given tempo (clicktrack)
* playing à vue of  a written rhythm

The committee supplements the examination with some exercises which must show the candidate's skills 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. Important issues for the assessment are:
1. musicality, hearing and rhythmic understanding
2. feeling for rhythm and tempo
3. affinity with the instruments and the musical styles that are connected with the instruments

but besides these also:
4. sense of form
5. technique and tone quality
6. reading of rhythms, sight reading

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. In this audition, the candidate will play three pieces, including 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.

Bart Fermie methodology
Lucas van Merwijk  
Niti Ranjan Biswas tabla

Abel Marcel
Danny van Kessel