Bachelor's Degree Programme

The Bachelor of Music course consists of a propaedeutic year (first academic year) and a main phase (second, third and fourth academic years). The propaedeutic year has an introductory nature, and may lead to students being advised not to continue their conservatory study. The propaedeutic examination concludes the first year of study.

During the main phase (second-fourth year) the required subjects are evaluated annually by means of in between exams. The learning track is determined in close consultation with the principal subject teacher.

A bachelor's diploma in music will be conferred on candidates who have successfully completed the vocal/instrumental principal study programmes. This also applies to the principal subjects of arranging and theory of music.


In addition to private lessons with the principal study teacher, lessons in ensemble playing are an essential part of the course. Students are offered ample opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of ensembles, including trios with vocalist ot soloist, special groups related to the principal subject, latin, fusion and crossover groups, jazz choir and bigband.

Subjects such as solf├Ęge, analysis, harmony, counterpoint and music history help students develop their inner ear and musical perception. Contemporary music is given much attention, especially within the framework of subjects like analysis, music history and cultural history; the history of Afro-American music, popular and jazz music is linked with the history of Western music.

With the Bachelor's Diploma in Music of the CvA students are qualified to teach at a music school or centre for artistic education.

Methodology, pedagogy and internships are part of the programme and help to create a solid foundation for those wishing to establish their own teaching practice or to work in music education in the broadest sense of the word. In addition, the student prepares himself for the practical and business aspects of the music profession. A special programme - the entrepreneurial artist (DOK - De Ondernemende Kunstenaar) - has been designed to help students develop all the skills required in professional music life. This programme is supported by the website, which has been developed in cooperation with Kunstenaars & CO. The DOK programme can be structured to a large extent by the students themselves.

Students who already have a Bachelor's Diploma in Music and who start their studies in the first or second year, will take the pedagogical subjects unless they can prove that they have succesfully completed a similar programme. For more information please contact the Pedagogical subjects coordinator of the department concerned.

Ensemble playing is at the heart of the jazz curriculum. The objective is to provide students with the necessary practical experience and to stimulate their individual creativity so that they can successfully function in the various types of music common to their instrument. Because instrumental and individual needs can be rather diverse, a wide variety of ensembles are offered.

During the first year, the emphasis in all principal subjects will be on ensemble skills in jazz and related types of music. In addition to a specially formed jazz ensemble, there are trios with voice, a choir and a funk/crossover group. Concerts for practically all groups are organized in the CvA Blue Stage, which is fully equipped for jazz concerts, and venues outside the CvA. In subsequent years of study there are groups specializing in a specific style, such as jazz octet, trio with voice or instrumental soloist, improvisation groups, flamenco, latin-rhythm sections, Brazilian and various crossover groups.

There are also ensembles focusing on a certain instrument: guitar ensembles, bass guitar ensembles, groups of saxophones or trombones and the two choirs: ladies Only and Vocal Inchoiry.  A number of ensembles are required. In addition, students can elect to take various ensembles, thereby determining the direction of their studies. In the third or fourth year, students can form their own groups, determine an objective and/or repertoire and choose a teacher.

Additionally, there are the Tuesday Big Band and the Thursday Bog Band, each rehearsing every week, and the Concert Big Band, which plays a major role in interesting projects with renowned conductors and arrangers, such as Justin DiCioccio, John Clayton and Terell Stafford, and performs at events such as the North Sea Jazz Festival.


Part of the study programme can be tailored to the students' own wishes. Thus the programme may focus in particular on ensemble projects, world music, improvisation, live electronics, studio technique and instruments related to the principal-study instrument. More in-depth study of theoretical or educational aspects is also possible.

Accreditation and degree

The bachelor's programme in Jazz is a track within the Bachelor Music. The quality of this programme has been positively assessed by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme students will receive an accredited bachelor's degree in Music and the title Bachelor Music. Only accreditated degree programmes are listed in the Dutch central register of higher education programmes (CROHO).

More information on accreditation and degrees