Jazz Master's Degree Programme
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers a two-year master's programme 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.
With a highly varied study programme, students have every opportunity to prepare themselves for professional careers. They are able to combine flexibility and a broad approach with complete mastery of their own particular area of study, receiving optimum guidance that fully enhances their own talents and qualities.
The master's programme maintains a careful balance between knowledge and capability on the one hand and thought and practice on the other. Students completing the course combine full mastery of their instrument with critical reflection and artistic originality.
For the master's programme the conservatorium works in close association with other leading academic programmes. The Jazz Department, for instance, has concluded agreements with Manhattan School of Music, New York; New England Conservatory, Boston; University of North Texas; Berklee College of Music Boston; Temple University Philadelphia, and State University of New York at Purchase.
In addition the conservatorium is unique in the country in that, in association with the chair group of the University of Amsterdam, it also offers the Master of Arts programme in music theory. Students on the master's programme can also attend lectures and study groups at the University of Amsterdam in certain subjects.
The master's degree programme comprises the following compulsory elements:
|Principal study||60 (1680 hours)|
|Ensembles||20 (560 hours)|
|Research||10 (280 hours)|
|Master electives||20 (560 hours)|
|Individual credits||10 (280 hours)|
Central to the study of the principal subject are the student's weekly individual lessons with the principal subject teacher(s). In the first year the student has two options:
* One teacher for all individual lessons
* Two teachers for all individual lessons: half of the lessons with the principal subject teacher, half of the lessons with another teacher
In the second year option 2 is extended with the possibility of taking half of the lessons with a guest teacher. In this case the student must apply ultimately three months before the start of the second year's course, i.e. the 1st of June preceding the second year's course, in consultation with his/her mentor.
After the first year the student will take an examination. Admittance to the second year will depend both on the level of playing and the artistic progress that has been made, and of an assessment of the progress in relation to the plan of study.
Technique as subsidiary subject or second instrument
The fields of study treated in these lessons will be related to the principal subject: vocal technique for voice candidates, flute or clarinet for saxophone candidates, double bass for bass guitar and vice versa, etc.
On a regular basis Artists in Residence will visit the school. With respect to active participation, the Artist-in-Residence program will focus on the master's degree students; participation is required and is considered a component of the principal subject. Individual lessons are part of the Artist-in-Residence programme.
During the two years of the master's degree programme, students are required to take four ensembles (twenty credits, five credits per ensemble). All ensembles perform in and/or outside the Conservatory at the end of each semester. Please click here for the overview of ensembles.
During the two years of studies the student will do an individual research project. The nature of this research may be artistic, historical, theoretical, sociological, etc. An in-house symposium will be the setting for the final presentation of the research project. This presentation may be a lecture-performance (which consists of a spoken presentation and a musical performance), a concert with extensive program notes, a written thesis, or a workshop or master class.
More about research
The theory component of the jazz master’s degree programme consists of a mandatory part and an electives part. In the course of the two years of the master’s degree programme, every student must earn up to a total of (at least) 20 credits in this music theory component. ‘Music Theory’ and ‘Composition - Creative Writing’ are mandatory. Together these courses amount to 10 credits.
This component may be determined by the students themselves, to focus on a 'specialism' or topics of a special interest. Students are required to earn a minimum of 10 credits in this component throughout the master's programme. There are several ways to put this component together.
More about the individual credits component
Candidates from other conservatories are requested to submi on the application form a link to a site with recordings. These recordings will be used to preselect candidates; only if the level of playing or singing matches the required standard, will the candidate be invited to a live audition.
More information related to the principal subject and admission requirements may be found on this page in the menu on the left.
Candidates who apply for the master and who do not have a bachelor's degree from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam also have to do a written test. This test includes:
2) analysis and harmony
Eujam is a joint master's degree programme offered by the conservatories of Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Trondheim. This programme is especially designed for talented contemporary jazz performers who want to stay at the forefront of development in music, culture and business. Click here to read more.
Accreditation and degree
The master's programme in Jazz is a track within the Master 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 master's degree in Music and the title Master Music. Only accreditated degree programmes are listed in the Dutch central register of higher education programmes (CROHO).
More information on accreditation and degrees