At the Classical Music department, you'll develop into a musical professional with a wide skill set and a clear artistic vision.
Mastery of your instrument is the cornerstone of the program. You'll work on your instrumental skills every day through self-study and receive weekly lessons from your main subject teacher. During the orchestral studies lessons, you'll grow more familiar with the 'iron repertoire' in preparation for a possible future as an orchestral musician. In addition, you'll take various group lessons aimed at your main subject. For example, singers follow lessons in physiology, declamation, German, Italian and French. Pianists take improvisation, prima vista and 'duo ensemble playing' lessons, in which they practice playing together with (melodic) instruments.
You'll gain stage experience during the many concerts that take place every year, both in our own Fentener van Vlissingen Hall and in the Hertz Hall of TivoliVredenburg, where we organise monthly lunch concerts. You'll also follow master classes with renowned musicians from the field.
Several times a year, you will participate in a project. During these project weeks, you'll explore a single topic such as an opera or an orchestra project in which you become more familiar with the professional practice. These weeks involve close collaboration and preparing a final presentation, usually a concert.
Coaching and professional identity
During the entire program, you will be guided in your learning process. Not just by your main subject teacher, but also during various classes. The subject 'study and professional orientation' offers insight into the program as well as the professional field. During panel sessions, alumni, teachers and other professionals share about their professional practice. 'Professional communication' will teach you to reflect on your own development and to communicate effectively in various professional contexts. How do you give and receive feedback? What are your ambitions for the future and how can you formulate these goals in a smart way?
Starting in the third year, the curriculum offers more free space to be filled with extracurricular activities, projects, or electives such as applied music theory, music and meaning, counter point, or basso continuo. You'll also look towards the future with a study coach. Where do you want to be after your final exam? Which styles or periods are you most passionate about? What is your greatest strength? And how do you want to use it? You'll formulate a learning question and create a plan for the last two years of your studies, centred on your artistic individuality. Thus making your musical profile increasingly sharper.
HKU Utrecht Conservatory has a true ensemble culture. From the first year, you'll participate in the chamber music program and be placed in an ensemble. You and your fellow students will choose a coach, who will help you work on interpretation and playing together. The pieces your group prepares will be performed for an audience during a chamber music marathon.
You'll also play with the HKU orchestra a few times a year, during the project weeks for example. You'll play together with master students, which allows you to learn from their experience. The repertoire often includes pieces from our composition students.
Several subjects will teach you the skills to comprehend music on a theoretical level as well. These subjects include 'music theory and solfège', 'theory of musical form' and 'practical harmony'. By writing short passages yourself, you'll explore topics such as tonality, rhythm, instrumentation, counterpoint, and harmony. You'll also develop your musical imagination: a vital analytical tool for playing and listening to music. In addition, lessons on the history of classical music will expand your repertoire knowledge and establish a frame of reference.
Starting in the second year, you will start to develop as a teacher too. You'll take methodology lessons specifically aimed at your instrument, but also general lessons on education such as didactics and pedagogy. How do you properly structure a lesson? How can you set effective learning goals for yourself and your student? You'll study the musical development of children and the psychology of learning and apply theories and models on your own lessons.
During an internship in the field, you'll observe a number of lessons and of course teach students yourself as well. You'll also do an internship in which you work with a group such as a learning orchestra. The educational trajectory will be completed in the fourth year with a research project in which you illustrate your vision on education, based on sources such as books, interviews, or methods.
The first two years of the program, you will receive piano lessons. These lessons are essential for your harmonic overview and for learning to apply music theory. In addition, you will develop the piano skills to accompany students in your own lessons.