Jazz & PopThe study
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Jazz & Pop in brief

  • A music course to study jazz, bebop and fusion, to pop, rock, soul or dance
  • You determine your direction, based on your expertise on your instrument
  • Gain performing experience in ensembles and projects
  • Collaborate with students from other courses
  • Personal guidance from dedicated lecturers and guest lecturers
  • Top-rated programme according to the Dutch 'Keuzegids' 2024

Want to know more? Watch this talkshow recorded during the Open Day in November 2020, in which course leader Hannie van Veldhoven, class representatives and core teachers talk about the course Jazz & Pop.

Watch talkshow

How do you know Jazz & Pop is right for you?

The Jazz & Pop course is really right for you if you are open to different styles and genres of music. And if you want to gain an excellent command of your instrument. If you can identify with the points below, then we’d like to get to know you.

  • You want to develop and use your talents as a performer, maker, teacher and producer
  • You want to develop your expertise on your instrument
  • You enjoy having broad horizons
  • You have an entrepreneurial streak
  • You are constantly searching for new ways of reaching your audience

Why study Jazz & Pop at HKU?

At HKU Utrechts Conservatorium, you can expect a positive, healthily competitive and collaborative atmosphere. You will develop your talents as a performer and maker, on the basis of the main instrument of your choice. Personal guidance is a priority. You receive help from dedicated lecturers and guest lecturers, in individual lessons, group classes and projects. You also get plenty of opportunity for interdisciplinary work in collaboration with other HKU schools, including Theatre, Design, and Music and Technology.

Jazz & PopWhat will you learn
Jazz & Pop

What will you learn

On the course, you develop as a specialist on your instrument. You learn improvisation, arrangement and composition. You play in various bands and ensembles and gain performing experience. You also work with students from other schools, such as HKU Theatre, HKU Design, and HKU Music and Technology. This teaches you a variety of skills that you combine and apply in telling your own story. It is your future, so you determine what it will look like.

Instrumental development is key

Your instrumental and artistic development is key. You have private lessons every week, in your main subject and technique. You develop your skills on your instrument in these lessons.

Band Skills

Besides your instrumental development, learning to play together – band skills – is also important. As a musician, you play with others very often, in a wide variety of settings. During your studies, you are given increasing freedom, and you can choose subjects and activities that link up with your specific goals and ambitions.


On this course, every player is also a maker. As a Jazz & Pop musician, it is in your DNA to create and arrange your own work and to improvise. As you move on in your studies, this makership will play an increasingly important role.


Exploring and getting your bearings

An important goal of the first year is to get a clearer picture of what you can do, what you want and whether the course is the right choice for you. You take orientation subjects, theory and piano lessons. You also delve into the history of jazz and pop music. During three project weeks spread over the year, you work on new projects. Two of these weeks are devoted to an interdisciplinary project in which you collaborate with students from other departments and schools.

Playing in a band
Every week, you play in a band with other first-year students, exploring together how a band functions. Halfway through the year, you test out your skills in the ‘Take the floor’ exam.

Final concert
You round off the year with a final concert, in which your band presents a programme. Throughout the year, sessions are organised by, for and with Jazz & Pop students in music café ’t Oude Pothuys. This allows you to put your band skills into practice straight away on a public stage.

Going into more depth

In the second year, you couple band skills with entrepreneurship. You get to work in various band formations and produce a festival featuring various student ensembles.

Education and production
You also start with education and production lessons. Some of these lessons focus specifically on your instrument, others are more general in nature. You also do an internship with teachers in the professional field, where you observe lessons and do some teaching as well.

Carving out a path

In the third year, you map out your route to graduation. You take various courses on makership, including creating music, arranging and composing. You also have the opportunity to work abroad, for instance through an exchange programme. An example of an international project is House of Europe, in which students from conservatoires all over Europe participate.


You work towards your graduation and show what you stand for. You graduate with a graduation concert in which you put your artistic signature and underline your profile as a musician.

Individual band project
You work on an individual band project. In this, you will develop your ownership as a bandleader, arrange your own concert tour, including all the production and promotional matters involved.

Free scope
The last year of your study programme has even more free scope for projects, extracurricular activities or electives.

You round off your studies with research that demonstrates your vision of education.


You choose one of the main subjects. Do you wish to apply with another instrument? Contact the course leader.

From year 2, you take electives. Find out which subject suits you best.
  • Wind instruments:
    flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, clarinet

    Stringed instruments:
    guitar, bass guitar, double bass

    String instruments

    piano, drums, vocals

    Watch the video's about the main subjects vocals, guitar and saxophone. Including fragments of lessons and concerts.
  • Audience engagement & artist profile
    Electronic music creation
    Synthesizer sound creation
    Music, art & culture
    Creativity in the production process
    Non-western rhythms & techniques
    Studio recording
    Carte blanche (along with your fellow students, request an elective on a subject of your choice)


Read all names and bio's from all lecturers of Jazz & Pop:
  • Course leader
    Hannie van Veldhoven

    Bart Soeters (year 2)

    Applied musical theory
    Bart Noorman

    Band Skills - coaching
    Year 1: band skills
    Tobias Nijboer
    Erik Rutjes
    Delaney Nelom

    Year 2 and 3: band skills specials
    Gé Bijvoet: playground
    George Dumitriu: ensemble Z
    Rembrandt Frerichs: playground
    André Groen: latin
    Joel Groenewold: funk
    Theo de Jong: brasil
    Joost Kesselaar: playground
    Konrad Koselleck: re-composing
    Tim Langedijk: playground
    Jan Schröder: pop/production
    Koen Smits: make it
    Toon Roos: fusion
    Delaney Nelom: live electronics

    Year 4 and Master of Music: band skills individual project
    Martijn Crama
    Tami Toledo Matuoka
    Hannie van Veldhoven
    Several guest teachers

    Band Skills Production Management
    Koen Smits

    Bass guitar
    Joël Groenewold
    Theo de Jong
    Bart Soeters

    HKU Big Band / Large Ensemble
    Various guest teachers

    HKU Voices
    Henk Kraaijeveld
    Marit van der Lei

    Creating music
    Jan Schröder

    Double bass
    Tobias Nijboer
    James Oesi (techniek)

    André Groen
    Joost Kesselaar

    Mark Alban Lotz

    George Dumitriu
    Daan Kleijn
    Erik Rutjes
    Tim Langedijk

    Musical history
    Frank de Munnik

    Konrad Koselleck

    Gé Bijvoet
    Bert van den Brink
    Rembrandt Frerichs
    Celia García-García (technique)
    Daan van den Hurk (technique)
    Delaney Nelom
    Marit Thus
    Bart de Win

    Practical rhythm lab
    André Groen

    Toon Roos
    Marc Scholten

    Rik Mol
    Koen Smits

    George Dumitriu

    Lydia van Dam
    Kristina Fuchs
    Annemarie Maas
    Harjo Pasveer
    Bart de Win
    Marit van der Lei

    Take a look at the complete list of lecturers at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium

  • Lydia van Dam studied vocals at the conservatory in Hilversum with Jerry van Rooyen, Marjorie Barnes, Greetje Kauffeld, Deborah Brown and Gé Titulear. She performed home and abroad with renowned orchestras, including the WDR Big Band conducted by Jerry van Rooyen, the Skymasters and the Metropole orchestra. She also toured theaters in the Netherlands with her own band, the Lydia van Dam Group and the band Zijlstra, and made several CDs with these bands.

  • George Dumitriu is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. He plays the viola, violin, guitar and electronics and is internationally active in jazz, improvised music, contemporary classical and music theatre. Dumitriu is the musical director of Monk on Viola and DUMItRIO. He also collaborated with Sanem Kalfa Duo, Black Sea Songs, Eve Rissers L'ensemble Ensemble, Kaja Draksler Octet, Alex Simu Quintet, North Sea String Quartet, Blink Quartet and Dutch National Opera & Ballet.

  • Rembrandt Frerichs is a pianist with a broad view. He knows the American jazz repertoire, but is willing to walk the beaten track. He draws on European classical music and his passion for Arabic music, fueled by his two-year stay in Egypt.

    Rembrandt is recognized as an 'adventurer on the keys' (Trouw) and 'master on his instrument' (de Volkskrant). In his music you can hear the energy of American jazz and the lyricism of Eastern music, just like the spaciousness of the chamber music of Debussy and Ravel. He 'plays future music where boundaries disappear from the ear' (Trouw)

  • Celia García-García is a classical pianist, praised for her versatility and virtuosity. She’s a versatile and much sought-after musician with her regular ensembles Duo IJlstra-García, Frommermann and Inside Out, and in very diverse ad hoc line-ups. She regularly performs with Dutch symphony orchestras and is an ambassador for the celesta, a relatively unknown instrument.

  • Guitarist Daan Kleijn moved to New York City at the age of 22. After earning his master's degree from the prestigious New York University, Kleijn was active in the vibrant jazz scene for over a decade. He played in the city's many famous jazz clubs, such as the Blue Note, Small Jazz club and Birdland. He also played with renowned artists such as Glenn Zaleski, Ben Paterson, Billy Drummond, Peter Bernstein, Sam Yahel, Rich Perry and Mike Rodriquez. Since two years Daan has been living in the Netherlands again and is busy working on his third album, together with Pablo Menares and Caleb Curtis. Its release is scheduled for 2024.

  • Tim Langedijk (1984) is a guitar and ensemble teacher. He graduated cum laude from the Rotterdam Conservatory. With his trio, the Tim Langedijk Trio, he recorded six albums. He made concerts and recordings with the Metropole Orchestra, Gabriela Kozyra Quartet, Paradox Jazz Orchestra, Jasper van ’t Hof and Karel Boehlee, among others. He is a much sought-after studio guitarist in the Netherlands and works as an arranger for various productions.

  • Annemarie Maas is the textbook example of a hybrid artist, as evidenced by an impressive track record in interdisciplinary arts. She calls herself a vocal musician, she sings acting and acts singing and sees composing as writing and vice versa. She has been a (core) teacher of singing at HKU Utrecht Conservatory since 1990, in various roles and at various courses. Maas is a much sought-after CRP and study coach. A centipede with two feet on the ground.

  • Double bassist Tobias Nijboer is a versatile sideman in the Dutch music scene. He plays in various formations including Fuse, Daan Kleijn Trio, Henk Kraaijeveld Band and the Dutch Concert Big Band. He studied and lived in Groningen, Barcelona, New York, and Amsterdam, has played several international tours, recorded more than 20 CDs and has been the house band with Fuse for 7 years on the TV program Podium Witteman. This makes Tobias a versatile musician who feels at home in different genres.

  • Bird winner Toon Roos is considered by many to be one of the best soprano and tenor saxophonists in Europe and is praised for his lyrical and intuitive way of playing. He has performed and recorded with many jazz greats including Joe Zawinul, Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna, John Scofield, Toots Thielemans, and Ivan Lins.

  • Erik Rutjes is a main subject teacher guitar and session guitarist. Rutjes played with Gino Vannelli, Wende Snijders, Izaline Calister, Leoni Jansen, Do, Hands Vermeulen, The Royal Dutch Scam and others. As a session guitarist he worked for artists, orchestras, film and theater productions and various studios: Fay Claassen, Mathilde Santing, Metropole Orkest, Night of the Proms, Big Orange and others. Erik also works as a core teacher, study coach and ensemble coach for HKU Utrecht Conservatory.

  • Koen Smits is a trumpet player, organizer and mix engineer. As a trumpet player he has made albums and given concerts with Mudita (Edison 2019), Sjoerd van Eijck's OAK, The Paradox Jazz Ochestra, the Hornaments and the Red Light Jazz Society, among others. Koen has worked with, among others, the Metropole Orchestra, the Danish Radio Bigband and various T.V. productions. As an organizer he is involved in Make It – jazz festival Tilburg and as a teacher at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory.

Jazz & PopWhat will you make
Jazz & Pop

What will you make on the course

During your studies, you learn not only to play music, but also to present yourself as a maker. You learn arrangement and composition, and you create your own music as a band leader. As a performer/maker, you also work with parties in the professional field. For example, you collaborate with artists, studios, theatre companies, clubs and venues. You present your own work in the ensemble weeks, as well as in big band and close harmony projects. For four weeks a year, you create your own work in interdisciplinary projects, also working with students from other schools. In international collaborations, you create your own work with students from other schools in Europe.

In your exam year, you lead your own artistic project, for which you also put on a small series of concerts. In your final performance, you present yourself as a professional and entrepreneurial performer and maker. You put on your own production in a venue of your choice.

Off to work!

On completion of your studies, you are awarded a Bachelor of Music degree and can put the letters BMus after your name. What can you do with this degree? Plenty! As an excellent performer and maker, you go on to create a niche for yourself in the professional field. You are a specialist in your instrument and become, for example, a performer, producer, studio musician, arranger, theatre musician or composer. Maybe you always wanted to teach, or work for concert and festival organisations. These possibilities are also open to you. The professional field is continually changing, meaning that new opportunities are always presenting themselves.


HKU provides great facilities for the music courses. Find out which facilities you can use.
Jazz & PopApplication and admission
Jazz & Pop

Application and admission

The course is really right for you if:

  • you have a passion for your instrument (and maybe other instruments too)
  • you want to learn to play your instrument professionally
  • you enjoy improvisation and playing together
  • you want to become familiar with different styles and genres of music
  • you want to explore new paths through your knowledge and skills, rather than being limited to a particular style or genre
During the selection procedure, we decide whether the course suits you.

Important Dates

All the practical entrance exmination will be scheduled from 2 to 12 April 2024 and will take place live at the conservatory. Below you will find the dates of the entrance exams per instrument.
Instrument Admission dates
bass guitar 8 April
composition 8 April
double bass 8 April
drums 4 and 8 April
flute 17 April
guitar 2 and 9 April
piano 3 and 10 April
saxophone 5 and 11 April
trumpet 8 April
violin 2 and 9 April
voice 4, 10 and 11 April
ATTENTION: All dates are subject to change.

Can you still apply?

You can apply for the academic year 2024-2025 until 1 February 2024.

Prior Education

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), or senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent.

Entrance Examination

Please note: for Voice and Guitar a pre-selection will take place first. The pre-selection consists of an questionnaire and a short film. After you have apply for Voice and/or Guitar via Studielink, you will receive extensive information about this pre-selection within a few working days.

The entrance exam consists of three parts:
  • After you apply via Studielink, you will receive the questionnaire within a few working days. The deadline for uploading the questionnaire is 1 February 2024.

    Please note: for Voice and Guitar a pre-selection will take place first. The to fill in a questionnaire and make a short film clip.After you have apply for Voice and/or Guitar via Studielink, you will receive more information about the pre-selection within a few working days. The deadline for uploading the documents for the pre-selection is 4 February 2024.
  • The theoretical exam consists of a number of questions about scales, transposition, triads and chord symbols. During the exam we test whether you understand the system behind musical notation and can handle it smoothly. For example, you should know the circle of fifths well, because many scales and chords come from it.

    During the practical exam we test your feeling for a melody note's place, knowledge of where the root tone is and if you can recognize a leading note. Your voice control is also important. You have to be able to sing melodies, separate an interval and the notes of a triad.

    Example theory test (pdf)
    Answers theory test (pdf)

  • The practice admissions will take place between 2 and 12 April 2024 and will take place live at the conservatory. For the practical entrance exam, you need to prepare an assignment in advance.

    Please note: for Voice and Guitar a pre-selection will take place first. The pre-selection consists of an questionnaire and a short film. After you have apply for Voice and/or Guitar via Studielink, you will receive extensive information about this pre-selection within a few working days.

    Below the different assignments per instrument.

    Bass guitar
    Double Bass
    Melodic Instrument

Apply via Studielink for the bachelor of Music. During the application process you can choose your main subject for Jazz & Pop.


The admission consists of uploading a questionnaire, a theoretical and practical exam. The theory exam will be online in February and March. The practical entrance exam will be live at the conservatory, between 2 and 12 April 2024. Make sure you're available during this period

A pre-selection will first take place for Voice or Guitar Jazz & Pop. You will receive the results of the pre-selection no later than 15 February 2024.


After the practical admission you will receive a result/advice from the admission committee. You will receive the official, final result of your entrance exam by e-mail no later than 1 May.

Please note: there can be a difference between the advice and the final result. This is because sometimes more candidates are admissible than can be admitted.

There are three options:

  • You have been admitted to the bachelor's program
  • You have been admitted to the preparatory course
  • You have failed the exam

Study Costs

HKU has different rates for tuition fees. Depending on your situation, you pay either statutory or institutional tuition fees.

Calculate your tuition fee
  • The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science anually sets the statutory tuition fees. The statutory rate applies only to students from the Netherlands, another country in the European Economic Area (EEA*), Switzerland or Suriname, and students who meet the nationality criteria of the Dutch Student Finance Act (WSF 2000).

    (* EEA countries comprise the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).
  • HKU sets the institutional tuition fees on the basis of the statutory rate. Students who have already completed a course in higher education and students from outside the EEA usually pay a higher rate.

    Partly as a result of legal changes, the rate for institutional tuition fees for non-EEA students may rise considerably in the coming years.

  • Read the information on the study costs page.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.