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
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 introductory subjects and listen to panel sessions by alumni and lecturers, for example. You also take theory lessons and delve into the history and culture of jazz and pop music.

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, too, you take a variety of subjects. You also choose your own ‘Band skills special’: an ensemble with a special theme, with whom you rehearse every week and prepare a concert. You also choose a choir, for whom you write your own choral pieces.

You also make a start on methodology: lessons on how to teach. Your methodology lessons focus specifically on your own instrument. You do an internship with teachers in the professional field, where you observe lessons and do some teaching as well.

Carving out a path

You map out the route to your graduation.  Along with a study coach, you discuss where your strengths lie and which subjects and other activities link up with them. You fill your year with extracurricular activities and electives.


You work towards your graduation and show what you stand for. You round off your studies with research that demonstrates your vision of education.

Individual band project
You work on an individual band project. What do you want to play and with whom? You also choose your own teachers, who come to visit the rehearsal for a guest lesson.

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

Final exam concert
You complete your studies with a final exam concert, in which you highlight your artistic signature and your profile as a musician.


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

    piano, drums, vocals

    Watch the video's about the main subjects vocals, guitar and saxophone. Including fragments of lessons and concerts.
  • Synthesizer sound creation
    Music, art & culture
    Music education lab
    Music, mind & body
    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)

  • Analysis/synthesis
    Bart Soeters
    Applied musical theory
    Bart Noorman and Virtual Music School
    Band Skills - coaching
    Year 1: band skills
    Tobias Nijboer
    Erik Rutjes
    Year 2 and 3: band skills specials
    Gé Bijvoet: duos/trios
    Bert van den Brink: jazz & beyond
    Rembrandt Frerichs: world music impro
    André Groen: latin
    Joël Groenewold: funk
    Theo de Jong: brasil
    Joost Kesselaar: jazz & beyond
    Tobias Nijboer: duos/trios
    Toon Roos: fusion
    Erik Rutjes: pop/production
    Eelco Topper: live electronics
    Angelo Verploegen: jazz traditionals
    Bart de Win: singer-songwriter lab
    Year 4 and Master of Music: band skills individual project
    Martijn Crama
    Tami Toledo Matuoka
    Hannie van Veldhoven
    Several guest teachers
    Bass guitar
    Joël Groenewold
    Theo de Jong
    Big band (project)
    Ilja Reijngoud
    Close harmony (project)
    Henk Kraaijeveld
    Maartje Meijer
    Diverse gastdocenten

    Creating music
    Jan Schröder
    Double bass
    Tobias Nijboer
    Quirijn van Regteren Altena (technique)
    Konrad Koselleck
    André Groen
    Joost Kesselaar
    Mark Alban Lotz
    Marcel Karreman
    Erik Rutjes
    Musical history
    Frank de Munnik
    Gé Bijvoet
    Bert van den Brink
    Rembrandt Frerichs
    Ton-Herman Melis
    Marit Thus
    Hannie van Veldhoven
    Bart de Win
    Practical rhythm lab
    André Groen
    Toon Roos
    Marc Scholten
    Angelo Verploegen
    Lydia van Dam
    Annemarie Maas
    Harjo Pasveer
    Bart de Win 

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

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 can become one of the following:

  • Drummer
  • Pianist
  • Guitarist
  • Bassist
  • Saxophonist
  • Trumpetist
  • Vocalist

Or maybe you play another instrument. Violin, cello, trombone, horn, accordion: anything goes. Or you might prefer to use your entrepreneurial skills. 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 admissions for the academic year 2022-2023 will be scheduled between 4 and 16 April 2022. As soon as the admission dates for each instrument have been determined, they will be published here. You can apply for the academic year 2022-2023 until 1 February 2022.

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.

Assessment criteria

  • A musical ear, knowledge of theory and performance skills
  • Command of your instrument
  • Improvisation and communication skills
  • Flexibility in making music and playing together

Be Prepared!

Do you want to be admitted to Jazz & Pop? Be prepared and join the Be Prepared course! The course consists of 4 sessions of 3 hours on December 13 and 15 and January 10 and 12. For more information and to sign up, check out this page.

Selection Procedure

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 4 and 16 April 2022. 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 2022.

Theoretical exam

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.

Admission requirements

Below you will find the admission assignments per main instrument.


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 2022.

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.