Musician 3.0The study
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Musician 3.0 in brief

  • Train to be a Music Performance Artist
  • Be in charge of your own development
  • Work with musicians playing a variety of instruments, and across different artistic and other disciplines
  • Can be taken in Dutch or English
  • 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 Gijs Batelaan and teacher Albert van Veenendaal give an introduction to Musician 3.0. Students highlight three performances.

Watch talkshow

How do you know if Musician 3.0 is for you?

You play one or more instruments and you’re looking for new, original musical avenues. And you have an artistic voice of your own that you want to explore and develop further. If you can identify with the points below, then we’d like to get to know you.
  • You’re always pushing and shifting boundaries
  • You like to work with other artists
  • You make other people enthusiastic about music
  • You have a keen eye and ear for cultural and social trends

Why Musician 3.0 at HKU?

Musician 3.0 is the only conservatoire programme in the Netherlands that is not connected to an instrument, style or genre. You yourself have a big part in designing your education yourself, and you’re the one in charge of your own development. In short, if you play more than one instrument, or like different genres, you can really indulge yourself in this programme.
Musician 3.0What will you learn
Musician 3.0

What will you learn

During this study you’ll develop into an independent music professional, with creating music yourself at the source of your development. A sense of play, creating and communication are always connected. You’ll work in class on improvisation, technical skills, working contextually and conceptually and in acting from a reflective attitude, on different instruments, in different contexts and in the styles and genres you choose.

The first two years of the study are for you to develop your artistic and musical building blocks. From the third year, you’ll focus on applying your knowledge. You’ll design projects yourself, based on your own learning needs. You’ll develop an artistic philosophy, train your musical leadership and profile yourself as an independent music professional.

Course Structure

Exploring and getting your bearings

The first year is all about discovery. You’ll make the essential elements of music – rhythm, harmony, melody and expression – your own. You’ll take courses like 'vocal playground', 'piano harmony' and ‘non-western rhythms'.

LAB: Improvisation and exploration
LAB is all about improvisation and exploration. You’ll work in other disciplines like dance and theatre. The focus is on the experiment, for example when you work with students from the HKU Theatre School in ‘The week with no name’.

First-year performance assignment (integrale propedeuse opdracht or IPO)
In your second semester you’ll work on your comprehensive first-year performance (IPO). This is a performance that you design, produce and perform yourself, to conclude your first year. You’ll also make a ‘balance sheet’ using the three P's: your Personal and Professional development over the last year, and your Plan for the future.

Going into more depth

The second year is about deepening and working on your skills. You’ll take courses like ‘piano harmony’ and ‘composition’. You’ll also learn to analyse, understand and apply music in the analysis/synthesis course.

You’ll also gain experience working on projects like the modern dance project and the Free Play project. During this year’s LAB you’ll also work for outside organisations like the Netherlands Film Festival, the philosophy festival Brainwash or the Care & Culture foundation.

Carving out a path

What do you want to study in more depth? From year 3, the focus is all on your development as an artist.

Study Coach
You’ll work with a study coach to formulate your learning needs. As a designer, you’ll design four performances in which you explore and experience your creative design process. Along with other students, you’ll learn to think conceptually and how to start with a plan and make it into a product.

Fillin out your profile
We give you the freedom to put together a large part of your study programme yourself. You can do extracurricular activities, for example, or projects or elective courses.

Project week
During the project week, you’ll participate in a project within the conservatoire or at other HKU schools.

Professionalising and graduating

In your final year, you’ll work towards your proof of proficiency. This consists of three parts: internship, artistic research and performance.

Your internship will give you valuable work experience. You can do it just about anywhere: with a theatre company, concert venue, in the advertising world, at an autonomous work place or for a non-profit organisation.

Artistic Research
Using research, you’ll develop a story or an idea that you can share, in a form that you choose. It can be anything, from a thesis or website to a TED talk, performance or a workshop.

You’ll present a performance that you’ve designed and produced yourself. Working from your artistic philosophy, you’ll show that you can bring a performance into the world as an independent creator and player. A performance coach will help you, by having a dialogue about the performance and giving you space for critical reflection. A committee of internal and external professionals will assess whether you’re ready to enter the world of professional practice.

Subjects you can choose

From year 3, you take electives. Find out which subject suits you best.
  • Coutnerpoint
    Music History
  • Course leader
    Ivar Berix

    Ruben Drenth
    Ward van Woerkum

    Artistic research
    Gijs Batelaan
    Ned McGowan

    Artistic development
    Gijs Batelaan
    Wiek Hijmans
    Tet Koffeman
    Esmée Olthuis
    Mees Siderius
    Bart Soeters
    Eelco Topper
    Albert van Veenendaal

    Ned McGowan

    Dynamic artistry
    Myra Driessen

    Wiek Hijmans
    Tobias Klein
    Roosmarijn Tuentler

    Tet Koffeman

    History and theory of making
    Juliette Bogers

    Harmonious development
    Ruben Drenth
    Ward van Woerkum

    Instrumental play
    Bass guitar
    Bart Soeters

    Joost Kesselaar
    Martijn Soeterbroek

    Gijs Batelaan
    Wiek Heijmans

    Jochem Braat

    Tobia Klein
    Esmée Olthuis

    George Dumitriu

    Annelie Koning
    Kristina Fuchs
    Jeffrey Noordijk
    Marjet Spook

    Integral instruction propaedeutic phase
    Monique Besten
    Esmée Olthuis

    Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    Wiek Hijmans
    Francisca Rijken

    Esmée Olthuis

    Jeffrey Noordijk
    Esmée Olthuis

    Making processes/performance
    Albert van Veenendaal

    Music software
    Daniel Koomen

    Musical Embodiment
    Francisca Rijken

    Musical leadership
    Esmée Olthuis

    Performance Art
    Monique Besten
    Lotte van Gelder

    Professional development
    Juliette Borgers

    Study coaching
    Tet Koffeman

    Vocal Playground
    Jeffrey Noordijk

    Take a look at the complete list of lecturers at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium
Musician 3.0What will you make
Musician 3.0

What will you make on the course

During the study you’ll create your own music performance. You’ll design and produce it yourself. You’ll show what you can do with your artistic philosophy and inspiration to bring a performance into the world as an independent creator and player.

Off to work!

On finishing the course, you’ll be a Music Performance Artist – a trained improviser, creative music maker and dynamic entrepreneur. You’ll have a Bachelor of Music degree, so you can place BMus after your name. With this degree, you can do anything. As a Music Performance Artist you can work as a musical director, instrumentalist, performer, composer, interdisciplinary maker, entrepreneur, coach and educational innovator. Or you can create a new profession!

This practice-based course challenges you to keep pushing and shifting the boundaries of your comfort zone as a Musician 3.0. You’ll do that too in the professional world, since that’s what keeps you growing, learning and developing. You’ll always be looking for new musical paths, both because the world around you wants them from you, but most of all because that’s what you want yourself.


HKU provides great facilities for the music courses. Find out which facilities you can use.
Musician 3.0Application and admission
Musician 3.0

Application and admission

You play one or more instruments and you’re looking for new, original musical avenues. And you have an artistic voice of your own that you want to explore and develop further. If you can identify with the points below, then we’d like to get to know you.
  • You’re always pushing and shifting boundaries
  • You like to work with other artists
  • You make other people enthusiastic about music
  • You have a keen eye and ear for cultural and social trends
During the selection procedure, we will assess whether the course suits you.

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.

Important Dates

All admissions for the academic year 2024-2025 will be scheduled from 2 to 12 April 2024 and will be take place live at the conservatory.

Can you still apply?

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

Entrance Examination

The entrance exam consists of three parts:
  • After you apply via Studielink, you will receive the home assingment within a few working days.

    The home assignment consists of four parts:

    1. Two of your own works/compositions/tracks
    2. Motivation letter (maximum 1 A4)
    3. Curriculum Vitae
    4. Questionnaire

    The deadline for uploading the home assignment is 1 Februay 2024.

  • The theory exam will be live at the conservatory on a Saturday in February or March. The theoretical part of the entrance exam consists of a written theory test and an ear training test.

    There are many ways to prepare yourself for these tests. For example with the use
    of online ear trainers. Search for music theory trainer, ear training online, solfege
    training online etc.

    These are the subjects you may find in those tests:


    • Recognizing & writing intervals
    • Writing major and minor scales
    • Transposing a melodic fragment
    • Recognizing and writing triads by name and/or symbol; minor, major, augmented, diminished. In root position & inversions.
    • Recognizing & writing seventh chords; m7, 7, maj7, m7b5, dim7 in root position. These may be tested in a combination of G-clef and F-clef.

    Ear training test

    • Recognizing intervals that are played on piano.
    • Recognizing triads; minor, major (also in inversions), augmented & diminished (both in root position).
    • A short melody is played. Write down the melody in G-clef (the first note is given).
    • At the ear training test you will get the sheet music of a simple melody, in G-clef. The first note is played. You may sing the scale of the melody first so you get an idea of the right notes. Then you sing the melody, to the best of your abilities, in a calm tempo.
    • In the same way, you will get a rhythm to tick/clap or sing.
    • Apart from these exercises, you could be asked to tick/sing a played groove, repeat a melody that is played on the piano, or to improvise on a simple chord progression.

    Below an Example theory entrance exam Musician 3.0
    Example theory entrance exam

  • The practice admissions will take place between 2 and 12 April 2024 and will be take place live at the conservatory. The practical entrance exam consists of two rounds. If, on the first round of your admission, you convince the committee of your suitability for this program, you will receive an invitation for the second round.

    Admission assignment practical entrance examination
    For the practical entrance exam, you need to prepare an assignment in advance.

    Below the admission assignment.
    Admission Assignment BMuS Musician 3.0
Apply via Studielink for The Bachelor of Music. During the application process you can choose Musician 3.0.


The admission consists of uploading a questionnaire and home assignment, a theoretical and practical exam. The theory exam will be live at the conservatory in 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.


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 admit.

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.