Musician 3.0The programme
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study:
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 jaar

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
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
  • Analysis/synthesis
    Pieterjan Cramer
    Ward van Woerkum
    Artistic research
    Annemarie Geerling
    Artistic development
    Gijs Batelaan
    Monique Besten
    Wiek Heijmans
    Tet Koffeman
    Esmée Olthuis
    Bart Soeters
    Eelco Topper
    Albert Veenendaal
    Juliette Bogers
    Tet Koffeman
    Ned McGowan
    Gijs Batelaan
    Wiek Heijmans
    Ned McGowan
    History and theory of making
    Annemarie Geerling
    Harmonious development
    Pieterjan Cramer
    Ward van Woerkum
    Instrumental play
    Bass guitar
    Joel Groenewold
    Bart Soeters
    Joost Kesselaar
    George Dumitriu
    Wiek Heijmans
    Pieterjan Cramer
    Albert van Veenendaal
    Esmée Olthuis
    Tet Koffeman
    Marjet Spook
    Integral instruction propaedeutic phase
    Monique Besten
    Esmée Olthuis
    Esmée Olthuis
    Jeffrey Noordijk
    Esmée Olthuis
    Making processes/performance
    Albert van Veenendaal
    Musical leadership
    Esmée Olthuis
    Performance art
    Monique Besten
    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

The course is really right for you if you want to keep developing as a music professional.
During the selection procedure, we decide whether the course suits you.

Important Dates

To be announced.

Can you still apply

Go to the Admission Status page to see if you can still apply.

Selection Procedure

Entrance Exam

The entrance exam consists of a theoretical and a practical exam. Admission is divided into two rounds. To participate, you first submit an admission assignment. The upload deadline is February 14, 2021.

After this you will be invited for an online theoretical exam. The theory exam is held in February and March. The admissions committee will assess, based on the results of the theory and admission assignment, whether you will be rejected or allowed to participate in the second admission round. This takes place online for candidates who live abroad in the period from March 29 to April 9.

Theoretical exam

The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers. The theory exam will take approximately 30 minutes. It consists of a component general music theory and a listening comprehension test. Below you will find an example theory exam and further explanation.

Example theoretical exam (pdf)

Admission assignment

Below you will find information about the admission assignment. You will receive the questionnaire and upload instructions after your application.

Requirements admission assignment (pdf)

Test your level

Find out what your chances are to pass the entrance exam with the nivotest. Read this information before you start the test. Prepare yourself even more with the online program Fundamentals. Click here for an overview (page 2 is in English) of the subjects you need to master, including where you can find it in the program.


After the two entrance exams you will receive the results by email. This will be sent to you no later than May 1.

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?

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.