The Netherlands Carillon SchoolThe study
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music met eventueel vervolging van Master of Music
4 years

Welcome to The Carillon School

The Netherlands Carillon School was founded in 1953 in Amersfoort. Since then more than 250 students have graduated, nearly half of them from outside the Netherlands. This is because the Carillon School [NB Beiaarschool in origineel] is one of the few places in the world offering a conservatoire programme in carillon. The Netherlands Carillon School programme therefore has an international orientation.

The Netherlands Carillon School has been a part of HKU Utrechts Conservatorium since 1985. After you finish the programme, you’ll have a Bachelor of Music degree, and can use the abbreviation BMus after your name.

In brief

  • a unique conservatoire programme in carillon
  • internationally oriented programme
  • is one of the Bachelor of Music programmes
  • good job prospects

How do you know if the Carillon School is for you?

You’re fascinated by the sound of the carillon. Maybe you’ve climbed the church tower and seen a carillonneur at work, and thought making music on the bells looked like fun. The other aspects besides playing, as well as its social side may also interest you: arranging and improvising, carillon construction and making contact with an audience you can’t see.

Are you already a musician? If you play a keyboard instrument like organ or piano, then carillon school can be a natural next step. But even if you’re just starting conservatoire, the carillon is also worth considering.

Carillon playing is an art of extremes. The carillonneur is high up in a tower, making music that everyone around can hear. Every time you play is automatically a concert for a large audience, and a very diverse audience, so it’s best if you like all kinds of music. Since a ‘regular’ job as a carillonneur means giving between 50 and 100 concerts a year, it’s a good idea to have a wide repertoire.

Why study at the Carillon School at HKU?

HKU Utrechts Conservatorium is one of the few places in the world offering a complete conservatoire training to be a carillonneur. This also makes the Netherlands Carillon School one of the few places where carillon is also taught at the highest level: the Master of Music.

Listen to the Carillon

Malgosia Fiebig is the city carillonneur of Utrecht and Nijmegen. And, very importantly, an HKU alumna! In this video she plays music by Dowland, Locke, Tallis and Simpson on the Hemony carillon in the tower of Utrecht’s Dom Church.

Instructor Frans Haagen is the carillonneur of Kampen, Zutphen, Almelo and Doesburg. Hear him explain how the instrument works in this video, shot in the tower in Doesburg.

Excited? Apply now!

Course in Figures

Want to know how this Bachelor of Music scores compared to other courses?

Go to the course in figures (in Dutch)

The Netherlands Carillon SchoolWhat will you learn
The Netherlands Carillon School

What will you learn

The full Bachelor of Music degree programme usually takes four years, with the option to continue for a Master of Music degree.


At the Carillon School you’ll take the general classes required for all students at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium, such as music theory and counterpoint. These classes are taught in Utrecht. You’ll also have classes that are only for the Carillon main subject, which are given at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort.
  • Of course the main-subject lessons consist of playing literature and arrangements for the carillon. There are also weekly lessons in ‘Carillon Harmony’, a form of improvisation suited to the instrument. During the lessons you’ll improvise on classic themes and melodies, and popular songs, at the keyboard.
    • Arranging
    • Drum Pinning (converting the music for a playing mechanism)
    • Campanology (bell-ringing)
    • Programming (putting together concert programmes)

    There are also two excursions a year, one to a location in the Netherlands and one outside the country.
  • The Netherlands Carillon School has two permanent instructors: Christiaan Winter and Frans Haagen.

    Christiaan Winter (*1967) studied church music, organ, choral conducting and carillon at the various professional music colleges of the HKU. He was a programmer for NCRV radio and church musician of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. Currently he is city carillonneur of Alkmaar, village carillonist of De Rijp, lecturer at the HKU/Netherlands Carillon School, president of Carillon Center of the Netherlands and the Royal Dutch Carillon Society, editor of the Yearbook of Carillon and Bell Culture in the Low Countries and conductor of vocal ensemble Duodektet in Amsterdam. In May 2023, he will receive his doctorate from VU University Amsterdam for a study on the work of church musician and composer Willem Vogel. Christiaan Winter is also a freelance organist, singer and composer.

    Frans Haagen is the carillonneur of Kampen, Almelo, Zutphen and Doesburg, and teaches the main-subject lessons. Christiaan Winter is the carillonneur of Alkmaar and De Rijp. Together, they teach the other carillon courses and Carillon Harmony.

    Guest teachers are regularly invited, such as Belgian carillonneur Carl van Eyndhoven and his Polish colleague Monika Kaźmierczak. Check out the complete list of intructors on this page.

The Netherlands Carillon SchoolWhat will you make
The Netherlands Carillon School

What will you make on the course

Every week students and alumni of the Netherlands Carillon School give four concerts in the Tower of the Our Lady church (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren) in Amersfoort. Mechanical arrangements made by carillon students are also played automatically from the tower every day.

Off to work!

The HKU Carillon School will train you to be a carillonneur. The job prospects for carillonneurs are good. There are about 200 carillons in the Netherlands alone, but many fewer carillonneurs. Many of our alumni work outside the Netherlands. The job opportunities are actually expected to increase in the future, since many carillonneurs will be retiring in the next 10 years. New young talent will be more than welcome!


Practice is very important if you’re a conservatoire student. But how can you practice on a carillon? Do you have lessons in a church tower?
We have five practice keyboards at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort:

  • Two standard keyboards
  • Two replicas of the Church of Our Lady Tower
  • An American keyboard

There is also a practice keyboard at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium.

In the tower

Of course it’s more fun to climb up into the tower. That’s why you can also practice ‘outdoors’ on the carillon of the Belgian Monument in Amersfoort. There are also monthly group classes on the carillons of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe tower – it’s like giving the inhabitants of Amersfoort a kind of public masterclass every month.


Apart from the several work spaces this course gives you access to state-of-the-art studios and equipment. Discover which facilities you can use.

The Netherlands Carillon SchoolApplication and Admission
The Netherlands Carillon School

Application and Admission

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

You don’t need to have much experience playing carillon, but you do need to show that you have a solid musical foundation and that you can work independently. We’ll also look at the ways you can develop.

Important Dates

All admissions for the academic year 2023-2024 will be scheduled in June 2023.

Can I still apply?

You can apply for the academic year 2023-2024 until 1 February 2023.

Selection Procedure

Apply with your DigiD via Studielink for the Bachelor of Music. During the application process you can choose for Classical Music the Carillon Course.

After applying you take an entrance exam. This consists of a theoretical and a practical exam.

The entrance exams for the carillon as main subject are done 'in real life'.
The following results are possible based on these two exams:
  • you can enrol for the course
  • you can enrol for the preparatory course
  • you have failed the exam
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 July 2022.

Please note: there can be a difference between the advice and the final result.

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 has set the statutory tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year at € 2,168.

    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.

  • There are extra fees for the excursions and sheet music. We recommend you purchase good music notation software. You also need to buy a practice instrument during the course of your studies, although you can also rent one from the Netherlands Carillon Centre (Beiaardcentrum Nederland).
    These expenses are offset by the paid concerts in the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren.

  • 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.


Or contact directly:
Nederlandse Beiaardschool
Grote Spui 11
3811 GA Amersfoort