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Whether you see your future as a performing musician or a professional in the pop sector, the ArtEZ Academy of Pop Music in Enschede is the optimal preparation for a life in pop music.

A key element is the specialisation in one of the six majors in which you learn to master the technical aspects of your instrument as well as exploring different styles and how you function in a band. In your profile subjects, you choose which direction you wish to take and what you want to learn based on your own potential, talents and ambitions. The course involves a lot practical work and you set up various projects and productions. All these activities are combined in a cohesive programme in a well-organised study programme.

What do you learn at the Academy of Pop Music?

The education at the Academy of Pop Music is practical. You therefore encounter the following clusters in a cohesive programme that you arrange yourself based on your specialisations:

  • Major subject cluster (you choose between guitar, bass guitar, drums, song, keyboard or singer-songwriter/instrumentalist-songwriter);
  • Band culture;
  • Theory;
  • Projects/productions;
  • Profile subjects: supply-oriented (music management, musiconomy, songwriting, music production, education), elective subjects third year and in year three and four the minors where you will deepen your specialisation.

At the ArtEZ Academy of Pop Music, you therefore not only learn how to become a technically skilled pop musician, you also learn how the entire process works, from initial musical idea to earning your money in the pop sector. This includes mastering an instrument with attention for band culture and skills. However, theoretical awareness is also important, as well as knowledge of the work field and marketing your product. This approach in the course is unique and distinguishes the Academy of Pop Music from other pop study programmes in Europe and beyond. Often, students only choose instrument skills, management or education. At the ArtEZ Academy of Pop Music, you learn it all.

Skilled musicianship is one of the elements of the course, but band culture, promoting your music, theory and introduction to the work field are all part of the four-year study programme. You work in small groups, with between four and ten fellow students.

At the Academy of Pop Music, you also work on your first professional products. Due to the close collaboration with the MediaMusic course in the same building, top-level recordings and productions are made. During the course, it is possible to make an album, organise a festival or set up a company under the supervision of renowned teachers and coaches, and forms the basis for your graduation project.

Collaboration with MediaMusic

During your course, you start to build up your own portfolio of productions and projects. To do this, you work with the MediaMusic course in Enschede. This course educates musicians who make music for games, films and other media. At MediaMusic, there is a lot of attention for the technical side of this subject. Some of the education is given by both study programmes. MediaMusic students also often work together with musicians from the Academy of Pop Music to complete their media projects. Collaborations are band projects, video clips, apps, releases or starting their own companies.

Some examples:

  • Own projects and productions
  • Projects and productions of other students and/or
  • Assignments inside or outside the music industry.

The teaching team, in combination with the rotating coaches who have earned their spurs in the work field, provide help and advice. During the course, you are introduced to the professional practice, discover where the opportunities are and where your talent and ambition connect.


  • Third- and fourth-year students taking the Music Management and Musiconomy minor work at the Academy of Pop Music and Media Music's production company, PAMM. Besides keeping in touch with the work field and alumni, PAMM also organises some of the projects for the study programme. The production company programmes bands, organises sessions on pop podiums and helps students set up their own (graduation) projects. PAMM is involved in festivals like the Popronde and Stukafest. It also arranges collaborations between students from the Academy of Pop Music and MediaMusic with students from other courses at ArtEZ.

  • Every year, students doing the Music Management minor organise the Booster Festival in Enschede on behalf of PAMM Productions. Besides being a showcase for young talented musicians, the festival is also the place to meet people from the music industry, get feedback on your work, ask questions and expand your network. It was at Booster that Academy of Pop student Jeangu Macrooy was discovered. The students in the organisation work together with Poppunt Overijssel, Poppunt Gelderland, Popsport, De Nieuwe Oost, Burgerweeshuis, Hedon and Metropool.

  • During the project weeks, you join in master classes by guest teachers working internationally at the highest level. There are also writing camps, excursions, collaboration projects, coaching and students can present pitches to the music industry.


In the third year of the course, there are various opportunities to do an internship.

  • In the educative internship, you teach in a professional organisation. You apply the knowledge, insights and skills that you have learned in your major and the education classes. This internship helps you on your way to becoming a music teacher.

  • Depending on your ambition, preference and profile, you can choose an internship in the music industry which suits you best. In a free minor and in the 'productions' projects, you might consider an internship at a production house, a studio, a podium, a festival or somewhere else

  • Third- and fourth-year students taking the Music Management and Musiconomy minor work at the Academy of Pop Music and Media Music's production company, PAMM. This counts as an internal internship.

Course structure

  • In the first year, you are introduced to the various parts of the study programme. You learn the principles of songwriting, music production, education, management and business. You get to know the lecturers and find out what the course can offer you. There is also a lot of attention for your major, band culture, the work in the studio and Music Theory.

    In the first year, you can also apply for the Honours Programme, to supplement the theoretical programme of your own Bachelor course.

  • You now start to master the subjects you were introduced to in the first year. This year, you really progress in your knowledge and skills. Obviously, you continue to focus on your instrument in your major. You also start work on projects and productions.

  • In the third year, you increasingly plan your studies yourself. You do this by choosing minors, like: music management, music production, songwriting, education, musiconomy, studio playing, studio song, backing vocals or performance. While many courses in the first two years were done together, it is now time to choose your profile and continue as a performing artist, producer, songwriter, singer-songwriter, music manager, musical entrepreneur, studio/session musician, lecturer and under supervision, you can also start your own (music lessons) practice or own label. In preparation for work in practice, you can do various internships in the third year. In your third or fourth year, you can also spend several months studying abroad.

  • In the fourth year, you graduate with a graduation project, that is linked to research into a part of the music industry. Examples include:

    • concert;
    • release of an ep;
    • concert with your own compositions;
    • music documentary;
    • organisation of a festival;
    • presentation of your own business;
    • live sets on festivals;
    • digital educative concepts.

ArtEZ Finals

The graduation projects can be seen at ArtEZ Finals. If you want to know what students are doing and you are considering choosing this study programme, check out the site and visit the presentations.