Classical Music


Study towards your future!

The development of personal vision is key to Classical Music at ArtEZ Academy of Music in Zwolle. We will support you to enable you to do what you most want to do: make music your way and play your own role in society. Each academic year we will give you skills you can use to find your own taste and perspective. We give our students ample individual attention and space. What’s more, we encourage students to set up collective projects. You’ll notice that during your studies!
In order to provide our students with a broader perspective of the professional arena and expand our community with international students, this course is bilingual: Dutch and English.

The Bachelor’s in Classic Music looks as follows:

Each academic year consists of four lesson blocks, alternating with four project weeks pertaining to the following topics:
1. Education
2. Contemporary Music
3. Cooperation
4. Society
Within the compass of these topics, the student is given free rein.

Cooperation and performance are key focal points of the lesson blocks. Each week you will perform to your fellow students and friends in the interim concerts.


The ArtEZ Academy of Music in Zwolle organizes intake days for new students. You will go on a freshers’ excursion, giving you an opportunity to really get to know your fellow students. Which is useful, as you’ll be playing music together an awful lot over the next few years.

Year 1 

At the start of your studies you’ll have two supervisors, who will help you get your bearings on the course.During your first year you’ll be working with a study coach and a study supervisor. The study coach will be giving you guidance on your study skills: writing, learning, attending lectures.The study supervisor will see to it that you make sufficient progress with your studies: are you up to date with your assignments, are you capable of planning, what areas could you do with some help in?
The modules you take form a cohesive whole and will prepare you for your musical career and for the development of your own vision. In addition to lessons on your main subject, you will also take lessons on your body, philosophy, interactive musical history.

The following modules are covered:

  • Main subject
  • Ensemble playing
  • Piano at your own level
  • Music Theory
  • Musical and Cultural History
  • Philosophy
  • Yoga and mindfulness
  • Workshops and masterclasses
    Each lesson block will culminate in exams. These are an intrinsic part of the programme and serve as a means of preparing you for professional practice.

Year 2

From year 2 onwards you will be assisted by a careers advisor. This will be a lecturer in your subject who, in conjunction with the teaching team, will endeavour to give you as accurate a picture of the professional sphere as possible and advise you when it comes to your decisions. The project weeks will continue during the second year, as described above.As a second-year student you will follow the courses from the first year but also be given the option of following a practical module from the Jazz & Pop course or of playing in the ArtEZ Modern ensemble. 

Year 3

Over the course of the second year you’ll have given some thought to what it is you’re hoping to achieve with your studies. Your career advisor, the teaching team and yourself will estimate what opportunities exist for you in the sphere in which you’d like to work. Together you’ll look at what will be needed to achieve that goal. You will come up with a realistic picture of the future that you can work towards.

This third year will see you commence your research, which is to culminate in a solid final presentation in year 4. You’ll discuss this together with your career advisor. You will find your own taste and vision and get some sense of your future role as a musician in society. We take this research very seriously: after all, it’s about your path in life.The project weeks with the four topics detailed above continue into this year as well.

In addition to lessons in your main subject, you will choose five subsidiary modules to expand or deepen your module package:

  1. Professional Arena/Internship/Interdisciplinary/Abroad
  2. Education
  3. Contemporary Music 
  4. Music in Practice
  5. Second Main Subject (choice must be substantiated)

Year 4

Based on your personal development and the direction in which you would like to take your studies, you will be assigned an artistic mentor—an external coach actively engaged in the profession and capable of guiding and fostering the development of your own vision. You will be introduced to people working in the area you’re hoping to work in at that juncture. Hence year 4 is entirely geared towards your future career.
Together with these experts you will work towards completing your final presentation.
In consultation with your lecturer you will decide for yourself how many hours of instruction you will require in this final year. After all, the fourth year will see you concentrating fully on promoting yourself. After three years of study you will be sufficiently proficient at your instrument, have acquired all the requisite theoretical skills, and have been able to discover your unique talent. Now is the time to put the latter into practice.

ArtEZ FinalsThe course culminates in a final presentation. This is based on the research that you have been busy working on over the past couple of years. Which could be about anything and take any suitable format. Hence your final presentation won’t necessarily be a regular, traditional academy of music examination in which you play a couple of pieces and are primarily assessed on the basis of your musical qualities. We want to see your story: what’s your vision, your taste, the development that you’ve been working really hard on these past four years, and what insights have you acquired?This could take the form of a piano recital, but it could just as easily be a choir performance staged by children from disadvantaged backgrounds, a film about a new violin technique, or a collaboration between clarinettist and a reggae artist. In short, what talent will you be using to make society a better place?

All graduastion students of Classical Music will exhibit their work during the ArtEZ finals. We would recommend visiting one of the final presentations if you’re thinking about following the Classical Music programme.

Keen to do more during your studies?

From your first year onwards you can apply for entry to the Honours Programme, to supplement the theoretical programme of your own bachelor’s degree.You will also come across students of other arts disciplines during ArtEZ Studium Generale. On this half-day programme—which is full of debate, workshops, performances and lectures—you will meet relevant speakers from the arts, the scientific community and society. You will trade thoughts with them, thereby honing your ideas and opinions.