Jazz & Pop



ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Zwolle is looking for students who want to become a versatile musician or develop their own music.

Jazz & Pop admission criteria

  • Applicants must have completed VWO, HAVO, MBO (level 4) or the equivalent.
  • International students must meet certain language requirements.
  • Applicants must have successfully completed the entrance examination (audition and music theory exam). During the entrance examination, we assess your chances of completing the course successfully.

Language requirements

All our courses have language requirements. You will need to prove your language proficiency by handing in a certificate stating your level. The level for Jazz & Pop in Zwolle is:

  • B2, before 1 September. If you need a residence permit to study at ArtEZ, the delivery deadline is 1 June!

Check exemptions and language courses.

We do not assess your musical style during admission, but rather your musical qualities and skills in general. If you play a lot of jazz, we assume that you will also play that style during the audition. This of course applies to other styles as well. If you have developed a broader range of styles, let us hear your versatility.

You are expected to already have some experience in a style that falls within the jazz or pop music genres, preferably in a band. You will be judged on your technical mastery and musical expression, among other things. Moreover, expressing your motivation for studying is also an important part of the admission process.

Vocal and instrumental admission criteria

You will put together a programme of five pieces, which are each somewhat different in character and pace.

Check the admission criteria for each major.

Trial lesson
ArtEZ Academy of Music offers serious candidate students an opportunity to attend a trial lesson. During this class, you will become better acquainted with the teacher. You will also acquire insight into your level and possibilities. In addition, you can discuss the programme components for an entrance exam. NB: Trial lessons are only held between December and March!
If you are interested, please request a trial lesson via conservatorium.zwolle@artez.nl with an indication of field of study, main compartment and any preference lecturer. Every year during the Study Try-outs there is a special evening to get acqainted with the main subject vocals.

Music Theory admission criteria

See the list of general music theory criteria and aural criteria.

Begin honing your skills in the areas of solfeggio, sight-singing, musical notation, reading and writing rhythms and hearing harmonies well in advance. You should also train your knowledge of general music theory. 

Entrance examination

In principle, the Jazz & Popentrance examinations take place in April. The entrance examination consists of two parts, which are taken separately. Each part takes about 30 minutes.

1. Audition

During the audition, you will sing or play a short programme for a committee consisting of lecturers from the Academy of Music. They will assess your aptitude and development potential. You will choose the first piece of the programme that you will play. The committee will then choose one or more pieces based on your expressed motivation.

During the admission audition, you will often be asked to demonstrate specific aspects, for example, playing scales, playing a fragment directly from a sheet or playing or singing a fragment by ear. Please refer to the admission criteria specific to each major.

Things we look out for:

  • Mastery of the main instrumental basics
  • Interaction, presentation, creativity, tone and sound
  • Ability to improvise
  • Affinity with one or more of the following styles: jazz, free improvisation, fusion, Latin, pop, or rock

You may opt for musical accompaniment by an ensemble of students of the School of Music (fees would apply). However, the best option would be to play with your own band, because you can then truly let the committee experience what you are going for and where your strengths lie.

2. Music theory exam

An oral/written theory exam will be taken after you have passed the audition. 

Result and validity

Following the entrance examination, the admissions committee will offer a recommendation to the examination committee of the Academy of Music. This committee will check to ensure the procedure was carried out correctly and will determine whether you will be admitted. You will receive notification of this in writing.

Admission is only valid for the study programme for which you have enrolled. If you wish to apply for admission to a study programme or specialisation at another location you must register for this separately. The admission is only valid for the academic year directly following the entrance examination. Should you wish to start a year later, you can apply to the examination committee with a written request for the validity of the results to be extended up to one year.

If you disagree with a negative result of the admissions procedure, you can appeal to the examination committee.


Enrolment is done through Studielink before 1 May. Enrolments after 1 May will only be processed if a sufficient number of study spaces are still available. You will then receive information on the entrance examination and the date that you are expected at the academy.