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Studying music in Amsterdam

All those who choose to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) opt for a multi-faceted programme with plenty of scope for personal development. Supervision by first-class teachers and a stimulating environment will ensure that students develop into top-class musicians performing at the highest level. Thanks to many special projects, a strong relationship between theory and practice is guaranteed during the course. Students benefit from the high quality of education within the conservatoire and from the rich cultural climate of Amsterdam. As a result, they not only train to become excellent musicians or teachers, but also versatile artists with a wide set of skills.

Approximately twelve hundred students from the Netherlands and abroad take courses at the CvA in the fields of classical music, jazz, early music, opera, Latin and pop music. The many special projects during their studies will provide them with real-life experience of the industry. For example, they get to perform in the Concertgebouw, the Bimhuis, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the Beurs van Berlage, Melkweg or Paradiso.

Studying at the CvA

International climate
The atmosphere at the CvA is very international. A large number of foreign students make the decision to study in Amsterdam. The CvA also collaborates with academic institutions all over the world which makes it possible for our students to study for a few months at a conservatoire abroad. Moreover, we regularly invite guest teachers from the Netherlands and abroad to lead workshops, clinics and master classes.

Bachelor’s and Master’s programme
The educational programme consists of two phases: a four-year bachelor’s degree programme and a two-year master’s degree programme. The master’s degree is open to a limited number of talented students. The bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes provide a thorough preparation for the profession of teaching, performing arts and/or creative musicianship. During both phases there is ample room for personal choices and students are given the opportunity to explore new avenues. 

Preparatory course, Young Talent, other courses
Prior to the professional training, it could be a possibility to follow a preparatory course for the Jazz and Classical department in which students can acquire the instrumental and/or vocal skills, musical comprehension and theoretical knowledge necessary for successfully completing the entrance examination of the bachelor’s degree programme.

Talented children who are ready for lessons at a conservatoire level at a young age could apply for one of the programmes of the Young Talent department: the Sweelinck Academy (classical), the Junior Jazz College (jazz) or the Young Pop Academy (pop).

The CvA also offers opportunities for further training for professional musicians who wish to acquire or stay updated on specific knowledge and skills. Every summer musicians from outside the conservatoire can also follow the Keep An Eye Summer Jazz Workshop.

More information about these study programmes can be obtained from the relevant departments.

Practical experience in the professional field
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam organises and facilitates a variety of festivals, masterclasses, courses and workshops. Participants from our own country and from all over the world make these into exciting events and we work together with leading venues and concert halls. For example, we organise projects with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Nationale Opera en Ballet, the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and MOJO. Furthermore, students perform in venues such as the Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Bimhuis, Melkweg, Paradiso and other leading international venues. 

Through our contacts with top music institutions from all over the world, students can participate in exchange programmes at other renowned conservatoires. Master’s Jazz students can participate in the European EUJAM programme at the conservatoires of Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen and Trondheim.

Professional prospects
Many graduates find a place in mixed professional practices. They form chamber music ensembles, jazz or pop bands; play in orchestras; teach privately or at a music school, or leading workshops; set up projects; lead their own ensembles or choirs or find work in cultural management or as music journalists. During the study programmes a lot of attention is paid to solid preparation for the practical and business aspects of the professional music industry, which is constantly evolving. 

Students of the Music in Education programme are primarily trained to teach music in primary and secondary schools, senior secondary vocational education (MBO) and higher professional education (HBO). An important new field of work is the development and implementation of educational programmes at large music institutions. Many graduates also work as choral conductors, music consultants, ‘Algemene Muzikale Vorming’ (AMV) teachers (teachers of general musical education) at music schools, leaders of instrumental ensembles, in social-cultural work or in cultural management. Another option is creating and performing ‘community music’ with amateurs and professionals. Students who want continue studying can follow the interdisciplinary Master of Education in Arts at the Amsterdam University of the Arts after obtaining their bachelor’s degree.

Funds and Scholarships

Conservatorium van Amsterdam

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) is part of the Amsterdam University of Arts. The CvA has (limited) various scholarships available for students who need financial support for their studies, and for exceptionally talented students.

The conservatoire has the following funds at its disposal:

More information can be found on the Funds and Scholarships page of the CvA website.

Amsterdam University of Arts (AHK)

International students that are from countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and want to study a bachelor or master degree programme for the first time in the Netherlands, might be eligible for the NL-Scholarship or the Talent Grant. 

Please note: Each year there are a limited number of scholarships available for students from non-EEA countries and there are a large number of applications. With both of these aspects in mind, the chances to receive a scholarship are unfortunately low. Please consider carefully whether you have enough financial means to pay for a fulltime study programme and your cost of living in the Netherland without the addition of a scholarship.

Student finance

Dutch students

If you are under the age of 30, enroled as a full-time student at the CvA (bachelor, master or associate degree) and meet a number of conditions, you can apply for student finance via DUO (the Education Executive Agency). Student finance consists of different components, one of which is the student travel product. You can choose which of these components you want to apply for. It is advised to apply for student finance at least 8 weeks before you are eligible. 

Please note: student finance is not always a gift, read more about the conditions on the website of DUO

The application procedure for student finance goes as follows: 

  • Firstly, you need a DigiD, this is a personal login code which gives you access to websites of the government. You can apply on and it will take at least three working days; 
  • Once you have your DigiD, you can log in to the website of DUO and apply for student finance;
  • Lastly, you need a personal OV-chipcard to upload the student travel product.

For more information about student finance, please visit the government website DUO

Are you not (or no longer) entitled to student finance and are you under 56 years old? Then you may be able to borrow money to pay for your tuition fees. See: life-long learning credit.

Stopping student finance
Did you graduate or are you (temporarily) quitting your studies? Then you are no longer entitled to student finance. You need to stop your student finance and convert your student travel product into a regular public transport card. You can arrange this yourself via DUO.

International students

Are you a CvA student with a non-Dutch nationality, who lives and/or works in the Netherlands? If so, you may be eligible for student finance via DUO. This depends on your age, the study programme that you are following and your nationality or residence status.

Firstly, you need to be under the age of 30. Secondly, you need to be enrolled as a full-time bachelor, master or associate degree student at the CvA. Lastly, if you are an EU/EEA, Swiss or UK citizen or you have a residence permit type I you might be eligible for student finance. However, you do need to meet certain conditions, which are dependent on your current situation. These conditions are listed on the website of DUO.

For students with a residence permit type II, III, IV or V the same conditions apply as students with a Dutch nationality.

STIP - Student Information Point of the CvA

If you have a practical question about studying at the CvA and you don’t know where to find the information you need, send an email to The Student Information Point will do her best to answer your questions or refer you to the right department. The Student Information Point is located on the 10th floor and on the ground floor of the main building.

Graciella Tawjoeran

Opening hours
Mondays to Thursdays

Student Counsellor of the CvA

The CvA student counsellor provides information and guidance to students on both practical and personal matters relating to study conditions and student life. 

If you are experiencing problems during your studies, the student counsellor will work together with you to try and find possible solutions, so that you may proceed with your studies as best as you can or for you to decide to defer or discontinue your studies. Conversations with the student counsellor are confidential and personal information is handled with great sensitivity. Generally speaking: the sooner you reach out, the better you can be advised.

Students can approach the counsellors about the following issues, among other things: 

  • problems with study progress (due to illness or a chronic condition)
  • functional constraints/neurodiversity (autism, AD(H)D, dyslexia, etc.)
  • financial issues (such as Dutch study finance DUO)
  • official procedures (such as BSA, immigration service, examination board)
  • complaints / appeals
  • issues of inappropriate behaviour from staff or fellow students
  • communication challenges (for instance, how to deal with ('Dutch’) feedback)
  • personal problems
  • mental-emotional constraints (depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, etc.)
  • stress
  • study motivation, planning, methods

The CvA student counsellor is Mirjam Pol. Mail:

Student association CODA

CODA is the student association for and run by CvA students. All CvA students can become a member.

PURPOSE: connecting students from different study programmes and study years with each other socially and musically. 

  • Connecting socially: drinks, parties, interdisciplinary musical events and sport events. 
  • Connecting musically: study-related events and workshops.

More information and registration: or in the corridors.