The following information applies to the Classical department, please visit this page for the Jazz programme.
To build a successful professional career at national or international level, it is not enough for a musician to just excel artistically. A broad knowledge-base, understanding of the wider cultural field, a critical, future-focused and inquiring mindset, and a sense of creative entrepreneurship are essential ingredients. The General Cultural Courses offered by the Royal Conservatoire, Antwerp are dedicated to developing these skills in the student, and thereby building a bridge between artistic métier and professional life. The General Cultural Courses are made up of the following subjects: Music History, Introduction to the Arts and Humanities, Research, Introduction to the Music Profession, Entrepreneurship, and Philosophy of Art.
In the Vademecum you find practical information about these subjects.
You will be challenged from both a micro and macro perspective to examine your individual profile and that of the music world around you, and you will learn to situate both within (western) history, society and cultural heritage. Furthermore, you will acquire the necessary tools and practical knowledge to position and organize yourself within the profession after your study. Critical reflection and research form a substantial component of the courses throughout the bachelor’s and master’s level programmes. Each new insight you gain from research in the artistic field will, without doubt, contribute to a better-founded interpretation of your repertoire, or constitute a building-block or inspiration for new creations.
The broad perspective of the General Cultural Courses ensures that an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach within certain subjects is possible. Introduction to the Arts and Humanities and Entrepreneurship, for example, are subjects which are taken by all students across the board, such that Music students learn and collaborate on assignments with fellow-students from Drama, Dance and Visual Arts.
In the bachelor’s study, you will first be given an overview of western music history from antiquity to today. From the third year of the bachelor’s course onwards, you can choose modules which allow you to focus more intensely on certain topics from music history. Introduction to the Arts and Humanities offers you a general cultural and art-history framework in which important events and evolutions from primarily western cultural history (pre-history to contemporary art) merge and are explored.
In the subject Research, which is taken throughout the bachelor’s study, you will learn about the principles of research in music. Research skills, the study of sources, and academic writing skills will be developed and these skills can then be applied to assignments for subjects such as Analysis and Music History. Introduction to the Music Profession draws in turn on the principle of information and confrontation through encounters. Concrete professional choices and specializations are extensively discussed and focused on in the ten lectures by active and experienced artists from the profession. The lectures are always concluded with a question session, so that students can get advice directly from a professional.
Most lessons for the General Cultural Courses are taught on a per-discipline basis. However, as the personal perspective and the individual character of the assignments become more important, individual coaching will assume a greater role. Students in the second level of Research will receive tutoring, for example, and the classroom lessons which form part of Introduction to the Music Profession will be followed by an individually-monitored assignment which is designed to challenge you to find your own individual profile and future self.
As a master’s student, you will delve further into the philosophical framework of the artist and into the dialogue and mutual influences between art and philosophy. In Entrepreneurship, you will learn the basic theory of strategic entrepreneurship and how to organize and promote yourself as a professional artist. The Kunstenloket and other external experts are regular guests, and successful alumni are also invited to discuss their career paths. At master’s level, the subject Research evolves into an individually-coached research project concerning one facet of the student’s own artistic practice. The individual coaching given by your principal subject teacher and your research coach will prepare you to undertake the academic master’s dissertation. This final paper is linked in substance to the artistic master’s exam and represents the pinnacle of your academic study.