Music Practice is one of the common threads in the curriculum for all instrumental and vocal students, spanning the entire study programme from the first year of the bachelor’s degree to the final year of the master’s degree. The subject provides the student with thorough training in making music and singing together, in the broad sense of the word. Within the five levels of Music Practice, the student will receive intensive instruction in basic repertoire and in specific performance practice, knowledge which he or she will need later as a professional musician in order to function as a member of a professional orchestra, ensemble or choir.
One of the pillars of this subject consists of playing in fixed ensembles. This skill is developed on the basis of the student's own instrument (percussion ensemble, massed and chamber choir, woodwind ensemble, harp ensemble, brass ensemble, marimba ensemble, piano and keyboard instruments, accordion ensemble, saxophone ensemble and string ensembles A and B) and also in a more global way (Ensemble XXI, symphony orchestra, wind orchestra, baroque ensemble, etc.). In weekly and/or combined lessons, students work on the skills and experience that will allow them to function as a full individual member of a greater group of people. These ensembles and orchestras are directed by the internal team of teachers, who impart their experience and knowhow from daily life as an active musician to their students in a very hands-on manner. In addition, external top musicians are invited to supplement and enrich the student's experience: in the previous years, invitees have included Philippe Herreweghe, Edo de Waard, Frank Braley, Jaap van Zweden, Martyn Brabbins, etc.
Every year, a number of projects are organised (such as the Students' Philharmonia, Symphonic Brass, etc.), the music for which has to take shape and be performed within a short space of time, just like in the professional orchestral world.
And finally, the student can expect to broaden his or her horizons by numerous masterclasses, lecture recitals, study trips, and projects, all of which are linked to the student's own discipline or, for example, are interdisciplinary in nature, or are chamber music projects.
For more concrete information on fixed ensembles and projects, follow the link to the Music Practice vademecum.