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Music: Practicum Musicae 3, Royal Conservatoire


1. Description

Practicum Musicae (PM) is a unique talent development program that offers multi-talented university students the opportunity to also develop musically at a high level. For three years, students take tuition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in addition to a full-time university study in Leiden.
In addition to private instrumental or vocal lessons, PM also consists of theory lessons and lessons in ensemble playing. The credits this provides can be used in the elective space of university studies.
Through PM, students can develop very broadly, academically and musically!

Practicum Musicae is offered by the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA). ACPA is a partnership between Leiden University and the Academy of the Arts, which consists of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) and the Royal Conservatoire (KC). For more information, see: ACPA.

There are currently PM programs in the following fields of study:

  • Classical Music (all instruments)

  • Voice (classical and early music)

  • Jazz (all instruments and singing)

  • Early Music (all instruments)

  • Composition

  • Sonology

2. Structure

PM is a three-year program with a study load of 10 EC per year, 30 EC in total.
Upon successful completion of the three-year PM program, the student also receives a certificate from the Royal Conservatoire.

PM year 3 consist of:

Main subject (10 EC):
Individual main subject lessons: 50 minutes of instrumental or vocal lessons per week (34 weeks per year), from a Royal Conservatoire teacher.
Lessons in ensemble playing: All PM students receive lessons in ensemble playing, it varies per instrument and department what these ensemble lessons look like: 1 on 1 with a coach pianist, in the form of a duo class or in an ensemble or jazz combo.

3. Admission requirements

To be admitted to PM, the student must audition for a small committee of Royal Conservatoire teachers. During this audition it is examined whether the student has sufficient motivation, musical ability and aptitude. The decision on the student's eligibility lies with the audition committee.

PM1 starts every year in September, registration is only possible before March 1 through the conservatoire application system. Part of the application is the submission of 3 audition videos and a motivation letter for preselection purposes. A professional jury will select which potential students will be invited to the PM auditions in April.

All departments work with a pre-selection, but the different departments at the conservatory have the freedom to organize their further admission procedure themselves. This means that the procedures after pre-selection may differ from one another.
The PM auditions in April may take place live in the conservatory or via live video calls.

The minimum admission level for PM is at the level of the conservatoire preparatory year. Many PM students are already playing at a higher level than this minimum required level upon admission.
The minimum graduation level is comparable to the entry level of a bachelor's degree at the conservatoire. In the PM audition, the student must demonstrate the ability to develop to the level of a bachelor's admission within three years. (Actual advancement to the bachelor is possible in exceptional cases, but not the goal of PM.)

More information about the admission requirements and audition videos can be found at: entry requirements

Because PM is so popular, there is a quota. A maximum of 76 students are allowed to participate in the entire program divided between the three year levels PM1, PM2 and PM3. This means that only the applicants with the best audition can get a place.
Therefore, at the live auditions, the judges will assign an assessment grade to each audition (this grade is for internal use only and will not be communicated to the auditors). Based on these ratings, the available PM spots will be distributed. Around June 1 at the latest, auditors will hear whether they have been selected.

NOTES. In some cases it may happen that a PM spot becomes available between June and September (e.g. because the student decides to study at another university) this spot will then be offered before September to one of the other auditors with a high audition mark.

4. Mode of instruction

  • Main subject: private lessons

  • Ensembleplaying: individual/duo/group lesson

5. Timetable

PM classes take place in both the first and second semester.
Main subject lessons (individual lesson and ensemble playing) are scheduled by appointment with the teacher involved.

All classes take place at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (Spuiplein 150), or virtually through Teams.

Information about registration for the classes will be send to the students’ KonCon email address. The student receives contact information of the main subject and ensemble teachers in the KonCon email. Students are expected to contact their teachers themselves to arrange for main subject classes.

6. Assessment method

A year of PM is concluded with a main subject presentation in front of a small committee of tutors. The final presentation at the end of PM year 3 is open to the public.
A PM main subject presentation lasts 15 minutes (20 minutes for pianists/harpsichordists) and takes place in the period May/June. The program will be compiled in consultation with the student’s main subject teacher.

The date for the main subject presentation is set by the Planning Department of the KC. Only in exceptional cases it is possible to request an alternative date, please contact the PM coordinator for this.

7. Registration and information

Interested students can register from December on via the ‘apply’ button on the koncon website: apply (the apply-button is only visible between December and March).
Applications for September must be received before March 1, after which the registration link will be closed.

Questions about application, audition and PM in general can be emailed to the PM coordinator (please include what instrument you play).

8. Remarks

Practicum Musicae is only available to full-time students of Leiden University. It is not possible to combine PM with a second bachelor's or master's program at another university. Enrollment in Leiden and obtaining credits in said study will be checked. If it appears that a student is taking PM education without meeting the registration requirements, the program will be discontinued. We reserve the right to charge the student for the education received.

PM is a three-year program. It is also possible to apply for only one or two years of PM. However, in case of equal suitability, students applying for the full three-year program will be given priority.

It is not possible to study more than one PM track.
PM is not available to students already studying at the Royal Conservatoire.

Pm starts every year in September only, there is no possibility to start PM in the second semester.

To make sure that the Practicum Musicae ECs can be used as elective credits, we advise students to check this in advance with the examination board of their University program. The requirements for electives may vary per program.

For other electives in music and visual arts, see: Electives in music and visual arts