Over the last 20 years, the professional percussion world has witnessed a spectacular (r)evolution. The repertoire and the new, contemporary techniques have been fundamentally changed, and professionals are now expected to be multifunctional; from playing in a baroque orchestra to a contemporary ensemble, from a session musician to improvising, from performing as a soloist to being a dedicated teacher. In response to this, the percussion tracetory of the specialization Instrument / vocal studies has developed into a highly-motivated department.
Because of the wide range of instruments, the programme focuses on coaching each Bachelor student to become an all-round percussionist with an excellent mastery of all the main percussion instruments: timpani, bass drum, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, drums and set-up (arrangement of different percussion instruments). Much attention is paid to solid traditional technical training and mastering new techniques. The student is guided in both representative classical and contemporary repertoire and is encouraged to enter into interdisciplinary collaborations with, for example, students from the dance and drama programmes.
The student can expand the bachelor's curriculum with a marimba accent, whether or not with a view to the master's degree in marimba. This is not an obligation, but it is an excellent opportunity to take lessons from dr Ludwig Albert, principal study teacher in marimba, already in the bachelor's years. This means that, as a bachelor student, you can take half of the lessons with the percussion class and half the lessons with the marimba class.
On this solid basis, the Master student can further develop his own course and choose, on the basis of his personal professional objectives, to follow the Master's programme:
- Master Percussion: the student chooses to study different percussion instruments in depth: timpani, bass drum, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, set-up.
Here too, a percussion student can opt to take half of the lessons in the marimba class.
- Master Marimba: the student chooses to focus entirely on marimba in combination, possibly extended with accent percussion. The Master Marimba is unique in Europe and therefore attracts a great number of international students.
- Educational Master Percussion or Marimba: you continue the Master's programme in Music and combine it with subjects such as teaching methodology, internships, project work and supporting educational elements. The educational master's programme is concluded with a master's thesis that consists of two parts: a master's thesis in your discipline and an arts-educational project that you create yourself.
Throughout the course, numerous challenges are provided in the form of masterclasses, recitals and concerts in collaboration with deSingel. A wide range of practical experience prepares every student for the (inter)national professional field: from projects with symphony orchestras, wind bands and percussion and marimba ensembles, to audition training and competition participation, to orchestral work placements. Collaborations with external professional orchestras and companies literally bring the professional field into the training. Active concert experiences are intensively stimulated and shaped by the teachers; together with their students they stand on stage and prepare them to become contemporary percussionists who feel at home in all markets, ready to conquer the world of percussion.
The percussion department comprises the instruments percussion and marimba.