Jazz BA


So you want to learn your trade in the jazz city in the Netherlands. You want to dive into the rich tradition of jazz and improvise to your heart’s content. You want to not just perform but also create and produce music.

At Codarts you can become a technically robust and creative musician in four years’ time. You take classes from renowned teachers and guest teachers, you play in ensembles, you learn how to compose and orchestrate, and you become familiar with a great variety of styles in music.

Be inspired by the lively jazz scene of Rotterdam, home of the world-famous North Sea Jazz Festival and the Jazz Day. There are many jazz sessions in the city every day: great opportunities for gaining stage experience.

Our main subjects are: bass guitar, double bass, drums, flute, guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, composition and voice.

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Year 1

The first year is a broad introduction. The focus is on developing your technical skills.

  • You play with two ensembles every week. One concentrates on instrument technique, the other on creating (composition/orchestration).
  • An important subject this first year is solfège. A well-trained hearing is indispensable in improvisation.
  • You work at crossovers with students of Latin music to stimulate your versatility as a musician.
  • You study recording techniques and engage in repertoire research. Your new knowledge is immediately put to practical use.

Year 2

During the second year you will become increasingly independent as a performing musician.

  • Together with your fellow students you organise various performances and a festival in Rotterdam.
  • You take part in events such as North Sea Round Town and the Jazz Day (the biggest jazz networking day of the Netherlands).
  • You learn how to pass on knowledge in an educational setting by coaching bands of fellow students and/or doing an internship in music education, also for non-professionals.
  • You study a great variety of styles in music and take part in cross-over projects.
  • You take classes in entrepreneurship and learn how to pitch a project.

Year 3

The third year’s focus is on your own unique personality as a performer.

  • You choose a number of minors that can help deepen or broaden your profile.
  • In the ensemble projects, special attention is paid to developing your own style (from traditional bebop to a modern mix of genres).
  • Your teachers increasingly become ‘coaches’. It is up to you to express what you wish to learn.
  • During the second semester you pitch an idea for your graduation research. This consists of a theoretical part (a paper) and a practical part (presentation). This combination demonstrates that you have a mature view of your profession and are capable of doing research at a high level.

Year 4

During the fourth year you concentrate on your graduation. You may also choose additional minors.

  • In the first semester you complete your graduation research.
  • You produce your own music, resulting in an audio recording and (optionally) an accompanying video production. This shows what you have learned about recording techniques and new media. This project is part of the assessment with regard to your graduation.
  • In the second semester you present yourself as a performer at your graduation concert. In roughly an hour you demonstrate your skills and your own unique personality.

After graduation

After your graduation you will be a great musicians with a high artistic and entrepreneurial level. You are able to create your own place in the music industry and are active across the entire musical practice. Often you combine different qualities: playing in a band or as a soloist, working on music productions or working as a music teacher. During you study you will get to know our extensive network in the music industry from which you can benefit after you graduation. Some of our students continued their studies with a Master of Music.

Rafael Swiddessen (graduation year 2014), drummer with Wolf in Loveland
‘I’m a drummer in the first instance, but I’m also interested in the production side of the profession. At Codarts I’ve gained knowledge of both sides of the profession. This comes in handy, since I work both as a producer and a musician in several bands.’

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Although the official deadline for subscription for an audition for the school year of  2017-2018  has been closed, signing in is still POSSIBLE. You can not sign up for the auditions that will be held in March 2017. In mid-April will be announced for which instruments an after audition will take place. If you sign up for the post-audition via www.studielink.nl you will receive a message via e-mail in mid-April whether a post-audition will take place.


To be admitted at the Bachelor of Music (Jazz) at Codarts a specific entrance audition must be passed. Each area of study has its own admission procedure with accompanying selection criteria and supplementary requirements.

To enroll at Codarts you should be in possession of a havo diploma, mbo bve-level 4 or a (foreign) certificate of equivalent value, in which the subject packet or the profile is of secondary importance. In special cases the above diploma demands can be set aside. The student-to-be then has the possibility to take a capacity test, to check if there is sufficient general development to be able to follow the study. The fees for this test are charged to the student-to-be.

Practical info


Under “more information” we give you all the important information you might need to know for your study at Codarts. Information on the tuition fee, useful websites that can help with finding suitable accommodation, how to study at Codarts with a disability, and we give tips for applying for a scholarship. We will help you to find your way at Codarts.



The members of our faculty are more than teachers. They’ll be your mentors, your collaborators, and your instant list of more than 500 industry contacts. They are experienced and talented professionals in their field—and bring a thorough knowledge of music to the classroom that comes from a rich professional background in the music industry. They also bring an energy that will inspire you to push your talents and thinking beyond what you thought were the limits. You’ll find yourself transferring their influences to your ensemble rehearsals, performances, recording sessions, and gigs.

Meet them all

Student Life is a high quality student support programme, that enables you to realise your full potential and have a successful and joyful study career. Student Life offers information, education, guidance and care in areas relating to performance enhancement, personal development, injury prevention and general well-being.

We offer services ranging from housing assistance, insurance guidance, medical screenings as well as nutritional and psychological counselling. Our team consists of: a Performing Arts Health Centre team (PAHC), study coaches, a student counsellor and an international office. We work in close collaboration with colleagues such as embedded scientists, teachers and the artistic staff, who are familiar with the high standards of the profession. As we are committed to support the individual learning needs of all students, we recognise the diversity of disciplines within performing arts and within different cultural backgrounds.

Our Student Life programme is built on four interconnected pillars: screening, education, support services & facilities, and research & development.


Many famous musicians, dancers and circus artists have studied at Codarts Rotterdam. This page contains a selection of the jazz alumni.

Click here for an overview



+ 31 10 217 11 31


Pieter de Hoochweg 125

3024 BG Rotterdam