Vocal Leadership

Codarts Rotterdam, Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten – Academie voor Muziekeducatie and The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg (DK) present several courses for education in choir leading


Vocal Leadership is the innovative method for choir leading that has been developed by Jim Daus Hjernoe in Denmark over the last ten years. Since September 2015, a wide selection of courses is being offered at Codarts Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Rotterdam and Fontys Academy of Music and Performing Arts Tilburg. The method inspires choir leaders to let singers be co-responsible in the musical process. Vocal Leadership is taught by several different choir leading teachers. This team combines score-based (notated) vocal music with expanding the ‘comfort zone’, using improvisation as a tool. The Vocal Leadership roots can be found in rhythmic, Scandinavian vocal music, yet the method is style-free. Classes are taught in both English and Dutch. A number of classes will be simultaneously teached in The Netherlands and Denmark by a video connection, giving Vocal Leadership a contemporary and international quality. You can read all about it at www.vocalleadership.nl.


In January 2017, Codarts started the 2-year course Vocal Leadership. This is a 2-year part-time, certificate based course on a post-bachelor level. It is not necessary to have a Bachelor’s degree of Music if you can demonstrate a commensurate level of quality during the admission test. The course consists of 12 intense weekends (3 per semester/module) and includes practical, hands-on tools and classes only. The majority of the weekends will be taking place in Rotterdam. One out of three weekends will take place in Tilburg.

Admission test

To be accepted into the 2-year course, an online audition is required. The audition consists of a video that documents your work with a vocal ensemble consisting of at least 12 singers and 4 voices at a medium/advanced level. Additionally, we ask you to sing a rhythmic song, accompanied by yourself on piano. The audition video must include the following:

  • Detailed rehearsal work (e.g. phrasing, dynamic, sound, groove) of an already rehearsed piece of music;
  • Required assignment for rehearsal, from scratch (you will receive a few weeks of preparation time);
  • A concert piece with your choir that you consider ready for concert (this does not have to be filmed at an actual concert, but it should be performed on the video as though it were a concert);
  • A self-chosen rhythmic song, sung to own accompaniment on piano, by you.

Admission requirements

  • Two unedited recordings of the same audition with fixed cameras in HD quality and with good sound in stereo:
  • One camera showing the audition from an audience’s point of view;
  • One camera showing the conductor from the side in full figure.
  • Copies of the material (scores, lyrics, etc.) to be used for the audition must be submitted as a PDF prior to the audition.

Total duration of exam/video: 30 minutes.

Content of the 2-year course

The Vocal Leadership 2-year course is based on 4 modules: 3 weekends each semester. You can take Module 1 and 2 without an admission test too. Module 3 and 4 can only be finished when accepted after passing the admission test. This is when you get your 2-year course certificate.  It’s possible to take a belated admission test, after finishing module 1 or module 1 and 2. If you pass the test before starting the course, you’ll be a student for two years and you will get a discount:

  • Module 1/2: €975
  • All 4 modules after passing the admission test: €3.595 (€898 per module)
    In between weekends you will have assignments. During the module 3 and 4 semesters you will also have some individual online coaching.


For more info on dates, application, our teachers, our classes and more, check www.vocalleadership.nl.