Bachelor + master music, graduating option performing music
study path jazz / pop
3 + 2 year
The name Jazz/Pop says it all. At KASK & Conservatorium, you can study jazz up to the master level, but you can also study popular music at the same level, and this is the only place in Flanders where that is possible. Here, we train musicians who are not only strong on their instruments, who can play well together, but who also have a distinct artistic vision and excel in creativity. With numerous band rooms, recording facilities and Club Telex, our own concert venue on the Paddenhoek campus, we offer an inspiring environment for it all.
In the jazz/pop study programme, students receive all the attention and space they need for maximum personal growth and individual development. You will always be stimulated to think critically and creatively. Knowledge of history and traditions is very important, but at the same time, the imagination is encouraged and motivated to determine your own, original musical path, and to embrace it with passion.
The core concern of the training is playing music. Each week includes one hour of individual instrument or singing lessons. You learn the technical skills you need to express yourself optimally on your instrument. In addition, you learn the idioms of the various jazz or pop styles so that you can easily move in either traditional or contemporary repertoire. During these lessons, you develop your own unique voice, your sound.
In addition to individual instrument lessons, there are also band classes. In these, you learn to play in groups, in various styles and genres. Making music in a group means developing respect for your fellow students and musicians, and that you take your place within the collective in order to contribute as constructively as possible. Interaction with your fellow musicians inspires you to greater artistic expression.
To support the instrument practice, there are music theory subjects, including composition and arrangement, harmony, ear training, rhythm class and music technology. These theory courses are also largely practice-orientated. For example, you are regularly given composition assignments in the harmony class. In ear training, you learn to ‘hear with your eyes’ and ‘see with your ears’. Your rhythmic skills are sharpened in rhythm class. Moreover, musicality is made stronger through piano lessons (for piano students, these are Hammond courses), and students learn to deal with their bodies in a better way in body awareness.
In today’s professional jazz and pop world, it is important that musicians have a working knowledge of how to arrange a work for changing line-ups, and in different styles. It is important to be able to create your own compositions and write your own songs. In the jazz-pop performance programme, the focus is not only on the performing aspect, but creative development is given priority. You learn to write your own songs, analyze works by leading artists and apply the writing and composing techniques you have acquired in a wide variety of styles.
Interaction between the different graduation projects is of great importance. For example, in creative labs, students of jazz, pop and music production work together on their own music. Cross-fertilization, inventiveness and creativity are stimulated. After all, in music practice, jazz and pop come closer together and the mutual influence and synergy between both types of music provide extra intensity and dynamics. By collaborating with music production students, performing musicians also come into contact with the most advanced recording equipment and state-of-the-art software. It is therefore a great advantage that the Conservatory offers both jazz and pop, as well as music production.
Studying music not only embraces instrument practice and music theory. As an academic institution, we want students to engage a reflective and inquisitive attitude: to think about who you are and what you want to become, in a larger social, economic and historical whole, and possess general knowledge that inspires you to become an even better musician. For this reason, you gain insight into jazz and pop history, an introduction to philosophy, music psychology and music sociology and an understanding of research skills, at the end of which you write your own thesis.
Knowledge of the working field is essential. Subjects such as the structure and functioning of the music circuit, legal and business aspects of the music industry, and music & management ensure that you gain insight into the working field and that you are able to discover and strengthen your own place in that circuit.
All this comes to life in our own music club. Club Telex is our meeting place, with a concert stage and bar. Here, our students hold weekly jam sessions. Club Telex hosts master classes, workshops and concerts with domestic and foreign musicians. We regularly collaborate with partners in the field, including Ghent Jazz, Jazzlab Series and Muziekclub Democrazy. The Conservatory has an extensive artistic reach. Every year sees a vinyl (Masterworks) release with a selection of tracks from our final-year students, and we organize Mastersounds, a multi-day graduation festival where our students present themselves directly to the (professional) outside world. There are also project weeks, and jazz/pop students can have their music recorded live by music production students in our superbly equipped studios.
As an educational institution, we do not stay within our city limits. Students get the chance to participate in unique trips abroad. Trips have been organized to London and New York, as have visits to the Frankfurter Musikmesse. Through the Erasmus programme, students are also encouraged to spend one or two semesters studying at a foreign conservatory.
In addition, KASK & Conservatorium has the great asset of being located in Ghent. This city offers many advantages for jazz/pop students. Unesco crowned Ghent as Creative City of Music, and the city more than deserves it. Think of our many stages (Vooruit, the Bijloke Music Centre, Handelsbeurs, de Centrale, Democrazy, Hot Club de Gand, Damberd and more), festivals such as Gent Jazz and the Gentse Feesten, and hundreds of pop and jazz groups. Ghent is the perfect place to profile yourself as a beginning musician. Together with our educational programme, our teaching staff (all of them passionate about pop and jazz) and the countless stage opportunities we offer, this is a golden combination to start your career as a musician. You are following in the footsteps of such leading artists and bands as Absynthe Minded, Shht!, Amatorski, Balthazar, Zimmerman, De Beren Gieren, Nordmann, Nathan Daems (Black Flower), Lady Linn, Isolde Lasoen, Lander Gyselinck, Dishwasher and Oproer all came before you. Now it’s up to you!
Karel De Backer
Liesa Van der Aa
Dirk Van der Linden
Rob Van Der Meule
Toon Van Dionant
Thomas Van Gelder
Hans Van Oost
Wouter Van Tornhout
MAR 08, 2023 / 14:00 – 17:00
JUN 24, 2023 / 09:30 – 12:30
SEP 02, 2023 / 09:30 – 12:30
APR 23, 2023 / 10:00 – 17:00
If you want to enrol for an academic Bachelor of Music, you first have to pass an artistic admission test. To enter the master’s programme, you take part in an orientation test. These are organised several times per academic year. We’ll announce the exact dates in December.