As a CMS student you are educated in a combination of the arts of composition, arranging, and producing. The workplace where you will land as a CMS student is continually changing and developing. In order to make sure the degree is as relevant to the profession as possible, the contents of the course are continually being modified. Next to the lessons from teachers in the CMS department who are all currently active in the profession, you also receive guest lessons from top producers and composers. As you can read in the testimonials that follow later, CMS students are successful in various places in the music industry, on both the national and international level.
The study in short
The basis of your degree comprises of the extension of your theoretical and practical knowledge. You receive lessons in two main study subjects: composition and production. You learn everything about studio production and song writing and you receive lessons in composition and arranging. You become acquainted with music management and are busy with compositions and sound design for film and media. You will spend a lot of your study time working in the well equipped studios of the conservatorium. Through the unique link with the Jazz and Classical departments of the conservatorium, you can have your compositions performed and build practical experience. From the third year you can choose which stream you want to graduate in: instrumental composition, song writing, composing for the media, or arranging-studio technology. A combination of these is also possible. In the fourth year you will graduate. In short, CMS is an extremely varied course that will reach you through many different ways; in lectures, practical classes, individual lessons, and in projects where you work alone or with a group.
Multiple musical contexts
Many styles of music exist that vary greatly in their method of composition, recording and performance. Songwriters work differently to film composers; dance music is produced differently to jazz. Every environment has different requirements in regards to knowledge and skills. To compose a piece for string quartet you need a different sort of knowledge than to write a number for soul band. CMS will not exclude any sort of composition or production style and encourages you to become acquainted with as many styles as possible. During the CMS degree you will be confronted as much with the theory as with the practice of a divergent musical environment. The insight that you will develop will prepare you to face multiple musical contexts. In the beginning of your third year, you can choose the direction that suits you most. Perhaps you want to become a songwriter, or a composer for film and media, or maybe you see yourself as an autonomous composer of instrumental music in the classical tradition. There is room within CMS for all of these contexts.
Music production with computers plays a big role within contemporary composition and production practice. Think about sound and film studios, multimedia productions, theatre, film and advertising. Applying technology to music stands central in your study. You learn how to use the equipment in the recording studio, how to work with synthesizers, samplers and computer software for composition and production. In both the more traditional forms as well as in contemporary studio and live production practice, composition and production are tied inseparably together. You learn consciously how to deal with the relationship between composition and production and how to get the most out of it.
In the Singelhuis, just a few minutes walk from the Prins Claus Conservatorium, there are several professional studio’s of various sizes from small work stations to a large multi-track digital studio. Here you can experiment with all the techniques you will meet later in your profession. These studios are used primarily for CMS students, but students from other conservatorium studies can use the studio for educational purposes or for productions in conjunction with the studio.
Graduated, then what?
Once you have graduated, you can begin with a combination of arranging, composing and producing. Your arrangements can be heard in concert halls or at home on the CD player. Maybe you work for a sound or audiovisual studio, or for a theatre. You will notice that you have a profession where you are very independent, regardless of whether you are working composing, arranging, or producing. On the other side if you are working on big productions you will be working together with all different types of people. Above all, by working in an area that is developing so quickly you will have to broaden your knowledge and skills quickly of your own initiative. There is no one who can explain better where you will end up, than CMS alumni. Read what they have to say: