Conservatorium Haarlem is a relatively small music conservatory in Haarlem, the Netherlands, specializing in pop music and electronic music. Founded in the 1970s, it has a rich cultural history and, as of 2010, resides within the modern campus of Inholland University of Applied Science. Conservatorium Haarlem was one of the first conservatories in the Netherlands to introduce specific pop music education and is the first and only one to offer a specific educational program for electronic music.
Conservatorium Haarlem distinguishes itself from other institutions through a strong focus on education that envisions a pragmatic, entrepreneurial, all-around professional musician. The student's development leads toward being a widely employable, recognizable, and authentic artist with a broad repertoire at hand. The combination of art, business, and education plays a central role toward this end goal. There is a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and concept development. When students graduate with a Bachelor of Music, they usually are already independent entrepreneurs in the music industry, earning a living though their mixed professional practice (performing, teaching, entrepreneurship, and/or producing).
The two fields of study at the Conservatorium Haarlem (pop and electronic music) consist of four-year, full-time educational programs, requiring 40 hours per week of projects, classes, individual study, presentations, and assignments. The program is designed in order to educate as broadly as possible within the future sphere of activity. To accomplish this, many extras are offered, such as workshops and master classes by renowned musicians and producers. From the early stages of their study onward, students of the Conservatorium Haarlem are playing alongside professional musicians, performing at primary venues and festivals, and are involved in numerous music industry projects.
The Conservatorium Haarlem has at its disposal three professional digital audio recording studios, a large number of well-equipped band practice rooms, study booths and private rehearsal rooms, and a state-of-the-art Mac classroom with optical fiber connections to all the studios. There is a performance room with a full stage sound and lights setup for performances and presentations. Without exception, our teachers are very active music professionals who perform with successful bands, both nationally and internationally, and/or collaborate with prominent artists for national and international productions. Several times per year, there are special projects during which students cooperate directly with well-known musicians, publishers, and managers. The flagship of these projects is our International Writers Camp.
International Writers Camp (IWC)
The IWC is an annual event attended by participating students from over 18 different countries (including the U.S., England, Australia, China, India, and Brazil, among others) who are divided into small groups. On the business side, several prominent music publishers and labels attend; examples include BMG/Talpa, Warner Chappell, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, CTM Publishing, and Armada Music. The delegates of these companies provide the students (who are mixed into groups of three or four people, and include songwriters, producers, and instrumentalists from other institutes) with real-life assignments for songs
on which they will spend the following three days and nights writing, recording, and producing. On Friday morning, the songs are presented to the publishers' panel. Many of these productions will go on to become tracks (and sometimes even hits) for internationally renowned artists.