Music Classical

Our BA in Music – Classical provides a solid foundation for life as a professional musician.

This degree programme:

  • offers one-to-one teaching in a core subject (instrument, voice or composition) and provides you with individual support; 

  • expands your artistic practice in different musical formats;

  • encourages you to develop your reflective and analytical skills in the field of music theory;

  • can be adapted to your needs and interests, thanks to a choice of optional modules;

  • enables you to work with students from all fields of study at HKB in transdisciplinary Y-modules, thus broadening your horizons.

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Specialisations Instrument, voice, composition
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters)
  • Start date 16 September 2019
  • Application deadline 15 March 2019
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Study language German, French
  • Location Bern
  • Department Bern University of the Arts
  • Programme Handbook

Studiengangsbroschüre Bachelor Musik Klassik

Structure + Content

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Classical Music is made up of theoretical and practical modules, designed to help you to acquire basic musical and artistic skills. The programme centres on training in your core subject (instrument, voice or composition).

Portrait

During the programme, you will refine your instrumental, vocal or composing skills and work on your personal expression. You will study alongside approximately 140 other BA students from Switzerland and around the world. You will participate in various orchestral and chamber music projects, broadening your stylistic horizons. Our wide range of lectures and seminars is designed to provide you with a solid grounding in music theory and music history. The individualised curriculum caters to your qualities, needs and ambitions. Over the course of the BA programme, you will play and perform a great deal. You will learn to reflect on your artistic practice and will have the opportunity to experiment.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the bachelor’s degree programme is to develop your basic musical and artistic skills. Completing a BA qualifies you to take our MA.

Skills at the end of the degree programme
 

  • Advanced artistic abilities
  • Advanced instrumental/vocal, technical and creative skills
  • The ability to reflect on your own artistic/interpretative standpoint, to justify it in theoretical terms and to communicate it
  • The ability to participate in a transdisciplinary artistic environment and work on interdisciplinary projects

Core subjects

We offer all classical orchestral instruments, organ, voice, accordion and composition as core subjects (no harp).

Mode of study + Duration

The BA in Music – Classical is a full-time degree programme and comprises 180 ECTS credits. It is generally completed in six semesters.

Degree structure + Modules

The degree programme is made up of theoretical and practical modules, designed to help you to acquire basic musical and artistic skills, and is organised into seven theme-based and method-based module groups:

You will receive one-to-one tuition in your core subject (instrument, voice or composition) and individual mentoring. The programme centres on your core subject. We envisage that you will spend at least four hours a day practising.

The Theory module group makes up around a quarter of all modules. Optional modules provide you with the opportunity to tailor your studies to your needs and interests. See our current list of courses and lectures to discover the extensive choice available. The theory modules help you to develop your reflective and analytical skills, allowing you to adopt your own artistic stance and to understand your musical activities in a broader historical and social context. We also provide an introduction to music research.

Artistic practice covers practical, interactive forms of playing such as improvisation and chamber music, as well as applied compositional concepts and the physiological aspects of musicianship.

Optional modules provide you with the opportunity to tailor your studies to your needs and interests. See our current list of courses and lectures to discover the extensive choice available. The selection includes research opportunities, lectures at the University of Bern, mentality training courses and laboratories with live electronics.

The transdisciplinary Y-modules give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons in other arts disciplines (e.g. literature, theatre, design and fine arts), collaborating with other departments and exchanging ideas. Guests lecturers and students from all fields of study at HKB come together here to focus on a particular theme each academic year.

In the final year, there are two further module groups:

The master’s orientation modules provide students with an insight into our different master’s degree programmes, showing you the areas you might want to specialise in on completion of your bachelor’s degree. You will have the opportunity to meet students from the follow-on study programmes and to make contact with your future teaching staff and Heads of Degree Programmes.

The degree programme concludes with a bachelor’s thesis, comprising a recital and a written paper. You will work with your mentors to put together the recital programme and the written paper, the subject of which you can choose yourself. The bachelor’s thesis combines the skills you have acquired in artistic practice, theory and independent creativity.

Student mobility

Are you a Swiss student interested in living, working or studying in another country? Or do you want to spend a semester at another Swiss university? Or maybe you’re an overseas student who’d like to spend a semester at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Mobility opportunities offer unique and valuable experience. During your studies, you will have the opportunity to spend exchange semesters and experience work placements elsewhere in Switzerland or abroad.

Projects

Head of Degree Programme

Administration

Lecturers

Strings

Violin: Corina Belcea, Bartek Niziol, Monika Urbaniak, Tianwa Yang
Viola: Patrick Jüdt, Gertrud Weinmeister
Cello: Conradin Brotbek, David Eggert, Antonio Meneses, Denis Severin
Double bass: Ruslan Lutsyk, David Sinclair

Woodwind

Flute: Martin Fahlenbock, Christian Studler
Oboe: Matthias Arter, Jaime González
Clarinet: Ernesto Molinari
Bassoon: Daniele Galaverna
Saxophone: Christian Roellinger
Recorder: Michael Form

Brass

French horn: Markus Oesch, Johannes Otter, Olivier Picon
Trumpet: Markus Würsch
Trombone: Ian Bousfield
Euphonium: Thomas Rüedi
Tuba: Rex Martin

Harmony instruments

Piano: Tomasz Herbut, Patricia Pagny, Pierre Sublet
Fortepiano: Katharina Weber, Barbara Sandmeier, Peggy Pu, Albert Sidler, Pawel Mazurkiewicz, André Lotta
Fortepiano: Edoardo Torbianelli
Cembalo: Takashi Watanabe
Organ: Daniel Glaus, Pascale van Coppenolle
Guitar: Elena Casoli
Lute: Peter Croton
Accordion: Teodoro Anzellotti

Percussion

Brian Archinal, Christian Hartmann, Jochen Schorer

Voice

Malin Hartelius, Christian Hilz

Composition

Xavier Dayer, Simon Steen Andersen

Wind/brass conducting 

Rolf Schumacher, Corsin Tuor, Florian Ziemen, Philippe Bach, Oliver Waespi, Benedikt Hayoz

Accompaniment

Rie Aikawa, Igor Andreev, Anna de Capitani, Tamara Chitadze, François Killian, Tatiana Korsunskaya, Monika Nagy, Maria-Barbara Nytsch, Alissia Rafaelian Lüthi, Eriko Wakita, Mira Wollmann, Kyrylo Zvyegintsov

Vocal coaching and Collaborative piano

James Alexander, Manuel Bärtsch, Tatiana Korsunskaya

Theory

Wanja Aloe, Xavier Dayer, Christian Henking, Marc Kennel, Peter Kraut, Michael Lehner, Dennis Mayer, Nathalie Meidhof, Claire Roberts, Martin Skamletz, Stephan Zirwes

Research

Thomas Gartmann, Kai Köpp, Manuel Bärtsch, Martin Skamletz

Music in Context

Barbara Balba Weber, Irena Müller-Brozovic

Improvisation

Franziska Baumann, Christian Kobi, Marc Unternährer

Partners

Cooperation with gifted pupil scheme at Hofwil School

Highly gifted pupils at Hofwil School have the opportunity to complete part of the bachelor’s degree programme with our teaching staff. 

Eligibility + Entry

Candidates for our bachelor’s degree programme must be able to demonstrate advanced instrumental/vocal skills or potential in the field of composition.

Entry requirements

The number of places available on our programme is limited (‘numerus clausus’). We administer an entrance examination to review your aptitude for our programme. We look for motivation, stamina, resilience and independence in our students as well as a readiness to participate actively in university-level projects.

Academic requirements

To be admitted to the entrance exam, we generally require that you hold a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification (vocational baccalaureate, specialised baccalaureate, Abitur). Candidates with exceptional artistic talent may be eligible for ‘special admission’.

Knowledge + Abilities

You must be able to demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of music. You will also have knowledge of practice techniques and experience of ensemble playing. Further requirements include a basic knowledge of music theory and its application, plus general cultural knowledge.

Language skills

To be admitted to the BA programme in Classical Music, you must speak good German or French (preferably level B2). Your language skills will also be tested.

Applying from abroad

Foreign nationals require valid travel documents recognised by the Swiss government. A visa is often required. Exchange students must also apply for a residency permit and purchase health insurance before their studies begin. Please research your specific entry requirements carefully.

The entrance exam will comprise a practical part and a theory part:

Theory part

Written (in groups). Duration of exam: 90 minutes.

Practical part for singers and instrumentalists

  1. Please prepare three works (whole works or individual movements) from three different eras of your choice. Total duration max. 15 minutes. The judging panel reserves the right to make a selection.
  2. For instrumentalists: Sight-reading.
    For singers: Recitation (by heart) of a piece of text (poetry or prose) in German or French.
  3. Sight-singing of a short melody.
  4. Discussion of your professional goals and ideas.
  5. Using a short piece, we will test your basic keyboard skills (all except piano, harpsichord, accordion, organ and guitar). We require you to have had at least a year of piano lessons.

The practical part of the exam will take max. 20 minutes.

Practical part for composers

  1. Test of aural analysis
  2. You will present a piece by another composer and briefly demonstrate your ability to improvise on your instrument.
  3. You will have completed a set piece of homework in advance and will present this, along with documentation of your working process.
  4. Discussion of your professional goals and ideas.

The practical part of the exam will take 40 minutes

PreCollege Bern HKB

The PreCollege Bern HKB prepares you professionally for the entrance exam the following year. This is not a prerequisite to applying to the BA Music Classical.

Qualification + Career prospects

The bachelor’s degree is designed to lead on to a master’s degree. It is not a professional qualification. However, the broad training it provides enables graduates to work in related fields.

Title + Degree

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in «Music Classical»

You will graduate with the title Bachelor of Arts in Music Classical. Over the course of your studies, you will have developed your personal profile and may wish to follow up your studies by specialising in a master’s degree.

Career prospects

Graduates who are not planning to take a master’s degree will be able to put what they have learned to good use in a music-related professional field – for example, music journalism, music management or music retail. They may take on temporary work in the music business (substitutes and assistants, project work, work in a semi-professional field).

Practicalities + Application

Please note the dates and deadlines below, plus the documentation and information required.

Start date: 16 September 2019
Application deadline: 15 March 2019
Dates for aptitude assessment: 12–21 April 2019

The following fees are charged for degree programmes and examinations at HKB:

Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*  

CHF 250

Matriculation**  

CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for overseas students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)  

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)  

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

* plus CHF 10 processing fee if paying by deposit slip / paper invoice
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** ‘Overseas students’ refers to all citizens of foreign countries who were not official residents of Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time they were admitted to the university programme.

There is also a fixed fee for materials whose amount depends on the degree programme as well as additional costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, supplies, etc.

The application fee can be paid by credit card during the online application process. Alternatively, applicants can pay the fee by deposit slip / paper invoice within 10 days. In this case, a processing fee of CHF 10 will be charged. There are no waivers or refunds for withdrawn or abandoned applications.

The application is processed after payment has been received.

Auditing a course

CHF 150 per course and semester, covering one weekly lecture hour. Only passive participation in classroom instruction is possible (selected lectures and seminars, no individual instruction).

Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

HKB-Fund for the Payment of the Tuition Fees

Application to the Grant Fund for the Payment of the Tuition Fees

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Contact

If you have any questions regarding scholarships and loans please contact Ramona Picenoni.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are based on your income and are in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Swiss students have to complete compulsory service while studying too. Make sure you start planning and coordinating your studies and compulsory service early.

We strongly encourage you to complete basic military training and your first block of civilian service before starting your studies. If you complete these activities during your studies, you may miss classes. As a result, the duration of your programme may increase.

General information on recruitment and civil service

Advice

You can get help with coordinating your studies and your compulsory service from HKB's Student Administration (+41 31 848 49 49).

Would you like to take a course at Bern University of the Arts? Then apply now. By applying online, you’ll be kept up-to-date at every stage of the process.

Online Application

You should have the following documents available in electronic form
(passport photo: JPG / remaining documents: PDF). No document should exceed 1 MB. 

  • ID card or passport
  • Passport photo
  • Bachelor`s diploma or equivalent university degree
  • Transcript of records of current and/or terminated studies
  • A diploma qualifying you for university studies (such as A-Levels, Matura from a Gymnasium, "Berufsmaturität", "Fachmaturität", Abitur)
  • A CV in tabular form
  • A personal statement about your motivation for these studies and for your professional aspirations
  • A confirmation of your exmatriculation (If you were already matriculated at another university)
  • Scores for accompanying musicians should be submitted together with your application.

For foreigners, in addition:

  • Residence permit (if available)

If you do not yet have one or more of the required documents, please state why in the Comments section. 

Application deadline: 15 March 2019

Bern University of the Arts
Music Division
Papiermühlestrasse 13a
Postfach
CH-3000 Bern 22

Core Subject Composition

Applicants for the Core Subject Composition should also submit documentation of original pieces, demonstrating their talent. Labelling the portfolio: Top right corner: Name, First Name, "Aufnahmeverfahren 20xx" and "Studiengang BA Musik (Core Subject Composition)".

Information

At HKB, you can expect an open mindset and a friendly, informal atmosphere. Come and see us.

Student advisory service

If you have any questions about the degree programme, please contact Beatrice Vogt (Administration) or Elise Tricoteaux (Assistant).

Info events

No info events are scheduled at this time.

Location(s) + Facilities

The Music Division at HKB has cutting-edge facilities at its disposal at various locations, including 60 practice rooms, 80 teaching rooms, auditoria of various sizes, an outstanding music library, a recording studio, research facilities and instrument hire. Students can reserve many of the rooms online. We operate an open door policy.