The Netherlands

National Coordinator: Marinus Verkuil


Marinus Verkuil is head of the School Music Department of the Prince Claus Conservatoire. This department is involved in a lot of innovative activities in the northern region of The Netherlands. He also is a member of the Management Team of the institute where he has to responsibility of advisor for educational innovation and all kinds of projects in society. He also is a conductor of choirs and orchestras with which he performed in the country and abroad. Besides that he is advisor for the municipality in  all kinds of art activities.


Music in Schools

In The Netherlands music education has a formal place in the curricula for all the children at the age of 4 – 15 year. In the Primary Schools (age 4 – 12) music education has to be educated by the generic teachers, in the Secondary Schools (age 12 – 18) music is taught by specialists who are trained in a conservatoire.  At this moment there is a big discussion about the quality of music education in the Primary Schools, because very often the generic teachers don’t own sufficient skills to teach music in a proper way. Different solutions are coming up: the education level of the generic teachers should be improved in a strong way, another solution is to delegate music education to specialists or even music education should be posted in a wider perspective of culture education. From society there is a strong wish to improve music education, but there is not a clear direction for a common solution to realise this wish. In the first three years of Secondary Schools there is an obligational amount of teaching hours for music, in the second half of the program pupils can choose for a more extensive program of music education. In the music schools pupils can get music lessons (instrumental and vocal) in all kinds of settings. In the past years there is a growing collaboration with generic schools and music schools. From the music schools all kinds of initiatives are taken towards the ordinary schools to collaborate in projects and events. This kind of initiatives are being encouraged


Music Teacher Training

The Bachelor part of Teacher Training Program in the Netherlands lasts 4 years and gives a permission to teach music in all kinds of schools (Primary and Secondary Schools, but also at Pedagogy Academies and Schools for professional skills). The content of this Bachelor program is captured in a set of competences and a body of knowledge that is obligatory for all the national conservatories; this set was renewed in 2017. The following master for this bachelor program is a Master of Art Education which is an interdisciplinary program for bachelor students of Fine Arts, Theater, Dance and Music. This master does not give a concrete extend of teaching permissions, but aims at an enlargement of art education in and outside of schools.

In the country there is a wide tradition of collaboration between various partners in teaching institutes. The collaboration between all the School Music Departments in the country have led to a system of peer review that should guaranty the quality of the set of competences and the body of knowledge. The competences that are defined include the learning outcomes as they are formulated by the EAS.