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Bachelor of Music -

Improvisation as a way of life.

The jazz/pop department at the university has long been regarded as one of the best addresses for young musicians and prospective students. In addition to the successful education itself, this is also due to the location of Cologne with its unique scene in Germany. A lively and diverse club scene with numerous performance opportunities and several weekly jam dates give students the opportunity to come into contact with the diverse music scenes.

The focus of the program is communication with and through music. In addition to teaching technical skills, aspects of self-professionalization and the promotion of individual artistic expression, the focus is particularly on the development of a musical culture of conversation. For this reason, the focus of the course in Cologne - in addition to the study of the instrument - is on ensemble playing. It is indispensable for a modern musical education to look beyond one's own artistic core area, both by dealing with the most diverse pop and jazz musical traditions and ways of playing, as well as through interdisciplinary cooperation with the classical and dance departments of the university. The program is only available at the Cologne location.

If you have any questions about the study program, please contact the responsible contact person(s).

Basic information

Degree Bachelor of Music
Period of study 8 Semester
Course begin Wintersemester
ECTS points 240 Credits
Major subjects E-Bass, Flöte Jazz, Gesang Jazz/Pop, Gitarre Jazz/Pop, Improvisation Jazz, Klarinette Jazz/Pop, Klavier Jazz/Pop, Kontrabass Jazz/Pop, Latin-Percussion, Posaune Jazz, Saxophon Jazz/Pop, Schlagzeug Jazz/Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Trompete Jazz/Pop, Viola Jazz/Pop, Violine Jazz/Pop, Violoncello Jazz/Pop
Continuing study options Master of Music Jazz Composition/Arrangement, Master of Music Jazz/Pop instrumental/vocal, Master of Music Production

Additional information

Possible majors: Studies are also possible with other majors

Impressions from the study program
Unterrichtssituation Jazz/Pop mit Professor und zwei Studierenden mit verschiedenen Instrumenten.
Unterrichtssituation Jazz / Pop mit einer Professorin und einer Studierenden.
Unterrichtssituation Jazz / Pop mit einem Professor und drei Studierenden mit dem Instrument Gitarre.
Unterrichssituation auf der Bühne mit der Bigband.

Applications are submitted online via the muvac platform. All information on the procedure can be found on our application page.

Admission requirements

  • General university entrance qualification or a comparable university entrance qualification (in exceptional cases, admission is also possible without a high school diploma in the case of special aptitude).
  • Proof of a language certificate TestDaF 3 for non-German speaking applicants
  • Successfully passed aptitude test

The examinations (with the exception of Composition/Arrangement and Pop Production) are taken with a band provided by the School of Music and Dance. The instrumentation of the band: piano or guitar, bass (electric or double bass) and drums. Amplifier and drum set are provided. It is not possible to audition with your own ensembles or accompanists. Please bring a sufficient amount of sheet music for the accompanying band (3 copies), for original compositions also 3 additional copies for the jury.

The juries pay attention to

  • creativity
  • Intonation/sound presentation
  • Rhythmic clarity
  • Interplay
  • Improvisation skills

In the subjects singing, guitar, piano and singer/songwriter, percussion guitar, the first round of the aptitude test takes place by submitting a video file.

An uncut video of at least 5 to a maximum of 15 minutes must be submitted, showing a live performance by the applicant accompanied by other musicians. In the main subjects of singing and singer/songwriter, it is also possible to accompany oneself.

The applicant must be clearly identifiable and their stage and performance practice must be assessable with regard to the chosen instrument or subject.

The recording quality is not taken into account in the assessment (a cell phone recording or similar is sufficient). The video submitted will be assessed with regard to the practical artistic experience required for the Bachelor of Music Jazz/Pop degree program. The subject of the examination is the manner of playing or singing within the band and performance situation. Here too, the juries pay attention to

  • creativity
  • Intonation/sound presentation
  • Rhythmic clarity
  • Interplay
  • Improvisational ability

The first year is an orientation year and is the same for everyone. It includes various basic events and the main subject lessons as well as a basic pedagogical module. Only the choice of ensembles is free. This is followed by a compulsory study consultation, during which the further course of study is determined between the student and the Dean of Studies. This very open study structure from the 2nd year of study allows a very individual focus and profiling for each individual student.

Various annual examinations take place during the course of study.
60 credits per year must be earned, and at the end of the program there is a Bachelor's thesis, which can take various forms, such as a concert, a recording production, an interdisciplinary project or a scientific paper.

There are numerous conceivable courses of study with a wide variety of focal points, which should both facilitate the student's entry into a later profession and contribute to his or her profile formation.

At the center of the study is communicative music, made by individualists and mostly in groups. We live musical conversation culture.

Guests | Workshops

Throughout the semester, external guest lecturers complement our program with workshops lasting one or more days. An "Artist In Residence" spends a whole week at the university so that students can get to know his or her work and ideas. Guests have included:

Artistic-musical workshops

Alana Alexander - Jakob Anderskov - Amy Antin - Genevieve Artadi - Kristin Berardi - Gustavo Bergalli - Markus Berges - Owen Biddle - Jim Black - Seamus Blake - Randy Brecker - Alan Broadbent - Keith Carlock - Hugo Leonardo Castro - Hayden Chisholm - Fay Claassen - Avishai Cohen - Luis Cole - Zach Danziger - Bob Degen - DJ Adlib - Mark Dresser - Sidsel Endresen - Peter Evans - Krischan Frehse - Manou Gallo - Mario Garruccio - Marcus Gilmore - Sergio Gomes - Georg Gräwe - Drew Gress - Billy Hart - Thorsten Haze Haas - Thomas Heinz - Pablo Held - Achim Kaufmann - Lorenz Kellhuber - Omer Klein - Knower - Dominik Krämer - Michael League - Tim Lefebvre - David Liebman - David Linx - Tom Liwa - Bobby Long - Hans Lüdemann - Rick Margitza - Turner Mark - Ben Monder - Mike Ph. Mossmann - Lauren Newton - Pascal Niggenkemper - OK Kid - William Parker - Aaron Parks - Barre Phillips - Verneri Pohjola - Percy Pursglove - Moritz Rech - Retrogott - Scott Robinson - Jochen Rückert - Thomas Rückert -Jovino Santos Neto - Andreas Scherrer - Lillo Scrimali - Henning Sieverts - Alex Sipiagin - Terell Stafford - Loren Stillman - Bob Stoloff - John Taylor - Boris Tschango - Arto Tunçboyaciyan - Will Vinson - Allan Vizzutti - Dan Weiss - Pe Werner - Norma Winstone - Nils Wogram

Professionalization workshops / Music business

Acoustics Workshop: Ulli Hermann
Booking: Frank Bauchrowitz - Corinna Jacke - Sven Lehmann - Colin Lovrinovic
Crowdfunding Workshop: Christoph Nagel - Julian Brimmers
DJ Workshop: Denis Hürther
Electronic Instrument Design Workshop: Tatsuya Takahashi
Exchange Workshop: Prof. Will Edmondes - Mariam Rezaei
Independent Distribution/Label/Retail Workshop: Frank Dommert
Label/Social Media: Johann Jakob Hoffmann - Sandra Passaro
Mastering Workshop: Stephan Heger
Mix Workshop: Wolfgang Stach - Eric Breuer
Programming Workshop: Max Schweder
Video & Production: Stephanie von Beauvais

Guest Lectures

Music Business Law: Jan Uwe Leisse
Ear Training for Producers: Rene Tinner - Ricky Ojijo

Open study

  • It is indispensable for a modern musical education to look beyond one's own artistic core area.


  • It is part of our concept to focus on increasing independence of our students.

Current events

Jazzlines - Posaunenabend
Kammermusiksaal Köln
Jazzlines - Posaunenabend
Ein Finger zeigt auf einen Notenständer mit Noten.
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