The Conservatoire offers Bachelors and Masters courses in lute and plucked string instruments, within the department of Early Music. The Bachelors course consists of three years, while the Masters lasts two years.
The bachelors course focuses on the lute (renaissance, baroque, theorbo, archlute, guitar, etc). The course helps students gain a fine understanding of the difference between techniques for playing different instruments as related to the different eras, places and contexts in which they were played, as related to the functions of consort, basso continuo (in chords of G, A or D minor), or as a soloist. An awareness of the relevance of organology is at the centre of the training, alongside the development of technical skills which will allow the student to play a range of instruments with confidence. This process happens in relation to the courses in applied theory taught within the Early Music department, helping students to gain a comprehensive training in artistic, practical and theoretical skills alongside general and cultural skills.
Alongside the weekly group and individual, instrumental and chamber music classes, each year students also participate in projects organised by the lute class (class concert, projects around the topic of continuo, etc.), and by the department (colloquia, concerts, seminars, orchestra sessions, conferences). There is also a strong link with the singing department. The training also includes classes in reading, theory, and writing, and instruments can be made available for use by students.
Bachelor students receive a solid musical, cultural and general training, including a good overview of all lute practice between 1500 and 1800. Students can then build on this solid foundation during the Masters programme, allowing them to further develop their specific approach to their instrumental and artistic work, (soloist, basso continuo, choice of specific lutes ). This culminates in the realisation of a personal artistic project at the end of their studies. During this second cycle, or masters programme, chamber music grows in importance, and allows students to develop links to the professional world (concerts, recordings...). Students regularly take part in ambitious projects, thanks to the artistic partnerships of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles.