Would you like to study university-level blues music? For the first time in Norway, it is possible to study the blues. You will find the program at our campus in Notodden, Norway's and Europe's blues town!

Study level
Exchange Programmes
Closing dates
Bachelor level
Start up
Autumn 2019

Why the Blues?

This program is a rare opportunity for musicians who play in a band, write songs, or work with studio or music production to explore the musical and cultural universe of blues music with other musicians. The program starts at the Notodden Blues Festival, where you will meet your fellow students and be introduced to the blues!

Throughout the program you will receive guidance from a team of teachers from Little Steven’s Blues School, and Norwegian blues artists Knut Reiersrud and Amund Maarud will hold master classes in the fall and spring semesters.

As part of the program, you will perform concerts at many local clubs and venues.

What will you learn in the Blues Program?

Starting in August, and over the course of two semesters, you will immerse yourself in the styles and traditions of blues music. You will build up a valuable understanding of the significance blues music has had for the development of contemporary popular music and the position it has in contemporary society.

- What the students will be left with after the program is competence in one of the most fundamental music genres that permeates all music.

Amund Maarud bluesstudie USNAmund Maarud, master class lecturer in the blues program.


Collective music-making is central to the blues program. Together with your fellow students, you will develop skills on your main instrument, and you will also develop as a band member, through ensemble work in groups.

While you are learning about various traditions and styles as a performer, you also will have the opportunity to find and strengthen your personal voice, and to cultivate your own musical interests. Another important component of the program is to write and record your own, and others’, music by working with studio recording. We are proud to have access to Juke Joint Studio, located in Notodden’s Bok & Blueshuset, which has many components from the legendary STAX studio in Memphis (1960-1980)!

In addition, you will write an individual or group assignment, in which you will strengthen your own knowledge and understanding of the historical and societal function of blues music in popular and contemporary culture, using relevant research questions.


In the topic of bluegrass, we acquire an understanding of the bluegrass tradition through listening, imitation, interpretation and historical in-depth study. We use the main instrument and voice to get in-depth on how grooves and harmonics progress through a set of reference songs. There will be room for creativity and personality in how to solve the various musical tasks throughout the year, while it is important that one can put the music into a historical perspective and recognize key elements and artists. Acquiring a basic bluegrass expertise will give you the keys to solving musical challenges far beyond this genre.

Preliminary schedule 2018 - 2019

There is a volunteerly start-up during the Notodden Blues Festival 01.08.2019 - as part of the volunteer apparatus.

The first compulsory start-up week is Wednesday 14.08.2019 at 10.00 in Musikkbygget.

Instructions are scheduled every Wednesday, from 9.15 to 17.00.

In weeks 41 and 46 there is a gathering at the Raulandsakademiet on Wednesday and Thursday.

Steve van Zandt og Jens. Foto.

Further Career and Study Opportunities

Following the completion of the program you may study or work in the fields of music and education. You will be able to use skills acquired in the blues program in performance and pedagogical work. At USN you can continue your education in different programs, ask your coordinator for details.

Admission requirements

The programme is open to international exchange students studying at one of USN's bilateral partner institutions. Exchange students must have completed at least 60 ECTS or equivalent within the relevant study field, and be officially nominated by their home university, to enrol.

Admission to the programme requires a good command of the English language, both spoken and written. An English proficiency equivalent to B2 (Cambridge) level is recommended.

More information about nomination and application procedures can be found here.

Study facts

Full time – Notodden

  • Semesters: 2 - Autumn and Spring
  • Amount of students 18
  • Application code: 222 777
  • Charge No tuition. A fee to cover material costs will apply.
  • Admission requirements Read prerequisite requirements


Bli student
Vi gir deg kunnskap for fremtiden!
Studentsamskipnaden tilbyr boliger på alle våre campus
Våre campus
Mer informasjon om våre studiesteder
FAQ. Icon.
Svar på det du lurer på som ny student