Carlo de Wijs

World of Hammond organ




Hammond organ at Codarts Rotterdam

As a Hammond organ student you are part of the department of pop-keys or the department of jazz piano. This means that you will follow the program of the main subjects mentioned next to the specific Hammond lessons.

The Hammond student will also become proficient on the piano and other keyboard instruments and in music production techniques.

Choice of the pop or jazz discipline depends on the student's preference and aptitude.

More information on the programme


  • Establishment and affinity with the instrument in the field of coordination, sound, timing and musical environments in which the instrument is used, both as a solo instrument and in a band.

  • A broad musical concept with regard to the instrument and the environment, from jazz to blues and gospel; from funk to pop.

  • Interest in the history of the instrument and an open attitude towards innovations in the field in technology, sound and use.

  • Preparing two songs from the Hammond Songbook repertoire with accompaniment.

  • Playing a self-made arrangement or a production on a pre-sent order

  • The improvisation on one of the above pieces or a pre-sent chord scheme.

  • The ability to play harmonic bass lines yourself on the parts to be performed in the left hand or with the feet on the pedal.

  • Sight reading of simple sheet music (notes and chords).

  • Playing back chords and melodic fragments by ear.

  • Playing single major and minor scales over two octaves, authentic, melodic and harmonic.

  • Simple chord connections, knowledge of the 'basic' jazz voicings and their application on the basis of chord symbols.

On March 10th the introduction of Hammond at Codarts took place in a special event. Interested future students, keyboardists, pianists, professionals, teachers and enthusiasts visited this day.

The unique Hammond organ education will show students the endless possibilities of this instrument that has influences in several musical genres and traditions. Besides the regular components of the Codarts curriculum such as bands and ensembles, music theory, artistic research, masterclasses and entrepreneurship there are specialized components of the Hammond curriculum focused on: sound registration, dynamics, the coordination and bass skills with both hands and feet, specific Hammond songbook repertoire, the experience within live- and studio settings, music production and developing new repertoire. 

Besides the specific Hammond organ department Hammond is part of the already existing pop keys department, and there are possibilities to specialize within the main subject jazz piano. Main subject teachers of both departments are involved within the Hammond organ curriculum.

About Carlo

As a Hammond organ player, Carlo de Wijs (the Netherlands, 1962) was formed by a mix of many inspirations and influences: iconic Hammond players such as Rhoda Scott, Jimmy Smith and Eddy Louiss; heroes such as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Joe Zawinul. Together with the current interesting developments in electronic music they are a guarantee that he will always try to reinvent himself artistically.

Amidst the warm Hammond tones, he grew as a musician, bandleader, cultural entrepreneur, educator, and instrument and sound designer. Nowadays he is also active in research. Because of his passion and drive, Carlo is constantly looking for seemingly complex connections between these different disciplines. “I think they are strongly connected, and inspire and influence each other.”

Carlo graduated with honours as Performing Musician at the Rotterdam Conservatoire (now Codarts Rotterdam) in 1988.



Carlo has played in his own ensembles, including D’WYS & Voices of Soul, and as soloist with Candy Dulfer’s Funky Stuff, Benjamin Herman, Lucas van Merwijk and the Metropole Orchestra, and others. He has shared the stage with Steve Lukather of TOTO, Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), and Rhoda Scott. He has released eight albums of his own and was a session musician in countless productions. He also presented a special Hammond Alive programme on Radio 6 and initiated the website He is currently writing his PhD thesis on the history and innovation of the Hammond organ and working on the New Hammond Sound Project together with Codarts alumnus drummer Jordi Geuens.


From September 2018 on, Codarts will start a renewed Hammond organ main subject (bachelor + master). Carlo de Wijs, Hammond organ player with an international career is the initiator of Hammond at Codarts. In 2016 he received a scholarship from the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture & Science Jet Bussemaker for a PHD research project in the history and future of this musical instrument. 



What will you be teaching students?

Music is a way to grow your personal identity and Codarts provides a breeding ground. It’s all about Bildung: ‘building’ yourself as a human being and a personality. Development and innovation are crucial in this. By connecting this idea to the craft of making music and creating things, you have a personal basis to go on developing your whole life through.

How will you do this?

By teaching students the history of music and the instrument and help them master this complex instrument in terms of playing, writing, producing and working together. In addition to existing styles, the Hammond organ can play a part in developing new styles, because it has such an innovative origin that there are still many new roads to explore. It would be great if the next generation of Hammond students would take the lead in innovating the field.

Recent Hammond students are Willem ‘t Hart (graduated in 2017) , Boye Ingwersen (current student), Quint Vullings (current student), Simon Oslender (graduated in 2018) and Robert Schippers (exchange student from Mannheim).

For more information email  

Location: WMDC, Pieter de Hoochweg 125, Rotterdam