Marcel De Jonghe was born on 9 May 1943. He studied solfège, piano, music history, chamber music, harmony and counterpoint at the music academy in Anderlecht (Brussels), earning special prizes (regeringsmedailles) for piano with highest distinction, and for chamber music with distinction. De Jonghe was also a Pro Civitate prize winner. He then, however, entered teacher’s school, resulting in a diploma for teaching Germanic languages. He went on to study at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, receiving first prizes in solfège, harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition.