Interviews with Conservatorium van Amsterdam students and staff about their special projects.

Maartje Meijer Artist in Residence at Vondel CS tower room

Having studied piano and voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Jazz Department, Maartje Meijer currently works as a scouting coordinator for this department. From October 30th through November 3rd 2017, she was 'locked up' in the VondelCS tower room, to set a poem to music every day.

What has this experience taught you?
Being 'confined' in this way helped me to focus enormously. Every day I had to finish a song and knowing that I had to perform it at VondelCS and on NPO Radio 4 was an excellent driving force.

You have studied piano and voice at the CvA Jazz Department. Have you learned anything in particular that stood you in good stead this week?  
Studying at the CvA has been an incredibly positive experience. So many teachers have inspired me. And to be specific: I have learned how to study effectively (and to focus). The lessons taught me, among other things, how to set myself the right assignments. Eventually you have to become your own teacher.

Are you planning to release a CD with these songs?
It's my intention to do that, yes! Far more poems got sent in than expected, and although I wrote a song every day, it doesn't feel like I'm done with it yet. There are so many beautiful poems; this assignment has inspired me enormously.

It's been about six years since you graduated, you have released two CDs, you have played at all major jazz venues in the Netherlands. What advice would you give to students who are graduating this year?
Listen to music as much as you can. Be on time, be well-prepared, don't be arrogant. In short: be a nice person to work with. Try not to judge others, and don't compare yourself to others. Just think about how you are going to make the difference.

'Zie je ik hou van je' - lyrics by Herman Gorter; music by Maartje Meijer