Giulia - 'I enjoy writing music that doesn't really fit into one specific genre.'

8 December 2022

"My teachers at the Royal Conservatoire are professionals in what they do, and they are giving me the tools that I need." Giulia recently graduated from her Master's in Jazz Vocals, currently she works as the coordinator of the jazz department. She tells us about her musical journey so far, the excitement of performing for an audience again after the pandemic, and the many possibilities of using voices in large ensembles.

"I was born in Switzerland in a very musical family. My whole family was always singing, so I've been around music since I was a child. We listened to everything from Gloria Estefan to Sting to Wayne Shorter. That is one of my earliest jazz memories. Despite my musical background, I first studied English before I changed to music in Switzerland. I did my bachelor's degree in Voice and then completed my first Master's in Composition. To combine those two passions of mine, I started my second Master's in Jazz Voice after the former head of the Jazz department Susanne Abbuehl, who already was my vocal teacher for a long time, asked me to come study in The Hague. I liked the set-up of the Master's studies and how free we are when it comes to planning our schoolwork. It means we have enough time also to follow professional pursuits. Amsterdam seemed a bit too big and busy for me. I like that Den Haag isn't a huge, touristy city and is quieter. I also like living close to the beach, as I'm from Switzerland."

Taking your Voice to a higher level
“I love writing for large ensembles. My band at home is a 26-piece jazz orchestra with strings and classical instruments such as the hobo, English horn, flutes, clarinet, jazz horns, and four vocalists. I will be releasing my debut album next year with my ensemble. I enjoy writing music that doesn't really fit into one specific genre. Sometimes it sounds like modern jazz, but it could also have elements of free improvisation or sound a bit "poppy" and soulful. Besides that, I'm focusing on combining the Voice more with those large ensembles and orchestral sound bodies. Often, the Voice acts as the frontwoman or man in a band, but you can do much more with it, especially in jazz, where you can use it as a section. I've been told it's special to have multiple vocalists in a large ensemble. It makes me unique as an artist.”

"What I appreciate about the Master's program is that it's very open. When you are a master's student, you are automatically regarded as a professional musician. It means that people assume you have a job, whether that's in teaching or performing. As a result, you're not bombarded with lessons every day.
During the first year, most of the classes, besides the individual lessons, revolve around project management and writing your thesis. I highly appreciate that you can enter a list of your preferred teachers. It meant that I also had access to teachers from the Composition department. It gave me the freedom to develop myself artistically and helped my research. I'm happy that the conservatoire offers a lot of time and opportunities to work as a professional musician and expand your network. The flip side is that you need a lot of self-discipline because it is up to you to utilize that; you're given a lot of responsibility. That motivated me, and it's a great benefit.”

Wellbeing Wednesdays
"The atmosphere at the Royal Conservatoire is great. Teachers look out for you and help you develop your artistic identity. They are very understanding and help me to focus on what's important. Besides that, I'm happy that the conservatoire provides so much to their students beyond the standard curriculum. Such as free yoga classes, a student counsellor, and Wellbeing Wednesdays. My advice: take advantage of that; it doesn't happen everywhere. And believe me, I've seen a lot of schools in the past."

"Regarding my future, I am still determining a definitive plan. When I'm done at the Royal Conservatoire, I will have been studying for ten years, so I'm mostly excited to focus on working. For me, that includes many different things because I have a lot of passions. Cooking is an example of that. I will always keep doing something in music, but we live in a modern world with many possibilities to do many things. My mother did a lot of different studies, too; she started the last one when she was 50 years old. So no one knows what the future holds, but we're never too old to learn."

Interested? Go to our 'Apply now' pages for more information about the Royal Conservatoire and the Master Jazz Vocals.