Entrepreneurial Bootcamp: A musician’s footprint

Last week, our third-year bachelor students of the classical and vocal department kicked-off the new academic year with an entrepreneurial bootcamp-week. The bootcamp was initiated by KC teacher Renee Jonker. Together with an international panel, he accompanied the students to various venues all around The Hague to assess the projects and ideas the students developed in the course of the week.

Our international guests Ira and Dušanka from the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia are part of the DEMUSIS capacity building project to enhance the digital competencies and entrepreneurship skills of academic musicians.

Our second guest was Tanja Orning. She works at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, which is part of our strategic partnership programme RENEW: Reflective Entrepreneurial Music Education Worldclass. Tanja already realized a similar project in Oslo and shared her knowledge and experience with the KC Team.

The project was an opportunity for our students to obtain new interpersonal skills and learn what it means to be an entrepreneur. Their task was it to go to the various venues that don’t usually host classical musicians and come up with a concept to change this.

Violinist Jasmijn and Valentine went to the winery Vino Vero and came up with the idea of a musical wine pairing. They received a list of wines and paired them with classical music pieces to give the pairing an additional dimension. E.g. they paired a fresh and fruity Austrian wine from the Burgenland with the light Rondo alla Turca by Mozart. The audience immediately loved the concept even though some of them where usually not classical music listeners. The pairing was a success and the Vino Vero will stay in touch with the two students to repeat this event soon.

The second group was formed by violinist Stijn from NL, cellist Liutauras from Lithuania and clarinettist Peppe from Italy. They visited the atelier of Mijn Buuf (my neighbour) where refugees come together and sew up-cycled bags from old materials. The project aims to integrate the isolated women and men into society by giving them an opportunity to work and learn Dutch. The trio had coffee with Nouria and Asma, two friends who found each other through this project. They felt an instant connection and the women showed them YouTube videos from their home countries and so a 20-min music programme evolved around the story of different cultures travelling and coming together. Peppe played on a Sicilian flute to illustrate his cultural heritage and when the piece “travelled” further to Afghanistan, Nouria was very touched. Hearing her music live for the first time since she had to flee her country reminded her of all the loved ones she had to leave behind or died. The whole room started to cry with her. Displacement and war are topics Europeans are rarely confronted with, but the trio managed to translate Nourias feelings into music.

Stijn also composed a Dutch song called “Mijn buuf” he then rehearsed with the entire group and taught them techniques such as canon singing. In a playful manner, the refugees learned Dutch sentences they could immediately use in their daily life, which will help them to integrate and feel more at home in the Netherlands.The students will stay in touch with “Mijn Buuf” and donated old KC banners. Soon Nouria and Asma will sew beautiful bags out of them.

The week was a huge success and demonstrated that with a little entrepreneurial spirit and an open-minded attitude, everything is possible.

Learn more about our international networks and projects here.