Het zomerdagboek van Iga

28 juli 2023

Thinking of summer, many of us imagine the beach, a nice ice cream, or a wonderful holiday trip, but for a lot of Royal Conservatoire students, summer is much more than that. Their summer weeks are full of projects, residencies, concerts, and musical trips. This summer, we follow some of our students and their musical adventures.

Iga, a harpsichord student, spends her summer organising an early music summer course in Warsaw called LKMMD. Throughout the year she works on promoting and organising the course, but the focus of this work really lies in the summer.
During the course (1-8 July) Iga spent full days in the office making sure that everything went as smoothly as possible for the teachers and students.
A few years ago, Iga took part in the course herself as a harpsichord player. This is how she got to know the organisation.

I really like the organisation of things, it's nice for me to be involved with marketing, promotion and planning events, so it feels like a great opportunity to develop those skills in a job like this.
As well as the office work, Iga has also helped organise some concerts and accompanied participants on the harpsichord. She hopes that she will be able to use some of the things she has learnt from this job in her future years of study as well:
'This job is really helpful for me as a student, because I learn to be really organised, but also to see behind the scenes what is needed to create such an event. At the Conservatoire, I have started to organise a monthly Early Music Open Stage in my department. I hope to be able to develop my passion for this kind of work even more in the next two years of my studies.'

Day 0

After 4 hours of driving, we came to Warsaw to meet with the rest of our team! Today we had to organize the classrooms for tomorrow, finish printing the schedules for teachers and prepare the registration for participants. In the evening we had a surprise - three of our participants from last year came by to say “hi’. It’s always so nice to see people that are coming back for our event.

Day 1

We came to the school at 8 in the morning to wait for the participants. Of course, the biggest group came all at the same time 20 min before the official introduction, but we managed to register everyone in time. All participants needed to sign some papers, and we needed to check if everything was filled in correctly. Some participants also wanted to sign up for extra lessons, and then we needed to see if there were still possible dates for them. Also, most of the teachers arrived on this day, it was so nice to see them again! They also needed to sign up we gave them the last updates and information. Some of the teachers needed help with carrying the instruments, the Office Band'' will do everything! At the end of the day, I found out that I got an invitation for an audition in Antwerp, so I spoke with the rest of the team and we decided that I’m not going to stay until the end of the course.

Day 2

For us, it was another day of registration, for the participants it was the official start of the course.I was there with my friend - Sławek - to solve the problems with the participants: availability of rooms, registration for extra lessons, etc. As well as working in the office, some of us also gave lessons. Luckily those are in the evenings, so we didn't have too much to do. Every year is different. Last year I had to go to some of the teachers' classes to accompany the participants. Sometimes we just have to adapt to the circumstances and do our best.

Day 3

Day 3
This picture shows what our days look like: Piotr next to me is registering the participants, Sławek in the corner is trying to solve the problem about the upcoming concert with one of the teachers and me - answering emails, checking if everything is going well in the teachers' schedules so far and in the free time trying to put numbers in the scores for the audition!

Day 4

Our table became a social table! In their free time, participants came to us to talk, relax, and spend some time together. Thanks to these moments, the participants got to know each other and even suggested playing music together. In our course, you can sign up for chamber music, but in every edition, it turned out that some of the participants decided to create something on their own, which is always nice to see! This day was a bit more stressful because it turned out that one of our rooms in another building was being used for an exam (??) so we had to find an extra room for the singing lessons, but we managed! A quick email to all singers about the change and we can continue with our course!

Day 5

Finally moved downstairs to our office! It’s nice to be here because its more quiet which helps to focus when you had to f ex send 100 emails to participants or change someone’s schedule and you cannot make a mistake :p but being in the office is also risky, because we receive some sweets all the time - from participants, from teachers (“for your hard work, you’re the best!”), or from one of us. Here are some mini stroopwafels from Peter - our oboe teacher.

Day 6

Today was the last day for me. The next day I had to leave my dream team and go to Antwerp. We were very busy today. We had to finish the programme for the participants' concert that evening. We did our best to make a nice programme and to count the time until the concert. In the morning we all went to the church to bring stands and chairs. The next day I went to Antwerp to start a new adventure. I know that the rest of the team was solving problems, preparing certificates and collecting suggestions for a programme for the participants' final concert. The concert was super long, but everyone got to present a bit of what they had worked on during the week. And we received an amazing gift from one of our participants! During this week there are some stressful situations, but moments like this show us that our work is worth it. But this is not the end of our work. After the course we still had to meet to discuss the next edition and clean our office. And in a few weeks I have to prepare new graphics to start promoting the next edition.