Carlos’ testimonium

What if you are extremely talented and have a character that fits your talent, but don’t understand why you should be in a classroom to sit out a lesson that doesn’t fit your wishes or experience? Just because it’s on the schedule? You have probably heard all your life that you are a difficult person who is not teachable, that you have no respect for authority, no discipline and that you will never be able to develop a career?

You have never heard that you are too much of an individual to function in a system built to accommodate as many people as possible, not designed for talent and individuality but for the mediocrity and uniformity. You must be exceptional to not believe that you are strange, not productive creature.

In my 15 year career as principal conducting teacher at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, every day I see struggling young people who try their best to walk a route that is not made for them. For many students the current system works fine, but when it doesn’t, things get difficult. Very difficult, in fact!

Thankfully there are also enough young people who completely develop in their own way, outside of the system, trusting their own compass. A difficult journey. All regulations that have been made are not accessible to them. But they can’t take away one thing: their drive to do what they want to do. With their energy and individuality.

“If I give in to the system, I have given up.”

This quote comes from Orihana Calcines. She has above average talents in many disciplines, someone who is excellently equipped to develop into a superb musical leader, but not within the confines of regular education. This remark has a lot of drive. Exactly what I am looking for and exactly what I often miss with my regular students. The combination of talent and power is something I have a weak spot for. At the same time, I cannot accept that very extraordinary people are carted off as “difficult and unmanageable”.

Sadly one of my students, Mikel van Dijk, a talented young man and a good person, committed suicide. I got to walk alongside him in his dream of becoming a conductor for four years, but he had a lot of difficulty finding his way. Music education in particular can be life changing when focused on the personal needs of a student. Especially when someone is exceptionally talented.

Of course the cause does not only lie with the school system, but we can offer a space where you can fully develop your talent, a place where you will be seen for who you are and  for what you want to realize. It is my duty to facilitate that as best I can. What I bring to the table? 35 years of experience as a musical leader in the (breedst denkbare vorm). Besides that, I am willing to be reset by another generation, to look for the way they can use my experiences and to learn from their insights.

Students develop at their own tempo and in a way that suits them. This will make them powerful, wilful musical leaders.

That is what Sound Trip Academy stands for.

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