During my studies in Sibelius Academy in fall semester 2017 and following semesters in Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus I made required amount of elective hours. And some of them were strong and significant triggers to better, more versatile and expressive stage performance.
Vocal lessons with Karoliina Kantelinen on SibA were definitely one of the best classes I've ever had. Thanks to her knowledge and pedagogical skills Karoliina made me dare sing alone (by that time I regarded myself only as a chorrister) and also made me dig deeper into my Polish roots and then plant Polish folk songs into global ground.
Classes of overtone flute with Kirsi Ojala were also very rewarding, since I used to think that overtone flute is an instrument that is played only intuitively. Well, I was wrong. Kirsi showed me a lot of written scores dedicated to overtone flute (both transcription of traditional Scandinavian music and contemporary folk pieces) and that made me much more aware of what I'm playing on this extremely fragile instrument.
Percussion class with Ricardo Padilla were perhaps not so exciting as percussion class could be but also very interesting. I found out that some of my intuitive ideas are fine and worth using. Unfortunately I realised that my hands are too weak to use some instruments, e.g. pandeiro.
This somewhat bitter experience with pandeiro didn't discourage me from taking Senegali sabar drum class with Pape Baye Fall Seck next semester. It was a great shot for it made me much more aware not only of what I play on percussions but generally what is going on in rhythmics. Sabar drums are played with sticks so it was not as damaging for my wristles as playing pandeiro was. That made me felt comfortable with sabar kit and I could take not only solo classes with pape Seck but also I could accompany (together with Stefano Ancora) to his dancing workshop for RAMA students. Meeting Pape Seck resulted in collaboration beyond Academy's walls. I was very happy to be a part of African Footprint gigs and also of Stefano's Bakkbeat Project that had its premiere during his Glomas master concert in 2018 and will be continued during this summer in Denmark.
With sheer pleasure, although the sole subject was very difficult for me, I attended Vocal Painting
class with Philip Eick. It was actually a continuation of Global Choir led by Merzi Rajala, which I attended in Helsinki. It required a lot of vocal fluency, sense of rhythm, musical imagination and
pure bravery – at least for me as it was extremely difficult for to overcome my frames of classical
chorrrister. Improvising and playing with my voice was very rewarding for my musicianship and
Another overcoming of VoPa class was also using vocal painting sign system which is different then any other system of conducting that I know. Together with instrumental sound painting system that I touched a little during workshops led by Gustav Rasmussen in RAMA it made a lot of reorganisation in my head. And these were the difficult ones.
Happily none of the sign systems was necessary to attend Lena Norgard's vocal group and Kristian Lassen's afro-cuban ensemble. Both groups were just a sheer pleasure to attend, having fun with singing, playing instruments and sharing stories.
I wish every music student could have such an amazing choice of musical activities that I was lucky to have during my Glomas studies :-)