It is now more than one week ago that five of the music students have been to Leeuwarden/Netherlands to experience one of the greatest weeks in their music career.
Within one week they wrote together with five Dutch students 25 songs which differ from Ballad to EDM. The whole writing process was a huge success for each participant and most of them learnt a lot from this intensive time.

Now it is time to continue the great spirit. Step by step songs will be fully produced and pitched to publishers. It is still a long way to go but all students are still excited that it seems the best time is still ahead! Highlights of the upcoming months will be the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen in January and the visit of the five Dutch students in May for the International Week.

Three involved people reflect their impressions of the last week:

I found this a very special week. I watched all writers and producers collab in such an amazing way. They all seemed to love each other after 3 days of writing. Me myself learned a lot as well as a 'teacher' kind of person and as a producer/writer as well. Got a lot of inspiration right now! I'd love to come to Finland and develop some more skills over there.
                                                                                                                            - Freek Van Der Heide, Alumni

It was actually a great experience I didn't know what to expect. It took maybe a couple of hours working there for me to realize how this 5 days would change my way of working.
People were really nice and super talented. Working in pairs, making a song every day from 09:00 to 17:00 was really challenging and really nerve racking but we managed to do it. It was just great.“

                                                                                                                     - Alvaro Luis Moreno, student TAMK

“Sometimes chemistry happens, this was one of those occasions.”
                                                                                  - Ype van der Ploeg, Teacher Popacademie Leeuwarden

In the next weeks the hard work will continue and at the moment it seems that this project collaboration can be the beginning of something really big!


A big thank you to TAMK and Popacademie Leeuwarden which made this trip possible for us! Thank you to the great teachers Ype, Janne, Jan Pier, Harri, Timo L., Albert, Timo K. as well as Freek and the other wonderful inspiring alumnis. Special thanks to the amazing talents Anna, Karri, Alvaro, Mika, Johannes, Michelle, Rosan, Erkan, Sjoerd & Guido and to all the other people who were/are involved into this adventure (and who I forgot to mention)!
PS: Very special thanks to Baby Jesus, Mikas Dance and Tinder!

The media and art faculty will move soon from the very central Finlayson Campus to Mediapolis, in Tohloppi.
Tohloppi is a very pretty area, with trees and a lake just close by, and it's easily reachable by bus.

We will share the space with YLE, and hopefully this might also be the start of a good collaboration between the Media and Art students and the Finnish broadcasting channel.

The building is not yet ready(it will officially open to the public the 6th of October)but I went to have a little preview, and I wasn't disappointed! Lots of windows, lots of light, and brand new equipment!

The building is owned by Technopolis, and both TAMK and Yle have a 20 years rent agreement for the premises, and moreover, more firms and start-ups are expected to find a new home in Mediapolis, the centre of storytelling and digital industry here in Tampere.

Let the new adventure begin!

Text and images by Lavinia Colzani, Fine Art student

It is Thursday and more than the half of the time in Leeuwarden is over. It is scary how fast the time is running. Out of the daily life of Tampere we can truly say that this trip and the experiences we have in here are just overwhelming. The kindness we get from the Dutch participants of the project is just amazing and made us quite fast forget the turbulent start of our time in Leeuwarden. After the first shy baby steps of getting to know each other we are now at this point that we feel more like a little creative family. This vibe is bringing so much productivity, intensity and inspiration to the daily work that the results are more than great.
Day by day the students not only learn from each other but also about themselves, their proficiency and their limits. It is a growing process which makes the Finnish-Dutch songwriting collaboration already now to something really special.

Mika and Guido while their co-writing.

Monday started quite rough for the Finnish students. The lack of sleep made the assignment to write a pop song within a few hours to a real big challenge. Until the late evening the different Dutch-Finnish couples worked hard to write some catchy song. Alumnus Freek, who is also the alumni coordinator from the Dutch side, gave a great input as well to support all of the students in their first assignment. The result turned out pretty good however the circumstances at this day have been.
The second day went – despite still missing luggage - a bit more smoother. Alumnus Jeroen made a students with the topic “Alternative" really happy. Full of vim and vigor the students created five great pieces of music. Even if these compositions are still raw sketches, many of them are on a good way to become something really special.
Anna writing lyrics ... 
... and together with Michelle while the composing of their song.

One of the most exciting days of the week was the EDM day (and because the luggage FINALLY got back!!). Most of the students never worked with this music genre before, so it seemed to be a huge challenge. But even if a few of them were a little bit afraid of the assignment, they got great support from Watse De Jong, a Popacademie alumnus who started with producing his own music in his teenager years, worked in the famous record label “Spinnin’ records” and concentrates nowadays on the management side of the business.
While the students were working on their songs, I was able to have a short interview with him.


Alvaro and Rosan concentrated.
Now we are having the 4th day of the workshop and the creative process is in a perfect flow. The depressing weather outside gives the perfect inspiration for today’s topic ballad and the curiosity of the end results is growing fast. Let’s see where our Leeuwarden adventures still takes us.

To be continued … 

It was meant to be an adventure. But that the adventure will have a turbulent start like THIS was something which probably no one of the five Music Production students was expecting.

Dutch student Sjoerd and TAMK student Mika talking about the work on their pop song.

The whole group with alumni Freek (left) while the presentation of the songs. 

Sunday noon: some of the second year music students are together with teacher Janne Tauriainen on the way to Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is a small town right in the heart of the Netherlands and the home of the Academie voor Popcultuur. Five of our TAMK music students got an invitation to visit the university and collaborate with five Dutch students in a co-songwriting week. The idea about the project is to create at least 25 songs which will might be produced and published afterwards.
To make out of this idea a more than thrilling matter the teachers from both universities decided to choose students from different backgrounds of music. Rap, pop or singer/songwriter are just some of the genres the participants coming from.
Each day of the songwriting week one Finnish student will match together with one Dutch student to create a song for a specific theme. The range of topics will cover at the end of the week pop, alternative, EDM, ballad and “There is no i in Team”. To get a good support, the Dutch teachers decided to bring also five alumnis on board who will help the students while they are working on the songs.
TAMK student Anna together with Guido from the Netherlands while the presentation.
Alvaro and Michelle working on their co-write pop song.

Right now we are really sitting in the Popacademie and writing pop songs – something which non of the Finnish participants actually expected on Sunday evening. Because this one became big, big Black Sunday:
After arriving in Helsinki airport we got the news that our flight to Stockholm got actually cancelled. Rescheduled we found ourselves waiting in Helsinki airport for a few hours, waiting for the boarding to Copenhagen first and afterwards to Amsterdam. Even if we were quite tight in the schedule we were able to make it to Leeuwarden – at least we thought so. The Black Sunday kept running.
Landed to Amsterdam airport we just figured out that at least more than half of the luggage got lost. Not nice, especially for the students who mostly got gear in their bags. After getting a tiny little survival kid from the airport (including monster XL-shirt, teeth brush, vaseline (?) or deodorant), we missed the train to Leeuwarden. Which is not that bad if it would have NOT been the last train at the evening.
After the helpless tries to find any way to get there in the night, we were forced to stay in the airport, waiting for the first train to Leeuwarden at 05.37am. That was the point where the actual adventure became unforgettable.
The “Hello Goodbye Bar” was the perfect place for the loooooong wait. Deeper explanations might not be needed. In between some of us made some more or less interesting friends. If it was the nice taxi driver with the great humor, the strange Burger King worker, the nice train ticket seller who was making hardly fun about us going to Leeuwarden or the Greece chick who was more than excited when she heard the name “Lordi”. Highlights which will none of us forget that soon. After having a few naps on the airport floor and few more beers in the “Hello Goodbye Bar”, we were finally ready to go to Leeuwarden.
Survival Kit

Two bags found the way to Amsterdam, the rest: missing.

It was 9.30 am when we were sitting at the breakfast table reflecting the last 24 hours. The bags are still missing (but hopefully already on their way), few hours of sleep got caught up and the music boogie is already in the creative running. More adventures will happen in these days but one is for sure: it cannot get worser! It can only get better and that’s for sure!

To be continued ...
Alvaro being productive at the airport at 2.00 am ... 

... while others decided to take a nap on the airport floor.