Find new friends, learn and make music at Wisseloord Academy

Justice and Ole met at the Wisseloord Academy and had an instant connection, now they spend their days making music together and enjoying all that the academy has to offer. We spoke to Justice and Ole about their music, their time in Wisseloord and of course their friendship. Interested to know more? Read the interview, or have a look at part of the interview below!

Ole Pederson is from Bonaire and was visiting his mother in the Netherlands when he found out about the Wisseloord Academy and decided to pursue his musical aspirations here.

“I had finished school on Bonaire and didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next, but I did know I wanted to give music a real try. I have been writing music since I was thirteen, but only just started producing music right before I left Bonaire.”

Justice got into music because he always saw his dad making music and eventually his aunt told him about Wisseloord Academy. He signed up to be part of the first group of students at Wisseloord Academy after a talk with Malik, the CEO of the Wisseloord Studios.

“I started making music when I was about four years old. I love making all kinds of music, especially pop and American trap music. At Wisseloord I mostly want to learn about producing, mixing & mastering and songwriting but I also enjoy the business classes.”

Making music at Wisseloord Academy

Justice and Ole are two students out of the 40 that make up the very first class of Wisseloord Academy. The Academy is located at Wisseloord Studios, a well-known studio where all types of artists come to record their music. It makes for a dynamics environment that’s working out well for both the students and the recording artists. There’s music being created every day and that just does wonders for the energy.

Both students have chosen for a very different experience. Ole moved to the Netherlands to stay at the Academy while Justice lives in Almere and travels to Hilversum. But they both feel that everything comes together at Wisseloord, regardless of where you’re staying:

“We have full access to all the materials, instruments and studios at Wisseloord, and everybody around is constantly working on music. So there is always someone to talk to, new people in the industry to meet and new music to make. That really encourages us to constantly make music,” says Justice. “And you continuously run into musicians, engineers and songwriters at Wisseloord, people that are happy to share their experiences and leanings. For me, that really adds to the learning process.”

Teachers are music industry professionals

Besides actually creating music, a big part of the program of Wisseloord Academy are the classes taught by music industry professionals. Each week there are three challenging lessons of four hours each where teachers give out assignments meant to either teach new ways of writing or producing music or focus on the business aspects of being a creator in this industry.

“The teachers really want us to learn and see us grow. They take their time to communicate with us and you can see they really enjoy teaching us.”

or Ole the lessons at Wisseloord Academy also mean exploring a new part of making music:

“Although I have been writing music since I was thirteen, I still see myself as a beginner. I only started producing music right before I came here. I had never sung or rapped but the teachers and producers here really motivated me to rap and write. So I’m experimenting with oldschool hiphop and trap music. The teachers motivate us, bring us insights from the industry and take their time to help us. It doesn’t matter if that takes fifteen minutes or an hour, they always take their time.”

Producing music and learning from new friends

Justice and Ole are now good friends who enjoy making music together. And besides being taught by the teachers and visiting industry professionals they also learn a lot from each other. Justice is inspired bye Ole’s writing and freeystyling skills while he, in turn, is teaching Ole about the technical aspects of music. Working and making music together is one of his favorite things to do at Wisseloord, providing him with the energy and motivation to keep on working.

“Ole writes so fast and is great at freestyling, his flows are amazing. Whenever I make a beat, he instantly has the words to work with it. Outside the classes we are just making music, bouncing and it sounds really nice and clean.”

“Justice helps me with the technical aspects of making music and the difference between verses and choruses. He also helped me to be at ease when making music and opening up. It feels like I’m destined to be here at Wisseloord Academy.”

Do you want to join us at Wisseloord Academy next semester? Read more about our music courses or get in touch!

Wisseloord Academy: find your sound, improve your songwriting

Want to know more about life at the Wisseloord Academy? Brynja Mary is a sixteen-year-old singer/songwriter from Iceland and one of the first students at Wisseloord Academy. She mostly writes and sings pop and R&B music with a distinct Nordic vibe. We had the chance to ask Brynja some fun questions in between creative sessions. She talks about the various classes, her goals and life at the Wisseloord Academy.

Brynja Mary

Brynja Mary

Brynja Mary is an international student who, with her sisxteen years, is the youngest student at Wisseloord Academy. Originally from Iceland, Brynja has left home to spend thirty weeks at Wisseloord and learn more about producing music.

“I have been singing all my life and writing music since I was seven years old. Last year I was the youngest participant of the Eurovision Songfestival, proudly representing Iceland, and I have lived and made music in many different places, including Germany, Denmark, Norway and LA. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in music, so when I was looking for a school to learn more about the production side of the industry, my mom found the Wisseloord Academy.”

Musical education combined with creative sessions

Each student joins the Wisseloord Academy with different goals in mind. That makes the experience different for each student and, even though Brynja already has quite some experience under her belt, she was surprised at what it turned out to be like:

“It’s amazing. Everything is vastly different from my normal life, since I’m also on my own for the first time. But I get to experience what it’s like to work with music every single day. Wisseloord is my school ánd my home now, it’s amazing to be surrounded by people with the same passion and learn from each other. I love it.”

Asked about her main goals for attending Wisseloord and how the teachers help her get there, Brynja says: “For me it’s all about figuring out who I want to be as an artist. Besides learning the basics of producing music, I want to figure out what I’m good at. The teachers ask a lot of questions to get me thinking, which especially in the beginning was very confusing, but it helps. Also, I’m trying out new things every day, which really helps with this process. If I’m not in class, I’m in a creative session, getting to know new people and new aspects of the music industry.”

Experiencing the music industry

Even though (music) theory is an important part of the program at Wisseloord Academy, the lessons and exercises are practically oriented. Students are constantly making and producing music, challenging themselves with new approaches, genres, or aspects of the industry.

“If you want to improve your songwriting like I do, it helps to practice. Every day at Wisseloord Academy is like a real-life experience. When I walk out of here at the end of the program, I’ll already have so much experience and a whole network in the industry. I genuinely believe that’s a massive advantage when you are trying to grow further into the music industry like I am.”

“It’s hard to say what my most amazing experience at Wisseloord has been. All the sessions have been amazing. Meeting new people and truly getting to know them, going beyond just connecting and networking, has been fantastic. But I also got to participate in a talkshow for the Dutch Media Week, which was pretty cool.”

Want to learn more about songwriting, producing and the business side of the music industry? Join us next semester at Wisseloord Academy! Learn more about our courses or get in touch.

Wisseloord Academy is an introduction to a life in the music industry

Are you considering joining us at Wisseloord Academy next semester? The first group of students is well on it’s way to get the most out of their experience at Wisseloord Academy, while CEO Malik Berrabah is starting to make arrangements for a new group of students to join in January of 2021. We had a conversation with Malik about what new students can expect and the vision of the Wisseloord Academy.

Malik Berrabah is a French music producer who completed his education at the conservatorium when he was just twelve years old, finishing his masters at fifteen. He’s been making music all his life and was mostly working as a producer of pop music when life brought him to the Netherlands where he came in contact with the Wisseloord Studios. When Mallik first came to the studio’s it was just that, studio’s where musicians could record their music. But he instantly had a vision, that is slowly coming to life.

“When I rented a space here to work and record music, the owners of Wisseloord asked me what I thought of the place. To me it was clear that just a music recording studio was not enough for the future of Wisseloord. I shared my vision of Wisseloord being a music hub and slowly got involved, at first the focus was to get the writing sessions and content production going. This is an organic process that takes time, so this year we had the time to actually get another part of my vision come to life, which is the Wisseloord Academy.”

What is the Wisseloord Academy?

The Wisseloord Academy is a new academy for individuals who want to learn how to write, sing or produce music and know how to handle the business side of making music. The academy is located at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, The Netherlands.

“We are very focused on practicing music, of course we also give theoretical lessons but not as much as for example a conservatorium. Whenever we teach theory, the students directly put it to practice.”

Students following the full program get twelve hours of class each week, three lessons of four hours each: creative lessons, business and career coaching, and lessons in production, recording and engineering. Currently 10 teachers from the music industry have a recurring role in the lessons and every other week a guest lecturer gives a masterclass about his or her expertise.

 

Lessons, master classes and networking

The music industry is much more than making and producing music. Of course students learn to write music, rap or how to record in high quality. But the business aspect and building your network is just as important. That’s why the lessons alternate between creative, technical and business lessons but also why master classes by industry professionals are part of the program, teaching about rights, publishing, events or branding.

“Teachers and guest lecturers are producers, guitarists, singers, songwriters but also representatives, marketeers and publishers from companies such as BMG and Universal. With their experience from the industry they inspire, teach and coach the students.”

These industry professionals not only teach students another aspect of the music industry, but also offer them networking opportunities. Wisseloord Academy is not just a music academy, but a place to connect students with the industry and vice versa.

“A network is extremely important within the music industry. You are hired by a company or producer because they know you or because of who you know, not because a piece of paper or your cv.”

Personalized learning route into the music industry

Each student at Wisseloord follows a personal route to their life in the industry. Of course, some themes and main points of the lessons are set, but what happens in the studio’s depends completely on what each student wants and brings to the mix.

“Each lesson is different. For each class I make groups of four to five students, for example one being a guitarist another making beats and yet another one is a singer. That class they will work together on a focuspoint, but each with their own goals in mind. The teachers share their experience and steer the students. Therefore, each lesson and each outcome is different.”

Students have very different entry levels, some are great in writing music but don’t know about the technical aspect while another has been producing music for years but wants to learn about songwriting. Each student has his or her own goals, the teachers at Wisseloord are there to teach and guide them in whatever way they need to achieve that goal.

 

Personal development, exams and coaching

Wisseloord Academy not only focusses on musical development of students, probably half of the work is emotional and personal development. The teachers are also coaches. It’s one thing to make music, and another to know what kind of music you want to make and be honest with yourself, is your goal achievable?

“Music is feeling. We really get to know the students and connect with them, so we can also emotionally guide them.”

After every ten weeks there is an exam, students present themselves and their music. It’s a moment to reflect on progress and development of the past weeks and set goals for the next ten weeks.

 

The future of Wisseloord Academy

Soon the academy will welcome a new group of students. Each potential new student first meets Malik, to talk about past experiences, goals and ideas to really figure out what the academy has to offer for each student. When asked why he does what he does, Malik said the following:

“This is what I do. It’s my passion, and I don’t think many people can do it the way I do. Really tuning into people, getting to know them, be their coach and mirror. But, it’s who I am. And in three years I hope to see a campus at Wisseloord with a hundred students getting ready for the music industry.”

Want to join Malik, the students and industry professionals at Wisseloord Academy next semester? Learn more about our musical education program or get in touch!

Corona

During the Corona crisis, we find the health of our students and teachers more important than anything else. Therefore, we will keep on following the guidelines from the Dutch Government and RIVM. Our classes/studios will have a limited amount of students, be cleaned up methodically between sessions and the safety distances between participants will be respected.