Moira Garee works as a Project Manager (Events) at Boiler Room
The discourse within the classroom and learning from my classmates’ experiences was the best part of the first term. Overall, the second term was my favorite component. I chose to move to Berlin for my internship and to write my thesis abroad. The infrastructure for the thesis and internship component are flexible, and the teachers are open to new ideas on how each individual student best caters to molding their own education. I really enjoyed the freedom to move into a music scene that best prepared me for a career in the music industry.
While I was still in my study term, I reached out to different magazines and publishing companies to work as a freelance writer. Within the writing about music course I learned the realistic expectations of the industry. I can now write about music in a professional capacity and understand the timeline and deadlines for editorial writing.
I am currently a Project Manager for Events, and Event Producer for the Boiler Room, an online music and media platform that showcases underground music culture. I travel around the world producing events and live broadcasts from Taipei to St. Petersburg, or Kampala to Miami, and many spots in-between. I started as a studio assistant in their Berlin office to fulfill the internship component of the Applied Musicology programme. Over the internship period, this evolved into a more hands on role with transportation coordination, scheduling, and event management. The Applied Musicology programme facilitated a purpose to sit within the organization, by supplying an internal report on my findings within the company. This helped build my understanding of the Boiler Room within the music industry. To be honest, I come with a lot of working background in the music scene from Chicago. From festivals, to hospitality, to baseline marketing techniques for events. The Applied Musicology programme gave me a chance to hone in on the skills I already had. The Master’s programme provided educational resources (teachers and literature), a platform, and a network. I am thankful for that!
Kirsten Pennings is a student of Applied Musicology
"I followed the bachelor musicology at Utrecht University. The different cultures, interests and backgrounds of my fellow students were a nice touch to the master. This made group projects – such as creating, designing, and writing a magazine together – diverse and interesting. The prospect of applied courses in the Applied Musicology master was why I chose for this master. I did not know whether I would want to follow an entire master on cultural journalism. So, this master with applied courses in journalism, producing and knowledge on the Dutch and international music infrastructure was wide enough for me to discover what subjects I like and would want to make a career out of eventually.
Some knowledge of the applied courses I can use in everyday life. I use basic knowledge on copyright, streaming services and deals with labels in interpreting news articles on acts, when I listen to music industry podcasts or when I hear music being played in a shopping mall or restaurant. Through my production and events internship at GRAP Amsterdam, I learned how to combine gained knowledge with practical skills. In addition, I saw the pop infrastructure and network mapped out in front of me. You can learn how managers, stages, agencies, and media work together in class, but it is different if you see the faces behind each of these institutions and functions.
My internship was my first step into the Dutch pop music industry. I know I need to develop more skills and extend my network. That is why I take a gap year with a student job to pay the rent and I will volunteer at different festivals (Into the Great Wide Open) and stages. I want to work somewhere backstage in the pop music industry, but what and where I don’t know yet."
Former student Frank Adams is Chief Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Students University of Wageningen (WSKOV)
"As a conductor (check the link to see a performance), I have always been involved in the study of musical scores. During my studies at the conservatory of Utrecht, I mainly focused on the technical aspects of the discipline. Once working as an orchestra conductor, I experienced the importance of the scientific study of music. For instance: conducting a symphony of Brahms required me to relate to questions of how the symphony functioned in its historical context. How did they perform it in Brahms’ time? How many and which kinds of musicians constituted the orchestra?
Because of this interest in the scientific aspects of music I decided to apply for the Master’s programme at Utrecht University. The courses in musical theory offered by the programme are much more in-depth than those offered in similar courses at Dutch conservatories. All the topics under consideration stimulate varied and extensive discussions on music. Practical knowledge can be broadened and deepened on the basis of scientific methodologies.
As Utrecht University is really flexible with respect to attending courses, I was perfectly able to combine my employments as an orchestra conductor with the premaster trajectory. Moreover, the programme Applied Musicology offers a substantive elaboration that can be put to use in different professional contexts. For me it contributed to a deepening of my activities as a conductor, but it is certainly also beneficial for musicians or teachers at a school of music or high school. In short, I would recommend everyone interested in or working in the field of music to apply for this programme."
Former student Hanna den Hollander works as an editor for Podium Witteman and Top2000 a Gogo
"The Applied Musicology Master combines academic knowledge with practical skills for the job market. This combination was ideal for me.
During my master I chose to focus mainly on music, media and digitalisation. Out of sheer interest and because it had much to do with my internship as an (online) editor at a TV programme on classical music. Many things I learned in class were directly applicable for my research for this programme.
When I finished my internship, I landed a job at the same company. I still work full-time in broadcasting and have worked for various TV programmes (Top 2000 a Gogo, Podium Witteman, College Tour). I am in charge of the online communication (where my knowledge of digital music comes in quite handy), and I do background research, mainly focussed on images (where everything I learned on music and media is useful). My master really gave me a head start."
Daniël Steneker followed a research internship at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition
"After obtaining my bachelor degree in media studies, I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the interaction between media and music. Therefore I subscribed to the pre-master and master programme Applied Musicology.
During my master studies, I followed an internship trial at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition. This research internship happened to coincide with the quadricentennial celebration of diplomatic and commercial relationships between Turkey and the Netherlands. The Liszt Competition followed onto this occasion by organizing a concert about Liszt’s short but remarkable residence in the summer of 1847. Liszt was one of the first Western musicians to be invited to the sultanic palaces. Not only did I delve into old newspapers reporting the event, I also travelled to Istanbul to visit the palaces where he performed, his temporary residence and even the bathhouse where he went for relaxation.
Apart from the ‘Lisztanbul’ project, my activities at the Liszt Competition ranged from the production of concerts to serving cheese to music competition staff members from all over the world, dressed in ‘traditional Dutch garments’.
In my thesis, I combined the knowledge from my media studies background with my newly acquired musicological insights. I analysed the record cover of classical music records through the decades as a platform for both visually interpreting the music and addressing the audience. During the writing process, I experienced a lot of support from my lecturer for this interdisciplinary approach. Next summer I will present a selection of the findings from my thesis on an international music conference in Norway."