In April 2018 students of Sibelius Academy received an email informing about an upcoming educational week to USC Thornton School of Music in LA. Over thirty pop/rock-oriented musicians applied (myself included) and I was one of the four lucky ones who was selected. Even though the trip hasn’t even begun I feel super grateful and privileged to have this opportunity. And by the way my name is Annika. I have studied music education in Sibelius Academy for nearly six years and about to graduate this month. What a perfect way to finish the studies. I feel like I owe a lot to the Sibelius Academy because not only did I get my degree done but it helped me to find a new place in music. My artist name is Anni&, if you are interested take a listen.
Enough about me, it’s time to concentrate on LA. When I first took a glance at the schedule of the week I was kind of blown away of the amount of activities we are about to have. First of all I am looking forward to meet the other participants and hearing their music. Secondly I’m eager to create something new with them. We have a co-writing session coming up on Monday and I have already set my hopes up really high. We have a few performances during the week but it’s still a mystery how they are going to be set up in a new environment. I’m nervous and excited about them at the same time. But after the performances I can say that I have had a gig in LA. I’m working as a voice teacher in Conservatory of Turku and I find that the new national curriculum emphasizes on songwriting and finding your inner voice as a performer. In LA we start every morning with different subjects of career building lectures and move on to action with artistry building workshops. I want take in all the information possible so it’s time to become a speedwriter and take a lot of notes. I’m looking for new inspirations on how to teach performing and fresh angles on songwriting.
The name of this educational journey is LA Experiences. In my opinion there is only good stuff in the schedule so we can really just enjoy and learn. The name sums up my expectations towards it. I am looking for all kinds of new experiences in music in City of Angels. (By the way the photo is taken in Kuusamo bear trails where I had my non-formal high-altitude training camp last weekend. Recommendations!)
Annika Tepponen is one of the four Sibelius Academy students participating in LA Experiences educational week organized by the Thronton School of Music in Los Angeles. The students will write about their journey in this blog and also feature as guestgrammers in the University of the Arts Instagram account @uniartshelsinki.