Héctor Ramirez: Jamming with the best of the best
Héctor values the opportunities he gets to play in the jazz department’s student orchestra with some of the best jazz musicians on the scene.
“I feel like I’m being taught by the best musicians from the jazz scene in Finland – who for the most part also happen to be great teachers. This is what sets the academy apart from other schools I’ve been to: the teachers really know how to get their message across to the students. What’s more, every student is at a very high level and that pushes you to progress. The curriculum in the jazz department is really well structured. The best thing is that, in addition to the permanent faculty, you have many international resident and visiting teachers. They are often some of the best players in the business, and you also get to play with them at the end of their visit, which is awesome! It’s a great learning experience and in my opinion one of the most valuable things about studying here. You’re already playing with top musicians right from the entrance exam. The jazz department is based in the Helsinki Music Centre, which offers incredible facilities. We have access to the practice rooms 24/7, which is wonderful because we can rehearse whenever we like. Helsinki is small city but there’s always something to do. Distances are short, which makes the city cool in comparison to Mexico City, for example. Student life is quite easy going – when you actually have the time to take part in it!”