Welcome to my website and blog!
Here you can read about my work as a musician and things that are important to me.
I am a person passionate about learning, really keen on meeting new people and creative collaboration.
I strongly believe that music and art are the most natural form of human expression and we need it to communicate with others - why would we limit ourselves to words if there are so many beautiful feelings and ideas that we can express through colours, sounds, movement?
Art can transcend the barriers of physical ability or mental capacity. It can teach us a lot about empathy and understanding towards others and towards ourselves. It is rooted in honesty and vulnerability that we all need in our lives.
It helps us find creative freedom and to feel more, notice more, care more.
Music is a lifelong companion. It carries meanings that evolve with our own development and which enable us to evolve. The sounds surround us from the moment we are conceived until we die.
They carry memories and feelings. We might come from very different backgrounds, have different life experiences and level of ability or education - but music will most certainly make us all feel something that can be shared, regardless of the differences between us.
This is what drives me on my path of creative exploration and what makes me believe that music will continue to find its place in the world.
I hope you enjoy browsing this website and find the information you are looking for.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything, please drop me a message!
Singing the way out of lockdown
21 May 2021
The past months have been a real challenge for all of us in the world of (music) education. I have been fortunate to be kept busy by delivering online workshops as part of different projects, and even able to work (very) remotely for the three months which I spent in Poland, unable to fly back to the UK.
I felt challenged frequently, but had to keep going nonetheless.
Thanks to my community music work, I rediscovered singing and playing the guitar (I self taught myself the guitar as a teenager in a scout group). It definitely helped me recentre and find my voice at times of the biggest anxiety and worry.
I hope music has been and will continue to be such a gentle and accommodating companion to you, too.
Why studying music in England?
27 December 2020
I remember seeing a small poster on a notice board in my secondary music school.
In fact - I remember exactly how it looked like: it was light yellow and A4 format, landscape.
It was quite easy not to notice it among all of the other colourful posters, shinier and larger, surrounding it. I still did, however - and I found out that there was going to be a late audition to study violin at Birmingham Conservatoire, organised at my school. I remember feeling intrigued.
I wasn't going to audition to study violin in my hometown of Krakow - in fact, I had very different plans, not involving professional music studies at all: the plan was to major in Spanish.
I was 20 and in the need of starting a new chapter - doing something different to what I was used to, but something that I knew I would enjoy. Before that I had planned to move to Warsaw and tried studying nanotechnology - none of these really worked out for me.
Perhaps that is why I was so intrigued by the poster - I wanted to find a path that I would enjoy. I was in the final year of my music school and I knew that I wanted to continue playing and creating music, but because I was not planning to study it formally in Poland, I was not really sure how to continue my musical development. I decided that it would not hurt to come to the audition to see what can happen. I was hoping to maybe get some feedback, but had no expectations whatsoever.
Life can be surprising - a few days after the audition it turned out that I was successful and even offered a scholarship! It was mind blowing and started a whirlwind of events and brought many dilemmas and uncertainty. I was excited about the idea and really scared at the same time.
At that time I didn't fully realise that studying in the UK would mean seeing my family two to three times a year...
But here I am, now, nearly seven years later - having graduated from now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a first two years ago, and now working as a full-time musician, educator and workshop facilitator in the UK.
Music, hard work and curiosity have opened a lot of doors to me and I am very grateful for my experiences. It has been an exciting journey.
It is rich in underground culture, which can make it challenging to acquaint, but also exciting.
Nothing is obvious about it.
Birmingham can teach you that it can be rewarding to wait. There are times when it feels like the city is a constant construction site - but the speed of the recent transformations is truly mind-blowing!
It is a city where you can try new things out. I met here a lot of amazing friends from all over the world. Birmingham is a place that gave me a chance, where I could make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.
Am I going to stay there forever? I don't know. I am comfortable with it now, but I am open to moving and expanding my wings. Perhaps one day I will be ready for a change...
Why study (music) in England?
What I didn't know before coming to the UK is that it is possible to study music academically (general music) and at the conservatoire (instrumental and vocal performance, conducting).
In Poland at general universities you can only study musicology, while performance, music theory, composition and conducting are studied at the specialist music academies and universities.
Despite the lack of a thorough background check, I feel that I received a good quality education at the conservatoire, definitely focusing primarily on the instrument, but exploring also music education, world and folk music and improvisation. To a large degree I was able to shape my experience as a violin student to suit my needs and interests. I left the conservatoire as an able violinist, but not feeling like this is the only thing that I can do in life, and I am very grateful for that.
In the final year of my degree I led my own large-scale collaborative project, Kaleidoscope, and received a lot of invaluable support from my tutors.
The opportunity to study abroad at a young age made me experience my early adulthood in a very interesting way. I made friends with people from all around the world and we all supported and influenced each other. I feel that I am constantly drawing from and building upon these experiences, growing as a musician and a person.