Digital Application for Codarts Rotterdam – University of the Arts

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I`m glad You found your way all over to my digital application for the Pop Vocals subject. In the following you will find a biography about my person, a musical CV, three songs I recorded and a motivation letter.

(1) Biography

Lara Pluym (also known as Lara Tahm) is a 19-year old aspiring artist who has been in touch with music since she was 8 years old. Being fascinated by the violin, she managed to convince her Croatian mother to attend a music school in Freising, Germany in order to learn how to play the violin. After graduating elementary school, she attended the Camerloher-Gymnasium Freising which is a middle and high-school that specializes in music. This meant that every student had to undergo per grade four practical exams on their main instrument and two practical exams on one’s vocals. At this facility she could focus more on her violin and singing and at the same time take part in a bunch of musical projects. Pluym was a member in different choirs and school orchestras. Although her music education was predominantly classical, by the age of 14 she developed an interest in pop music and started expanding a broad music taste. As she was born in Croatia and raised bilingually in Germany, she has always been in touch with two different cultures and music traditions. Due to that, she started exploring artist from different nationalities and genres. By the age of 14, Pluym started participating in a school band. In Fall 2015 she started researching and writing a thesis about punk women in London in the mid-1970s and the riot grrrl movement in Washington D.C. in the 1990s. By examining this part of music history in depth, she started to write her first original songs and learn the piano. Simultaneusly, she was organising with 26 other students Hans Krasa’s children’s opera “Brundibar”. During that project she took part in the orchestra playing the 2nd violin and rehearsed with the children different songs. Through that project she learned what it takes to implement a long musical performance. On January 2016 she suffered from Tinnitus and was not able to play violin or sing for the following three months. Fortunately, she found her passion to music back and decided to focus more on her songwriting and voice after graduating from high school in June 2018. In Fall 2018 she moved to the Estonian capital Tallinn to serve as a volunteer in a youth center and work on different musical projects as well as writing a music blog about the Estonian music scene. Through her work as a music blogger she managed to interview notable Estonian bands like I Wear* Experiment and receive some valuable songwriting advice. By joining the Estonian Television Girls’ she became acquainted with Estonian folk and choral music. Simultaneously, Pluym attends the vocal technique course in the WAF singing school where she learns Cathrine Sadolin’s Complete Vocal Technique. Through the WAF school and also by going regularly to a vocal coach she learns all the important parts which are necessary to sing in a healthy and beautiful way. Pluym is currently working on her goal on self-producing her own album.

(2) Musical CV

Music education

2007 – 2018 violin (Advanced level)

  • 2007 – 2010 private lessons at the Freising Music High School
  • 2010 – 2018 private lessons at the Camerloher Gymnasium Freising

2010 – 2012 Alto in the Camerloher Youth Choir

2012 – 2014 Alto in Camerloher Youth Orchestra

2014-2017 vocalist in the Camerloher School Band

2016 – now playing piano and attending private lessons

2014 – 2018 1st and 2nd violinist Camerloher Senior Orchestra

September 2018 – now WAF Singing School (CVT) since September 2018 (knowledge: Edge, Overdrive, By-way neutral, Highway-neutral, Overall Principles, Imitating different sound colours)

September 2018 – now 1st Alto in Estonian Television Girls’ Choir

November 2016 – now private lessons at a vocal coach since November

Performances (A selection)

  • School band concert at the Aula in Freising, (2015)
  • Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Domberg in Freising (2015), 2nd violinist
  • Hans Krasa’s children’s opera Brundibar at the Aula in Freising (2018), 2nd violinist
  • Christmas concert with the Estonian Girls’ Choir in Kohtla-Järve Culture Center, choir vocalist (2018)
  • Ott Lepland, Rein Rannap and the WAF choir – “Kirju palli lend” performance at the Estonia Music Awards, choir vocalist (2019)

(3) Audio and Video files for the Codarts pre-audition

(1) Original Song: I’m Falling Inside by Lara Pluym

(2) Original Song: August Pullman by Lara Pluym

(3) Cover: Alone by Selah Sue

(4) Motivation letter

Dear Sir or Madam,

hereby I am applying for the Pop Vocals Bachelor programme at the Codarts Rotterdam University of Arts.

As someone who is musically trained since the age of 8 and has since then sustained a curious and eager interest into music, I am determined to implement my dream and become a vocalist, music producer, songwriter and vocal coach.

The Codarts Rotterdam University of Arts offers for me very attractive opportunities to study pop vocals and in the following I would like to explain why this is the case.

Firstly, Codarts is aware of the importance of musician’s health care. As someone who is dealing with Tinnitus and occasional sensitive ears for the past three years, I was pleased to find out about the Performing Arts Health Care Center. After talking to different music teachers and listening to their ear problems I knew that sustainability and health care is the number one priotiry I am obliged to follow during my music career. From conversations with stangers and friends I can tell that ear protection is not an issue that is being paid attention to in our society. Hence, often musicians underestimate the fragility of their ears and put thus their music careers at stake.

Coming to the health of singers specifically, musicians’ health means that we have to take care of our bodies and muscles. I have made the experience that yoga and stretches in the morning as well as workouts and massages facilitate my voice to get stronger and clearer. At Codarts I would like to learn more about the relationship between the voice, body and mind. At the same time, I would like to learn what the most sustainable path is to memorize a great reportoire of musical pieces.

Secondly, Codarts’ pop programme provides the opportunity to expand my musical skills individually. In today’s music industry it is crucial to be able to play more than one instrument and know how to write songs as most royalties are paid to the songwriter of a track. Codarts’ Pop programme in particular gives me the opportunity to learn the music skillset which is needed to establish myself as an artist, songwriter, vocalist, music producer and vocal coach in the music industry. I am aware of the fact, that I am as a vocalist not as experienced as fellow musicians. However, since I live in Estonia I dedicate my whole leisure to music and singing. And I decided to invest my life into the art of singing, songwriting and music production.

The fact that Codarts teaches the Complete Vocal Technique by Cathrine Sadolin is the most crucial reason why Codarts attracts me to apply for the Pop Vocals programme. Since September 2018 I attend the WAF singing school in Tallinn, Estonia and I have benefited so far immensely from Cathrine Sadolin’s vocal technique. The Complete Vocal Technique manages to demystify the art of singing and describe it in a fixed, understandable terminology. Therefore I am able to listen to performances of different vocalists and analyze as well as imitate their singing. For me it is important to work with a vocal coach that teaches the vocal technique that I am familiar with because it encourages mutual understanding along with easy communication and it simultaneously provides me to imitate sounds more efficiently.

My motivation to establish a career in music is pretty simple to explain. Music is the medicine that keeps me alive. It gave me my enjoyment of life back after dealing with my tinnitus. It is the only thing that energizes me and lightens me up during difficult periods in life. Personally, becoming a professional musician means having the ability to enrich people with different mindets and perspectives on life.

Besides, I am determined to contribute a feminist role in the music industry. I would like to encourage females to start making their own music and establish their own music businesses. I would like to see more all-female bands in the music industry and take initiative to establish equal opportunities for all genders in the music business. I want to make music about the romantic longing for a hetero-sexual relationship, the unconditional sentiments you feel while embracing self-love and about the anger towards older generations ignoring the danger of global warming. My goal is to self-produce my own album and inspire other females to take the same initiative.

Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to speaking to You soon.

Yours sincerely,

Lara Pluym