As a part of his Fall 2022 semester at DIS Copenhagen, Jake (he/him), Southern Methodist University, studied double bass with the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He wrote the following piece toward the end of his semester, reflecting on his takeaways from the past months and excitement for his final weeks in Copenhagen.
Photos by Ellen Hu.
My experience with the Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM) has been the most memorable and most special part of my semester with DIS.
At the conservatory, I’ve had the unique privilege of collaborating with music students from all over the world. The double bass studio consists of Danish, Swedish, Polish, Chinese, and American bass players. Despite language barriers, social differences, and the unique experiences related to our countries of origin, we bonded through our love for music and double bass, and we quickly became great friends.
Beyond just the double bass studio, I was invited by fellow RDAM students to participate in a public student-organized Halloween-themed concert where I played advanced repertoire at a venue in Copenhagen. The performance gave me the opportunity to perform alongside talented Danish, Polish, Icelandic, and other American music students.
I’ve also had the opportunity to take private music lessons every single week that have helped me to improve my skills as a musician, gain a new perspective on double bass, and prepare for my upcoming recital when I get home to the United States. It was really comforting to know that my semester abroad would not hinder my ability to keep improving as a musician.
My penultimate performance at the conservatory was the Annual Gala Concert where we world-premiered a piece of music featuring a double bass solo performed by my colleague. The Annual Gala Concert was an amazing chance to perform music in an international orchestra at the highest level I’ve ever experienced.
On Thursday of this week, I am playing in the end-of-year bass studio concert. I feel so lucky that I get to open up the studio recital with a solo that I’ve been working on all semester! And I’m excited to perform as a soloist in front of my fellow music students whom I’ve grown to know over these past months. The warm, hygge camaraderie in my studio and the beautiful, polished performances I’ve gotten to hear will be the two things I remember most fondly from my time at RDAM.
Jake rehearses at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Photos by Ellen Hu.
As a music major, my experience at RDAM was not only essential to my undergraduate studies, but it greatly expanded my options for my future. I’ve been able to build up my network of musical connections, and my experiences these past few months have completely changed my understanding of the world and music’s place in it.
I am more confident than ever that music is one of the intangible and universal human experiences that bridges gaps, brings people together, and helps to heal all.
After my semester at RDAM, I am more confident than ever that music is one of the intangible and universal human experiences that bridges gaps, brings people together, and helps to heal all.
Learn more about getting involved locally in Copenhagen: