'I truly believe that NAIP is the future of music'

Sigute Zurauskaite.jpg

Sigutė Žurauskaitė graduated from the Master‘s programme ‘New audiences and Innovative Practice” (NAIP) in Groningen in 2016. She is a choir conductor, workshop leader, singer and piano player from Lithuania. She is the founder of "International Vocal Quartet“ and "Baltic Choir“.

As an experienced musician she has a predilection for traditional and choir music from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. She helps choirs find ways to create a bond with the listener and give an inspiring performance. Next to being a musician, she works at the Prins Claus Conservatorium as educational supporter for the master of music.

Choosing the Master of Music

I studied two bachelors in Lithuania. Music education and Political Science. This combination made me realize that the musicians profession can be more deep than I thought. When I read about NAIP program, I felt that that was exactly what I was looking for- a modern approach on a musician, an artist.

What was a selling point for me to apply at the Prins Claus Conservatorium was that each student can have an individual program, individual path. In bachelor the majority of lessons are for everyone-main instrument, theory, music history, solfege etc. In Master next to the main instrument lessons you can create your own program and choose electives like jazz harmony, heartmath, group dynamics etc.

My research

My research was about the role of the musician in the process of making traditional music internationally recognizable and internationally attractive. In other words, how to promote traditional music abroad. I was interested in why do we recognize the traditional music from Spain like flamenco, or chanson from France, but if we would hear Sutartinė from Lithuania (which is in UNESCO), not that many people would know what it is exactly.

And even the research was written from the musicians point of view, I’m still interested in how the politics, economy and other factors are influencing the promotion of the traditional music abroad.

Being a professional musician

NAIP helped me to look at my profession from a different point of view. Before my studies, I looked at music from a bit of a primitive way. A choir conductor conducts, composer composes, piano player plays piano, teaches etc. But this program helped me to see that as a choir conductor, I can and I have tools to inspire people, to lead workshops for different groups, to organize events, to teach ensembles on how to connect with their audiences. I truly believe that NAIP is the future of music. 
The outcomes of my research inspired me to start composing modern pieces based on Lithuanian folk songs and then eventually to start my own vocal ensemble ‘International vocal quartet’. In 2019 the “Baltic Choir” was founded as well. These ensembles help me to stay connected with my roots, with where I’m coming from and also it educates the community that I live in.

Photo: Simon van der Woude sponsored by Embrace Nederland.