11 March 2024

Anne-Maartje Lemereis, Composer of the Fatherland, speaks out about the importance of music education.

"I feel a strong need to advocate for music education."

Lemereis is advocating for music education. ‘This is an essential part of our humanity and extremely important for the future of our children,’ says Composer of the Fatherland, Anne-Maartje Lemereis.

Photo: Stella Dekker

She emphasises that it is not only very beneficial for children to be more creatively engaged with music, but it also helps them in areas such as cognitive and socio-emotional development. She encourages a greater awareness of the value of the field: ‘I hope that other teachers, musicians, and composers become enthusiastic and realise that what they do is vital.’ Anne-Maartje Lemereis is a composer, and also teaches composition and music theory at the Utrecht Conservatory. In addition, she organises composition workshops for children from the age of four. She develops teaching materials and workshops to reach as many children as possible. She is the initiator of the Youngest Composers’ Day (Jongste Componistendag), a day where children between the ages of 4 and 18 can participate in various workshops, activities, and concerts related to composing and improvising.

In January, during her visit to Eurosonic/Noorderslag, Lemereis emphasized the importance of music education. At the festival, she gave an interactive lecture on her musical influences (“from Stravinsky to Britney Spears”) and spontaneously composed a new piano piece on the spot, together with the attendees.

In an interview with ‘Entertainment Business’, the Composer of the Fatherland speaks about the importance of making the profession of composer visible: “Our field of work is very invisible and abstract. However, a composer is no longer someone who only puts music notes on paper – in fact, he or she has never been just that.”

Numerous new plans are in store for the upcoming period.

The Composer of the Fatherland (Componist des Vaderlands) was established in 2014 by Buma Culture. The position has so far been filled by Willem Jeths (2014-2016), Mayke Nas (2016-2018), Calliope Tsoupaki (2018-2021), and Martin Fondse (2022-2024). Anne-Maartje Lemereis will hold the position of Composer of the Fatherland for the next two years. According to the four-member jury that appoints the Composer of the Fatherland, Lemereis is an “original mind who knows how to respond to daily current events in a playful manner.” Lemereis is also praised for her ability to work with both professionals and amateurs, and for her focus on the emancipation of composition lessons in music education.

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