The versatile Tim van Buitenen wants to perform, teach, and coach: "Then the circle is complete"
"I see myself as a musician who really enjoys being in front of the classroom." Tim van Buitenen gives piano lessons, works as a session keyboardist, accompanies two choirs as a pianist, and is also in the process of completing his studies Tailor Made Music in Education in Enschede. Previously, this versatile musician attended the Academy of Pop Music. "My advice? Always pursue your dreams."
He remembers it well. At the age of sixteen, Tim took to the stage with a friend to perform for their classmates at their high school. The applause, the compliments afterwards, it immediately left him wanting more. "I thought, this is really cool. From then on, it has always been my goal to eventually end up at the conservatory", Tim says. His focus for a long time was on becoming a musician. "I have now achieved that, and the development doesn't stop either, but it's also nice to have a foundation. Something to fall back on. And during my education, I discovered that I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion for music with high school students."
Teaching different target groups
Tim completed his education in three years, taking advantage of several exemptions. "Of course, I had already completed the Academy of Pop Music, so I didn't have to take several theoretical subjects," he explains. The internships showed him that being in front of the classroom was really something for him. "That way, you can effectively discover what it's like to teach different target groups. What I enjoy most about high school? Mainly the connection I feel with these students." Tim found the course to be very broad, which, in his opinion, is also attractive for the subsequent steps he takes.
Room to explore different possibilities
During the ensemble leadership course, Tim discovered that conducting suited him as well. "That was a real eye-opener. Standing in front of a choir or orchestra, I didn't know I would enjoy it that much. I always thought: how do those conductors on TV do it? During my studies, I learned the finer details of the profession, so now I can do it myself." According to Tim, there are many more examples of how great it is that, as a student, you have so much room to explore different possibilities.
Music is not necessarily the most popular subject in high school, so I am always looking for ways to make it more appealing to students."
How does he envision himself standing in front of the classroom? As a calm and friendly teacher who enjoys putting theory into practice by playing pieces that resonate with his students' interests. "For example, songs they listen to on Spotify," says Tim. "Music is not necessarily the most popular subject in high school, so I am always looking for ways to make it more appealing to students." He enjoys guiding and coaching people towards achieving their goals. "And then waiting for their reaction when something actually works. Seeing a sense of accomplishment on a student's face, that's why I do it."
They definitely pay attention to recent graduates
For his graduation project, Tim developed teaching material for the upper years of high school. "It's about functional harmony," he explains. "Based on their hearing, students learn to listen to chords in a song and eventually apply them to their own instrument. I provide them with the tools so they know what they're playing." Will he use this teaching method himself in the future? Tim nods. "If it resonates with the students, then yes." He has since found a job at a high school and is more than happy about it. "Yeah, it's great. I noticed that I wasn't the only one applying, but they definitely pay attention to recent graduates." Tim had a high expectation of finding a job beforehand. "Especially because I'm versatile. Additionally, I'm young, I have my first-degree teaching qualification, and thanks to completing the Academy of Pop Music, I have a lot of musical knowledge."
Always pursue your dream
Regarding future plans, Tim sees himself pursuing his passion in various places. In addition to teaching, he wants to continue giving one-on-one piano lessons and perform as a musician. "That would complete the circle for me," says Tim. "I remain a musician. As a session keyboardist, I interact with different people in different settings. Sometimes it's at a reception or a wedding, but I also play in party tents as a substitute for a cover band. Additionally, I accompany two choirs as a pianist, so my schedule is quite busy. But I enjoy it, and I want to maintain that versatility." Does he have any tips for young people who want to walk a similar path? "Always pursue your dream. It doesn't matter how, but follow your instincts and make sure you achieve what you want to achieve."