Vocalist and vocal coach Harjo Pasveer started his musical career as a pop and jazz drummer. He expanded his instrumental skills in a cabaret company, after which he attended the Rotterdam Conservatoire, where he studied to be a music teacher. As a member of the Laurenscantorij choir, he discovered classical music. He decided to combine the music in education programme with the classical voice programme at the same conservatoire.
After graduating, Harjo joined a company for children’s theatre. In 1990, he started working as a vocal teacher and choir conductor at the school of music in Capelle aan den IJssel. In 1991, he was asked to be a teacher at the Kurt Thomas Course for choir conduction. Here, he developed his now renowned workshops vocal development for choirs. Since 1997, Harjo teaches Voice (technique) as a major subject at the Jazz and Pop departments of Codarts Rotterdam.
Vocalists with whom Harjo has worked or works as a freelance vocal coach include Alain Clark, Caro Emerald, Giovanca, Pete Philly, Chef’s Special, Stevie Ann, Roel van Velsen, George Kooymans, Jan Smit, Frans Bauer, Gers Pardoel and finalists of a number of popular (vocal) talent shows. He also cooperated on various radio and television programmes.
Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?
“Rotterdam has students and teachers of many nationalities, who all bring with them their own culture. Codarts is an environment capable of extracting the strengths from all these differences, and in doing so is at the forefront of artistic development.”
What are you going to teach them?
“As a voice technique teacher I have different approaches: EVTS, CVT, and Pahn, but also yoga, Alexander technique, and Pilates.”
How are you going to teach them?
“Voice technique is not a goal; it is a means to solve problems. The following questions are the guideline for my lessons: what is attractive about you, what do you do well, what are your dreams? I facilitate the development of your artistic story/concept. In other words: you will learn with your own personality as a starting point, instead of learning technical tricks.”