"Teachers can be technicians. They can be sources of information. Motivators. Mentors.
Blanka Pesja is an Artist of Education. Her impassioned devotion represents both a love for individuality and a life-long investment in the advancement of popular music as “serious” art. She affirms the value in her students' voices while simultaneously instilling - if not demanding - respect for deep knowledge and skill.
Blanka is contributing to a new breed of young educated pop musicians. They are aware. Smart. Poetic. Thoughtful. Engaged. Curious. And empowered.
She is a voice of the future for pop music.
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Since the beginning in 2003 of the pop department of the conservatory of Amsterdam, Blanka Pesja has been a strong force within our teacher's collective in shaping a unique program for studying popular music. Nurturing the artistic individuality through art education and lyric writing is her speciality. Her challenging and adventurous assignments and clear method contribute in an important way to the development of our young musicians.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Anna von Raison
"I had an amazing professor, Blanka Pejsová*, who said that the original idea of pop culture was actually very simple. Namely, everyone dances around the fire, somebody beats the drum, and everybody enters into a collective ecstasy. That left a lasting impression on me."
* my native Czech name
in Pop's Neo-Classical Period Interview ssense.com
Blanka Pesja is one of the most dedicated art teachers you’ll ever meet. She is inventive, passionate and critical when necessary. She keeps innovating her methods, always aiming to find new ways to inspire her students. For me, the Lyric Lab lessons were about experimenting and reinventing my reading and writing skills. It’s about exploring your senses, approaching themes from different angles, puzzling with words, rhythm, and meaning. But most of all: being able to create actively instead of waiting for inspiration to find you.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“Equipped with a sharp musical – lyrical instinct, extensive educational experience and a substantial knowledge of neuroscience, conceptual artist and Lyric Lab teacher Blanka Pesja passionately inspires music students to not only develop their very own lyrical voice but compile a wide array of reliable methods in lyric writing. She skillfully supports songwriters in creating avenues from mind to word to song to audience, thus paving the way for the true emergence of the artistic self. As a former student of Blanka Pesja’s and creator of a competition - winning, lesson - written piece, I highly recommend her courses: both as a journey to rich creative horizons as well as a rewarding venture to self-discovery..
"I met Blanka when I was studying Jazz in Amsterdam, at the Conservatorium. She was a teacher on a subject that Jazz students didn't have access too, before that year: Lyric Lab. I always loved to write so I signed up for the course without really knowing what to expect. The truth is, that course is the reason why I'm a singer-songwriter today. Step by step, Blanka lead us on a journey of self-discovery that really changed my path. It was not about a formula, or the rules to write a perfect song, but more about unblocking our own creativity, questioning our safe zone, and challenging the rules that can be so dangerous in an Academic environment, especially in an Arts School. Of course, there was technique involved, I gained tools that I use with my own students nowadays. How to use the sound of our language to make music. How to tell a story from an interesting point of view. How to own what we say, and mean every word. How to organize a song to deliver a message, in an effective and musical way. But most of all it was more about unleashing the songs I had inside, with no restrictions. It was a lot of fun! Blanka, as all the great teachers, brought the best in us and encouraged us to go further, always. I feel very lucky to have met her, and that she shared her knowledge with me.
Blanka's unique approach and thought provoking methods of lyric writing pushes one to discover himself through sound, rhythm and the multilayered meaning of his chosen words. With a flexible yet challenging mindset, Blanka's attentiveness to the dynamic of the study group doesn't hinder the personal attention every songwriter craves for, and creates a fertile greenhouse for individual discovery as well as unique collaboration experiences. Through time I found out that even my daily formulation of sentences have been upgraded, sensitivity for semantics has enhanced and rhetoric skills bloom, a lesson for daily interaction as a bonus to building the foundation of understanding the connection between words and music.
Tommy and the Humans, Maccabin-Re'Ut, Israel
“...seven songs, every one of them created in your class. Without the motivation, you have given me I would not have done it. You have opened a little door to my independent creativity, let me dig into a deeper layer of text and music that otherwise would not have come to surface...You have always kept your faith in me without losing your critical view. You, with your lessons, have made my time at the conservatorium invaluably. I’m now at the point of finishing my education and this, what I’ve achieved all by myself, has given me a calmness and trust that I will always carry with me. It was tough and a battle; sometimes with you mostly with myself but OMG so much I’ve learned. You’ve always given me the feeling you believed in me without losing your critical view. I find you a very intelligent and inspiring woman and I advise everyone who is in your proximity to soak up your ideas like a sponge to come to deeper insights.” (2015)
CUT_ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Blanka taught us the skills and theory behind (creative) writing but made you stay close to the intuitive aspect of it. This makes everyone’s process different but the possibility of creating something unique much bigger. By following Blanka’s lessons I experienced the feeling of breaking free from the same circle I was running."
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“It was great to have someone help with the technical side of lyric writing because I think people don’t look into that enough. Even though a song is, of course, an emotional thing, sometimes there’s still a lot to gain in word placement, rhyme structure, and phrasing. This perspective was also a nice way for me to get through the sea of ideas and opinions of other people involved in the writing process and eventually get to a technically and also emotionally satisfying end result’' (2017)