Our Alumnus Roope Mäenpää: The teacher was an important role model and inspiration for composer Mäenpää
Roope is a composer who represents the new generation of composers. His compositions have been played at the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra as well as on several other estrades around the country. His production ranges from chamber music to theatre music and from children’s concerts to Finnish zither concertos.
Roope spent his childhood with music and started his composing studies in secondary school as a pupil of Composer Paavo Korpijaakko. The beginning of his career was not easy.
“The beginning of my composing studies was shaky. It takes time that musical thinking begins to find its expression on paper even relatively effortlessly. I identify the early clumsiness in my students, too,” Roope states.
He did his first composition for the unaccompanied cello in 2007 when he still studied at Tampere Conservatoire. The composition was presented at TAMK’s composing class concert.
It still took a couple of years before Roope acknowledged to himself that he could become a professional composer.
“I had the idea that composing could become my profession in Alexander Church Park in Tampere,” he states.
Roope applied for composing studies in TAMK’s Degree Programme in Music because Composer Jouni Kaipainen, who Roope held in high esteem, taught there. The teacher-student relation was highly important for Roope.
“My teacher-student relation with Jouni was indescribably deep and inexplicable,” he describes.
Working life projects were the best in studies
Students grow as persons and future professionals during their studies. The studies also gave important learning experiences for Roope.
“Different working life projects with all their unpredictable aspects may be the best what the school can offer. My greatest experience was implementation of the bachelor’s thesis project together with the University of the Arts Helsinki,” he reminisces.
Roope recommends that those dreaming of music studies thoroughly consider how the available study options can best support their career plans.
“I think that time management is the most demanding in studies. You have to reserve a lot of time for practising the instrument and composing calls for some peace of mind.”
Read about Roope’s production at https://roopemaenpaa.com/bio/
Photo and video: Jaakko Saarilampi and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra