Some years ago I wanted to really get back into playing bass guitar. I started playing a few hours a day, but I developed an injury (also related to a full time job clicking buttons) in my hand. The physiotherapist said I shouldn’t play at all for about 3-6 months. Recovering ended up taking about a year and a half. Some pretty shitty timing. So I was down in the dumps and thought “what instrument can I play that doesn’t require my fingers? Well, I guess I could try singing”. That’s how I stumbled across Zangschool Zuid and the inspiring and talented vocal coach Kim Sita, which ended up changing my life.
Kim has a background in musical theater and is a graduate of the London Centre of Contemporary Music. She has a taste for R&B and the grandes dames of pop, like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celion Dion, but she is adept at many styles of music. Since her return to the Netherlands, she has been teaching from her home and through Zangschool Zuid, which happens to be right around the corner from my house. So it was that the stars aligned and our paths crossed. I booked a trial lesson and then took out a lesson package.
One thing I can tell you, is that the first few lessons made an unbelievable difference in my singing capabilities, teaching me about posture, breath control and different kinds of voices. Kim is a great singer, a great instructor, and last but not least, great at putting you at ease and helping you believe in yourself. That being said, she simultaneously pushes you out of your comfort zone to make sure that you are always expanding your abilities and confidence.
Kim organizes open mic sessions for her students at various venues. At the time, it was at a little Indonesian toko in de Pijp. We put up a show in the back of that little diner, using backing tracks or accompanied by the marvelous Marcus on guitar, most were nervous and everybody was supportive and attentive. The friends I brought to watch were all struck by the wholesome atmosphere and the general good vibes. For me these nights provided an opportunity to get back on stage after many years and had me performing only weeks after starting to sing. A month later, I first accompanied myself on guitar. Another month later, I performed at a completely different open mic, playing guitar and singing a song I had written myself. Then, when my hand finally healed, I wasn’t as nervous getting on stage and playing bass. Taking these lessons set in motion a musical renaissance for me.
Last August, I had the pleasure of hosting Kim’s open mic at the newly christened Cafetarium at Helicopter. It was an incredible night, with many of Kim’s students, some delegates from the Amsterdam jam scene and some Rotor Rockers from Billies Mustangs. As per tradition, Kim was humbly holding back until her students pushed her on stage at the very end, after which she proceeded to blow us all away with Whitney’s Greatest Love of All. The night then turned into a jam session that had the hard core of the group sing, play, dance and party into the small hours of the night. You should have been there.
Luckily, you can be there next time. Helicopter proudly presents Kim Sita’s open mic, this time combined with the Heli Marmalade Jam. Wednesday the 22nd of November, we are organizing this musical bonanza at Heli’s very own Cafetarium. So come along to show some love and support or sign up for a spot on the open mic, or just bring your instrument and jump into the sticky jam.
If you’re thinking about singing lessons, I warmly recommend Kim. Come check out the open mic at Heli, or at Clink Noord, or go see Kim at her two-weekly set with her Inspo band at bar Bariq.
Call or WhatsApp: +31 6 38237819
The inspo band: https://www.instagram.com/theinspo_band/