Being the daughter of a hoboist and violinist, Merel was enthralled by music from a very young age. She has been busy paving her way as a very passionate conductor and arranger since she was 18 years old. The choice was clear.
As soon as Merel graduated from the Spieringshoek School with her high school diploma, she followed the Bachelor program “Music Education” at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam. It was here in 2009 where she achieved her very honorable final grade of 8,5. Because Merel is never finished learning, she went on to study the Bachelor program “Choral Direction Light Music” with conductor Tijs Krammer. In June 2011, Merel graduated with straight A’s.
Two years later Merel continues to follow her ambition and she got an inspiring start to the Master program of Rhythmic Choir Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, studying with Jim Daus Hjernøe and Jesper Holm. In may 2015, Merel graduated with the highest possible grades for all classes. Merel is also very much inspired by mentors and friends like Peder Karlsson (ex-Real Group) of Sweden and Roger Treece (composer Vocabularies by Bobby McFerrin) of the United States.
From november 2015, Merel will be teacher and coördinator for the the education possibilities featured at the conservatories of Rotterdam and Tilburg, presenting 'Vocal Leadership', based on 'the Intelligent Choir' method. Merel can often be found at (inter)national festivals spreading the word about this method and presenting her vision when it comes to choir leading.
Peder Karlsson: ‘Merel Martens is one of the most gifted choir conductors of her generation. I am sure Merel will play an important role in further development of new a cappella music in Europe.’
Roger Treece: ‘Merel’s a wonderfully rare ‘animal’ in the species of artists: equally endowed with a high level of musical curiosity, commitment to excellence, and talent…and always a pleasure to work with’.