On April 10-11, the Foundation welcomed a delegation of French educators and administrators who came to visit the Martigny schools—and above all to immerse themselves in the daily life of our A violin can change the world program.
Launched in Martigny and Zurich in September 2015, the program is now nearly two years old, and we hope to launch the next phase in France this September, at a school in the town of Persan, a Priority Education Zone in the département of Val d’Oise, near Paris.
Thirteen people traveled from France to Switzerland early in the week:
- several teachers and the principal from a preschool (Carine Boucart, Fabienne Foulon, Nathalie Ledieu and Jeanne Brienne) and primary school (François Cathudal, Audrey Barret and Corinne Vanderwaeter);
- the head of cultural affairs at the Val d’Oise Office of National Education Services (Michel Clouin);
- Persan’s education adviser (Xavier Nivaggioni);
- the director of the Persan School of Music (Patrick Laviron), its coordinator (Michel Souleillet) and one of its violin teachers (Marie-Christine Laviron); and
- the director of regional programs at the Royaumont Foundation (Marina Zinzius).
For two full days, our guests attended various violin classes for children in grades 1H, 2H and 3H, meeting and talking with their fellow music educators in Martigny and sharing their experiences in an exchange that enriched both sides.
In addition to immersing themselves in the school, our French visitors took the opportunity to explore local culture, visiting the Hodler Monet Munchexhibition at Martigny’s famous Giannada Foundation and enjoying a traditional Valais evening of raclette in a village of “mazots” (typical Swiss houses).
Thanks to the warm welcome our visitors received and the outstanding hospitality of the entire Martigny team, this “violin summit” paved the way for a future partnership, building trust and laying a solid foundation for the next phase of the project in the Paris region—which now seems very likely to begin in September.