A violin can change the world, our flagship project, is designed for schools in the most disadvantaged areas. Studying the violin intensively in school accelerates development of skills that facilitate classroom learning—and introduces children to classical music.

Making music an educational priority

  • Keep students in school with violin lessons that help four- to eight-year-olds “learn how to learn”
  • Make classical music accessible to everyone

The dropout problem is a challenge for many countries

Every year in France,100,000 teenagers leave school without a diploma, costing society an estimated €230,000 per dropout. (2012 BCG/MENJVA Study; final report 2016)

In France, which has one of the highest rates of social determinism among OECD countries, 40% of students are already struggling when they graduate from primary school.

Science proves that playing an instrument makes a difference

Solid scientific research shows that playing music has a strong positive impact on children’s success, in part because it significantly improves their concentration, memorization skills and capacity for abstract thought. As a result, studying an instrument makes it easier for children to acquire language skills, an essential step in learning to read.

On average, three-year-olds from disadvantaged communities know about 500 words—well under half the number for other children. It is imperative that we find an effective way to help them close the gap from the very beginning, so they can reap the full benefit of classroom instruction.

Why the violin?

Essential cognitive mechanisms develop between birth and age seven. Regular violin practice activates the entire brain, creating multiple connections among its various parts. (See the Anita Collins video How playing music impacts your brain.)

How it works

Our A violin can change the world project is designed for schools in disadvantaged communities. In France and in Switzerland, we focus on communities with large immigrant groups.

Compulsory music education becomes an integral part of the regular curriculum, starting from age four. Violin lessons are taught by faculty members from local conservatories, using age-appropriate teaching methods that evolve with the children.

Some key figures: in September 2019, 1,200 children benefit from the program in 10 schools (5 in France and 5 in Switzerland). At full speed, from 2021, these 10 schools will represent a quota of 1600 children who practice the violin.