For all those who have never had the opportunity to discover classical music―and have never known the joy it can bring―we want to make free, effective classical music education available to disadvantaged children. At the Vareille Foundation, we believe that classical music should belong to everyone, not just a privileged few.

Our program takes its inspiration from the Bridge Project, launched by the London Music Masters foundation in communities on the outskirts of the English capital. Under this marvelous program, music classes become an integral part of the elementary curriculum from age four, and children begin violin lessons in their second year. Starting from the fourth year, instruction becomes optional, and children who choose to continue are given a violin.

The first English school to participate in the Bridge Project was Jessop Primary School, in a southern suburb of London. We visited the school, attended music and violin lessons for four- and five-year-olds, and spoke with their teachers, who were all very enthusiastic about the program. They emphasized its dual benefits:

The children are exposed to music. Some develop a genuine interest in music, and for others it can even become a vocation. Several Jessop alumni are now on scholarship at highly selective secondary schools with dual academic and musical curricula.
The school’s academic performance has clearly improved. The instructors are confident that the Bridge program helps children develop discipline and concentration and motivates them to make progress in their musical studies—which also contributes to their academic success.

This kind of project cannot succeed without support and active participation from professional music teachers and from the management team at the host school.


Work session in Lausanne

A nice day for the families from Valais in Verbier

Martigny schools hold year-end concert

Martigny hosts visitors from France

New retreat for “violin project” participants at Verbier Festival!

Meeting with parents in Martigny

Verbier Festival welcomes our young musicians

Our first concerts!

First feedback from teachers

Spring 2016: Martigny to Zurich to London

A progress report on 2016

How do they do it?

Our first set of impact data

Valais: in the news

5/5 – Grand finale: an Italian buffet

4/5 – Singing and dancing

3/5 – The high note: the children receive their violins

2/5 – A surprise concert by Alexandra Conunova

1/5 – A large and attentive crowd

Lovely evening in Martigny on October 9

Presentation to Martigny parents

Impact measurement: Support from education specialists at HEP

Violins arrive

Two days in Verbier

Meeting with the Valais team

90 violins now being made!

Raphy Darbellay, superintendent of Martigny’s elementary schools, relays a message from the local council in Martigny: “Full steam ahead!”

Meeting with the leadership of the Martigny school district

Impact measurement contract with Swissocial

Contact with the Valais Education Department .

Meeting with Thierry Debons of the Valais Conservatory

Meeting with Valais officials

Verbier Festival: A world-class partner