On September 29, Jean Jaurès preschool in Garges-lès-Gonesse held a festive ceremony to launch our violin program there. Amid bright sun and gusty winds, 134 four- and five-year-olds received their violins in the presence of their parents, their teachers, and our partners—the city of Garges, the French Education Ministry and the Fondation Royaumont.
As you’ll see from the photos below, the event was a great success, with over 300 people in attendance. Teachers and violin instructors put a lot of effort into preparing the schoolyard for the occasion—despite the efforts of the wind!
In her opening remarks, First Deputy Mayor Marie-Claude Lalliaud expressed delight at welcoming the project to Garges-lès-Gonesse.
Foundation President Hélène Vareille then outlined the mission and goals of the project, thanking the parents for their involvement and their willingness to support the children as they embark on this challenging—and rewarding—adventure. (Below left, Project Director Clément Dumortier, Vareille Foundation President Hélène Vareille, and Jean Jaurès preschool principal Marie Parizot)
Hervé Cosnard, the French Education Ministry’s Academic Director for Val d’Oise, explained why he is so enthusiastic about the project ( watch the video in French), and Marie Parizot, principal of Jean Jaurès preschool, described the entire teaching team (including local preschool support specialists) as fully committed to making the project a success.
Marie-Christine Laviron, the project’s Val d’Oise Education Coordinator, explained how the in-school violin lessons will work and introduced the parents to the three violin teachers, Carole Paroubek, Jean Srnic and Yovan Girard.
Finally the long-awaited moment arrived, and the children were presented with their violins.
The ceremony closed with an unforgettable performance by violinist Yardani Torres Maianiand accordionist Guillaume Leroy. The melodies and rhythms brought to life by these talented, personable artists captivated the children, who danced happily to the music.
After the ceremony, parents and children gathered around a buffet table in the schoolyard, mingling with the musicians, admiring their instruments—and perhaps dreaming of playing as well as they do someday!