Oral Transmission in French Conservatoires: Towards a Hybrid Learning Strategy?

  • Cassandre Balosso-Bardin


As a young music graduate with a fresh performer’s degree (Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales) in hand from a French conservatoire, I often replaced conservatoire teachers in the Parisian suburbs. On one occasion, I was asked to substitute for a recorder teacher who was suffering from severe health issues for a couple of months. I was required to teach several young students who were preparing for their end of year exams. The music teacher gave me instructions as to which pieces they were working on and what to expect from the students. One of them, she told me, was completely hopeless: after three or four years of study he could still not read music, he would play about two notes and then get stuck. She had no hopes regarding his exam performance.