I am in Gargilesse France at the moment with my student Arilyn Mitchel. She came here for the two week series of masterclasses and instruction, and I came to revisit a place where I had spent the summer many years ago(It’s where Pierre Jamet had his summer home).
The activity here for a serious student is just amazing. The designated teacher here this year is Gabriella dell’Olio, and she’s a terrific teacher. The students here get an hour private lesson with her every other day. But in addition to that, they had the chance to have private lessons with Marie-Claire Jamet, Catherine Michel, and Isabella Moretti! My student signed up for all three. Fabrice Pierre,the harp teacher at the Conservatory in Lyon, was here, and Arilyn(and everyone else) wanted her to play for him. She did, and it turned into a 2 hour lesson.
The format here is very French. The students get private lessons. But anyone can walk in the room and just sit and listen to the lesson, and they are encouraged to do that. So the students hear each other play, and they get to watch these really great teachers teach. My student has gotten so much out of this it’s incredible. Then, because this year is the 50th anniversary of the Gargilesse Festival, there were about 25 concerts over the two weeks-everything from classic solo harp to chamber music, historical harp(that concert was unbelievable!) jazz harp, South American harp, etc. I think all of the students are struggling to keep up. I would recommend that anyone wanting a serious summer course next year look into this. It’s fantastic, and at the highest level.