Pascal Godart, piano teacher
‘Lausanne is a small town but has an astonishing array of cultural activities.’
Why did you choose to pursue your teaching career in Lausanne?
PG | Out of all the different posts on offer in Europe, Lausanne was the city that aroused my curiosity. The reputation of the HEMU was what clinched it for me. And I was fortunate enough to pass a competitive examination.
What were your first impressions when you arrived in Lausanne?
PG | I find it so easy to breathe in Lausanne. Having been born at the seaside, I am very sensitive to the presence of water and can feel it in the air. It's a town on the water and I feel at home here.
In professional terms, I was then struck by the extraordinary resources made available to us. At the same time, the demands made of our work are on a par with the resources and opportunities given to us. This all makes for very stimulating working conditions.
If you had to define the study environment in Lausanne in just three words, what would they be?
PG | Convivial, talented, motivated.
Can you tell us about your career before taking up your post here?
PG | I was an international concert artist and still perform today.
What do you consider to be a key feature of your work, in your particular field, in Lausanne?
PG | The teaching post I hold is associated with a large measure of trust on the part of the management. I have a great deal of freedom and, at the same time, a great deal of responsibility in relation to my students, both musically and personally.
Can you tell us about any memorable events you have experienced in the course of your work?
PG | It is very exciting to arrive at an institution like the HEMU which is in the throes of change and development. The inauguration of new premises in the Flon district, this geographical expansion, is a minor revolution for the college. I am experiencing many emotions and have the urge to develop new projects.
What do you get out of your work as a piano teacher?
PG | Teaching is more than enriching for a musician as it means learning to express things not only for your students, but for yourself as well. Above all, however, it is a means of exchange for me - giving twenty hours of lessons a week brings me into contact with ten different people. I feel as if I'm helping them and sharing my love of music. When a student enjoys success, it brings me immense satisfaction.
Do you wish to stay in Lausanne?
PG | Yes. Coming to Lausanne has changed many things in my life and I hope to continue living here for a very long time.
Would you recommend Lausanne as a town in which to study?
PG | Certainly. Lausanne is a small town but has an astonishing array of cultural activities. Bear in mind that we have an internationally famous chamber orchestra and an opera company that stages great productions throughout the season, and that the HEMU is a leading light among higher-education establishments in Switzerland. Lausanne is a wonderful city to live in.
What is your fondest memory of Lausanne?
PG | There are too many to mention.
Interview conducted by | Tom Crawford