Interview with cellist Anne Gaurier

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert is the director of the Paris Music Institute. He is passionate about music education for adults and believes that it is never too late to start learning a musical instrument.

Stefan Joubert: How old are you and how long have you been playing the cello?

Anne Gaurier: I am 42 years old and have been playing the cello for 33 years.

Stefan Joubert: What are your first memories of the instrument and what inspired you to start?

Anne Gaurier: I loved hearing my parents play in a quartet at home with friends. I loved lying in my mom's cello case.

Stefan Joubert: Were the first years of learning the cello difficult?

Anne Gaurier: I was mostly interested in sports. The first years were difficult because I didn't understand that I had to work hard every day.

Stefan Joubert: When did you start practicing more seriously?

Anne Gaurier: When I was at the conservatory in Paris around the age of 12, I think.

Stefan Joubert: Can you tell me about Madame Cochet? What did she do for your development and practice of the cello?

Anne Gaurier : She was an excellent teacher. She really taught me how to work on the instrument and become rigorous.

Stefan Joubert : How many hours a day did you practice when you started to take things more seriously?

Anne Gaurier : I worked up to 9 hours a day when I was a student in Paris at Philippe Muller's because I didn't have school to attend anymore and could devote my days to it. I used to wake up at 6am to start at 7am.

Stefan Joubert : This is commendable!

Stefan Joubert : At the Paris Music Institute, we specialise in teaching music to adults. What advice would you give to an adult who is starting to play the cello?

Anne Gaurier : Not to be discouraged if the sound takes a long time to be pleasant to listen to and always work in a relaxed way.

Stefan Joubert : Do you think everyone can learn?

Anne Gaurier : Of course.

Stefan Joubert : What is your teaching philosophy?

Anne Gaurier : Fun, enthusiasm and relaxation.

Stefan Joubert : How do you assess the progress of your students?

Anne Gaurier : By listening to the sound that becomes more and more interesting and seeing their dexterity evolve over time!

Stefan Joubert: How do you help students overcome difficulties?

Anne Gaurier: I like to find ways for them to work as if they were playing games.

Stefan Joubert: It's wonderful! It's a great idea!

Stefan Joubert: What do you think is the most important thing for a cello student to know?

Anne Gaurier: That without serious and regular practice, there will be no progress. The teacher is there to give the keys to learning and not to make them succeed in a piece from the first lesson.

Stefan Joubert: How do you help a student at the beginning of the course to read the notes correctly?

Anne Gaurier: By playing games according to their age, of course.

Stefan Joubert: Thank you!

Stefan Joubert: When did you start learning the viola da gamba?

Anne Gaurier: I think it was 13 years ago. (Interview was conducted in 2023)

Stefan Joubert: What inspired you to start?

Anne Gaurier: By listening to baroque music. I absolutely didn't know this magnificent sound that I was hearing!

Stefan Joubert: How do you maintain your technique and skills on both instruments?

Anne Gaurier: By working and practicing regularly.

Stefan Joubert: Is teaching the viola da gamba very different from teaching the cello?

Anne Gaurier: The teaching system is the same. However, the instruments are very different.

Stefan Joubert: Thank you!

Stefan Joubert: What are your goals for the future of your musical career?

Anne Gaurier: To teach more and more students and continue my career as a cellist in an orchestra, as well as my solo career or chamber music on the viola da gamba.

Stefan Joubert: Thank you Anne for your time.

Stefan Joubert: One last question: what advice would you give to an adult cellist who is having difficulties, who feels like giving up... what can you say to encourage them?

Anne Gaurier: To remember why they started in the first place. Usually, the answer will be because of their love for the instrument.

About Anne Gaurier:
Anne Gaurier is a French cellist and gambist, specialising in baroque music. She has studied with renowned musicians. She is also an experienced teacher and teaches at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Toulouse. She performs regularly as a soloist, in chamber music and with orchestras.

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