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Je donne


Agnès Ménard

Doctorate in performance student

Instrument: classical singing
Country of origin: France
Arrival at the Faculty of Music: autumn 2016

  • What do you like most about the Faculty of Music? Is there a teacher in particular who’s been a source of inspiration for you?

The fact of rubbing shoulders with other students, whether in my field or not, makes it possible for me to develop completely. The projects that we share, for example at the Atelier d’opéra or in different seminars, allow us to discover our respective histories.

My singing teacher Rosemarie Landry is certainly the one who’s been the most inspiring during my stay at Université de Montréal: she’s given me access to a whole world of knowledge while sharing her love and respect for the repertoire.

In my view, the great strength of the training in classical singing at the Faculty of Music is the collaboration of all the teachers. In addition to our instrument teacher, each of them provides a building block for our artistic and musical identity: the vocal coaches, teachers of diction, of stage movement, and the other voice teachers.

  • How has your stay at the Faculty of Music influenced your life?   

My move to Montréal was already quite the change! I discovered another culture and new people here, but I was above all able to rediscover myself and progress in different ways. My colleagues’ mentality changed me a lot: I developed, because I felt accompanied and supported. And at the professional level, I’ve made decisive encounters and affirmed my choices about my way of working.

  • How will you remember the Faculty of Music when your studies are over? Is there a vivid memory or an anecdote that comes to mind?

The recitals and the Atelier d’opéra productions are key moments in my university career. I’ve also been deeply moved at recitals by close friends, seeing them reveal themselves before my eyes. 

I’ll also remember the many discussions with my close friends around our more or less elaborate lunches at the cafeteria, and those 20-minute breaks that end up turning into 4-hour discussions that finish with that famous sentence, “Anyone feel like poutine?”

  • Which aspects of life in Montréal and of Québec culture do you particularly enjoy?  

Montréal is a great city on a human scale. I lived in Paris for a few years and I feel much more at home here. Montréal has a very well-stocked cultural and social life, but also parks, little shops and cafés. In my neighborhood, it feels a little like a village: people recognize and greet one another. I’m touched by Québec culture, which I’m discovering little by little: every door I open in that culture, I discover more depth, strength and pride.

  • What advice would you give to a first-year student?

When you arrive in Montréal, I think it’s important to surround yourself with teachers and friends you can count on, especially if you’re coming from far away. People who’ll be able to get you out of your practice rooms when you spend too long there, or provide you with a little motivation at the right time.

For those who are starting a bachelor’s program, I’d also say pay close attention to your course choices so you don’t end up in your last year with an impossible number of courses to get through.

  • What would you like to say to students who are thinking of coming to continue their education at the Faculty of Music?

Have faith in yourself, and just do it!

November 2020