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Jeanne Amièle

Graduate of and lecturer in piano

An encounter with Jeanne Amièle, graduate of and lecturer in piano at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music.

  • Why did you choose the piano?

My father was a big music lover, and his childhood dream was to learn the piano. That dream came true for him as an adult when he finally got a piano. I was five when the instrument arrived at the house, and right away I wanted to learn to play it too. It was perfectly natural: we listened to so much music at home that I felt very close to that world. For all that, I was no “child prodigy” and I didn’t grow up in a highly competitive environment. I think those are the reasons why playing has remained a pleasure for me. 

  • How does research modify your teaching practices and methods?

I’m very interested in the question of memory for pianists, who are probably the instrumentalists who most need to memorize their recitals, sometimes a few at the same time, in addition to concertos! It’s a real challenge, something that can influence performance anxiety, and means have to be developed to address that task. I familiarized myself quite a bit with the research in this field during my Ph.D synthesis. That research influences my work on the piano enormously, and my way of teaching as well.

  • What’s your primary source of inspiration?

Like a lot of pianists I’m particularly attached to the romantic spirit, obviously because the repertoire of the romantic composers is so rich and exciting, but also because I share its sources of inspiration. With Schumann or Liszt, for example, the music is the expression of the self, of love, of an inner life or of literary characters. The narrative of their lives, their letters and various writings shed a lot of light on their artistic processes. There’s something very human and sincere in those approaches. I always look for inspiration at the piano, because for me that’s the best channel of communication with the audience.

November 2020