English-speaking schools /teachers in continental Europe?

August 29, 2019, 12:12 PM · Hello! I recently posted about one-Year study options (Artist Diploma, etc) in Europe as a returning adult student, and got some kind and helpful responses.

I’m still looking for conservatories that have classes in English, as well as programs that are only one year long. Unfortunately, due to scheduling constraints, Germany and Austria are not options.

I know this topic has been discussed several times, but not terribly recently, and perhaps someone has new information! Are there any options in Southern Europe? Does anyone have info on the school in Barcelona or Madrid?

Much appreciated!

Replies (10)

August 29, 2019, 1:13 PM · From what I understand, the majority of mainland Europe's programmes are undertaken in English. However, I am unsure about actual programmes
August 29, 2019, 5:17 PM · Thanks so much. I’m finding that the schools in the Netherlands, Finland, and Copenhagen are indeed in English. Few seem to offer a one-year post graduate program, though. I was initially excited about Belgium, but tucked at the bottom of a page was that a working knowledge of French is required to study in Brussels, which I doubt I could do in a year.
August 29, 2019, 5:25 PM · I have a friend who got fluent in German in a year. So its definietely doable
August 29, 2019, 6:55 PM · Haha! It is certainly possible for many people! I simply know my limitations with languages and time constraints this year. I could learn Spanish, and already know quite a bit of Italian, but French and German are extremely difficult for me.
August 31, 2019, 6:12 AM · Not really answering your question, but just out of curiosity... is UK not in your consideration at all? It is close to continental Europe enough that it is easy to visit there during break time. The main language is English. The current Briexit is a bit of a mess but it is unlikely to affect you as an American. Plus, GBP is cheap (compare to USD) now.
August 31, 2019, 7:42 AM · Your options in Barcelona are ESMUC -Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya- (info here: http://www.esmuc.cat/eng) and Conservatori del Liceu (https://www.conservatoriliceu.es/en/). Both offer young and competitive environments and staff is international. May be a little late for 2019-20 enrollment. Try to be open regarding learning lew languages. It is the best way to get the most out of your experience. Good luck!

Edited: August 31, 2019, 11:43 AM · Thank you both, Sivrit and Rosa! The U.K. is not necessarily out of the question, but as I’m looking for a cultural experience living in a place I don’t speak the language, as well as musical experience, I’m looking at mainland Europe first. Rosa- thank you! Do you know anything about the violin faculty in those places? I’m looking them up, of course, but word of mouth is always a wonderful way to learn about people. I’d be interested in the 20-21 school year.

A vibrant, competitive environment sounds wonderful. I, however, am not young- as I would be returning to school after playing and teaching the last 15 years.

I’m definitly open to learning a language, and certainly assume I’ll come home with new language skills. I can get around in Italian a tiny bit, since I teach at an American festival there in the summers and therefore Spanish isn’t quite as scary. I’m worried about entering an academic program in a foreign language, even taking the next several months to learn, and totally failing. I went to a festival in Quebec for 2 summers as an undergrad and came home even more confused about French! Thank you for the encouragement. Sometimes we simply need a push- I will look further outside my comfort zone.

August 31, 2019, 12:31 PM · I knew a Greek concert pianist, a conservatoire gold medallist, who moved to Belgium for economic reasons (Greece was in a massive financial crisis at the time). In Belgium he did an MA in music at the KUL in Leuven, and was allowed to write his dissertation in English. My involvement was that he asked me to check his draft for grammatical errors etc before submitting it, but not of course for the content. As it happened, his written English was generally quite good and needed little correction. This was how I came to acquire an unexpected insight into the piano music of Scriabin, including the importance of the sustain pedal!
August 31, 2019, 1:06 PM · Both conservatories in the Netherlands and in Switzerland offer non-degree seeking programs which you could take for one year, CAS in Switzerland and contract studies in the Netherlands. If the professor speaks English you could have it in English. You will not be obliged to visit other classes besides the violin classes. Studies in the Netherlands are generally in English anyway
September 2, 2019, 4:56 AM · There's a Sienna-based violist who speaks English very well (I heard him give masterclasses in the language), but he may not be teaching very much now (Sorry, I can't ALWAYS actually be HELPFUL). However, there are probably other Italian string teachers that speak English very well. In my experience, the only European nation that sometimes shows resistance to speaking English is France (and some years ago I was told about a French consultant surgeon who humiliated, very constructively, but totally, an English surgeon who was in his department to gain a fortnight's extra experience before starting his first consultant's post - in English).

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