Studying in the beautiful Swiss city of Sion reaps plenty of performance opportunities, says the violist

Elise (Haute Ecole, Switzerland)

 Élise Hiron

After completing a bachelor’s degree at the HEMu’s Lausanne campus, I decided to start a master’s at its Sion campus. For me it was a logical step because I had already had a great experience at the school. The first thing I love about my course is the beauty of Sion as a city. The weather is always great, the buildings are beautiful and the school itself is very pretty. The campus is quite small, so everyone knows each other. The atmosphere between students is very supportive, and most of us are involved in the student union, which makes student life very active. As for the faculty and administration, I have always been impressed at how attentive they are to students. Whether it be for personal matters or an outside project, there is constant support.

Having had experience with the HEMu in several campuses now, one thing I cherish about the institution is how it allows you to grow in your own way and become the musician you want to be. There is no path forced upon you, and it’s OK to make mistakes. You’re surrounded by people that have all types of careers ahead of them. This is reflected in the fact that we have specialised master’s courses. In my case, I am doing an orchestral master’s. With this, I am able to play several sessions with a professional Swiss orchestra.

For those wondering whether to apply – and perhaps hesitant to move to Switzerland because of its high cost of living – I would say that this is easily made up by the fact that there are so many paid opportunities for young musicians. You also gain so much by living in a beautiful city – whichever campus you are at – surrounded by energetic young musicians and some of today’s leading teachers.

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