Teaching units

Our training courses are designed to allow students to realise their musical goals, thanks to:

• a combination of musical research and practical performance skills
• a full knowledge of repertoires
• opportunities for high-quality work experience

All courses are designed around the student. Each student receives individual attention, helping them to best define their own objectives, as well as expanding their network of professional contacts through meetings with visiting artists at the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes.

UE1 - MUSICAL PERFORMANCE SKILLS | 31 hours per semester

Music lessons

Practical instrument training = 12 hours per semester
Assessment: 1 oral exam

Orchestra training

Chamber music = 15 hours per semester
Chamber music training timetable

UE2 - MUSICAL AND THEORETICAL SOURCES | 24 hours per semester- First year

1st semester – Forms and uses of sheet music – Isabelle His and Thierry Favier
(University of Poitiers)

This module presents different types of musical sources created during the 18th Century, including those in academic, school, and private collections, produced by composers, musicians, and publishers. A combined study of the contexts in which these works were written, as well as their different uses, will provide students with a clearer understanding of links between different forms of music. Particular emphasis is placed on the advantage to the performer of taking a critical approach to  music.
Assessment: Final session will take the form of an oral examination

2nd semester – Study of musical treatises – Hilary Metzger (Abbaye aux Dames) and Pascal Dubreuil (CESMD)

The seminar entitled “Study of musical treatises” involves an in-depth analysis of the main musical treatises (rhetorical documents, theoretical guides, instrumental methods) from both the classical and romantic periods, covering a period from the 18th Century until the beginning of the 20th Century. Taking into account the context of these documents, students will learn about the key elements influencing them (culture of the author, target audience, “scholarly” teaching or focus on more specific practices, etc.). They will then be able to apply this new-found knowledge to their own musical performances.
Assessment: Dissertation and viva or oral examination during second year

Speciality seminar: Artistic transfer and models (music, musicology, and art history) – Véronique Meyer and Thierry Favier (coordinator)

In this multi-disciplinary seminar, students work together in groups of 2 or 3 on projects relating to their personal research interests. Students also produce a blog in their chosen subject area, including university-standard written work and research materials (sources, iconography, recordings, etc.). During classroom sessions, each group presents the progress of their work, as well as providing summaries of articles and other works relating to their area of study. To aid in them in this, students have access to resources from researchers in their chosen field. Assessment: 1 oral presentation and/or exercise


Musical production and performance with the Abbaye aux Dames Youth Orchestra

One session of chamber/symphonic orchestra performance per semester


UE4 – MUSICOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY |24 hours per semester | First year

First semester -Sources and bibliographies – Isabelle HIS

This module covers the different bibliographical tools used in musicological research. It includes access to different primary and secondary sources, as well as a wide range of documents. Students will examine the structure of these works, compare the way they are laid out, and aim to understand the decisions taken by their authors. In addition, this module also addresses the correct way to write a research dissertation, bibliographical norms, how to summarise information, and how to avoid plagiarism.
Assessment: 2 written and one oral assignment: evaluation during seminars

1st year – 2nd semester – Critical Discourse Analysis / Thierry Favier

This seminar focuses on the the way in which contemporary musicological discourse – both written and spoken – is created. Students will examine how authors present and develop their key research points, looking at vocabulary, formulation of arguments, the use of musical examples, presentation of documents, etc. As well as focusing on the theory of discourse, participants will present their own work as well as taking part in collective discussion.
Assessment: 2 written assignments and 1 oral examination during seminars 

2nd year – 3rd semester – Organology and Luthiery

The organology seminar runs as part of the “Toolbox Forschung”. It provides an insight into the different research projects carried out by the  Haute École des Arts de Berne, specifically relating to the production of period musical instruments during the 19th Century. These sessions, which will also be attended by students from Bern, will feature professional musicians, instrument makers, instrument restorers, and musicologists. Teaching will be provided by: Kai Köpp, Adrian v. Steiger, Daniel Allenbach, and Andreas Schöni.
Assessment: Presence

2nd year – Semesters 3 and 4 – Disciplinary Boundaries (Music and musicology, Art History): Orchestra:a European Institution (18th – 21st Century) / Thierry Favier

This module is part of the seminar entitled “Institutions and cultural elites serving  music and the sciences” (Thierry Sauzeau – Jean-Roger Soubiran (coord.). It provides an insight into the institutional history of European orchestras. Students will learn about their administrative workings, the sources of their identity, their influence on the musical world, and the representations with which they are associated.
Assessment : Written assignment

UE5 – RESEARCH 12 hours per year

1st year – Creating a critical edition – Writing sheet music / Thierry Favier

In this module, students will learn the key principles of producing critical editions of sheet music. The module is delivered in partnership with the Fondation Royaumont, in the François Lang Music Library.
Assessment: 1 oral examination on sheet music production / 1 oral examination on the creation of a critical edition.

2nd year – Research dissertation / Thierry Favier

Identification of dissertation topic, literature review, biography. Overseen by individual dissertation supervisor.
Assessment: Written dissertation