Arts4All Blog

Get to Know Jerome Mouffe

Posted March 1st, 2017  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA welcomes acclaimed classical guitarist Jerome Mouffe for a free concert in Tateuchi Hall on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30pm. Get to Jerome as he discusses how music education has helped shaped him and his career.

How did you begin playing music? What led you to the guitar?

I started playing the guitar at age 5. My parents were both amateur musicians and enjoyed playing guitar. They got me to love the instrument early!

Did you have you access to arts/music education in school?

In Belgium, where I grew up, there are arts/music schools that are state-funded and provide free music education to everyone. That includes solfege, instrument lessons, music theory and history, as well as theater and spoken arts. This place was my second home growing up and I had so many great teachers.

Tell us about a great music teacher you had.

I am extremely fortunate to have met and worked with several extraordinary musicians and teachers in my life. These are the teachers whom you remember years after you graduate. They teach you life-changing concepts, whether music-related or not!

I will never forget the private lessons I had in Paris with Emmanuel Rossfelder. I would take the train from Brussels at 7:30am, arrive at his apartment at 10am, and my lesson would last until 4pm. We had so much fun in the lessons, but we also got very serious work done. He was extremely generous to me.

I also met Eliot Fisk at a summer program in Germany when I was 15. I didn’t speak much English back then and my German was nonexistent! I was quite lost as you can imagine. Then one day at lunch time, it was quite a surprise when Eliot Fisk, instead of sitting at the table with all faculty members, decided to have lunch with me and chat in French (that he said he improvised from his fluent Spanish). This was the beginning of a life-long friendship. I ended up studying with him at the Mozarteum in Salzburg first, then at New England Conservatory where I got my doctorate and now have the privilege of serving on the faculty.

How often do you practice and/or rehearse?

4-5 hours per day is a good number, sometimes more when there are many concerts or rehearsals to fit.

What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians?

Start as early as possible, seek the best teachers possible, practice smart (not just “hard”), and share the love of music with everyone around you.

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