Music Major, Bard College, Year 2015-2016
Monday morning, my day starts off at 9 a.m. with French painting of the 19th century at CUPA. If I wake up early enough, I like to walk from my host family’s apartment in the 15th arrondissement to CUPA because the morning bustle in the streets always puts me in a good mood and I get to skip the inevitably crowded metro. With my French horn on my back, there have been more than a few near misses of an innocent commuter’s face! I generally carry my horn with me to class in the morning so I can stop by the municipal conservatory in the 7th arrondissement afterwards to practice. I am on better terms with my neighbors if I keep my playing time in the apartment to a minimum because I tend to make a lot of noise playing both the natural horn and the modern horn… Though my horn lesson times are never at a consistent time every week, I don’t mind because I’ve made a lot of progress with my teacher over the past few months. He’s the principal horn of the Philharmonie de Paris and the professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, so to say the least, he’s a busy man. It’s a bit of a haul to get all the way across town to the 19th arrondissement, but la Cité de la Musique is one of my favorite spots in Paris. I couldn’t have been more surprised to find sprawling gardens, space-ship-looking concert halls, and several sheep in an enclosed pasture with a gigantic bicycle half sticking out of the ground (Yes, I promise it’s all real.) I like to walk around or pop into the museum of music when I come for lessons. Afterwards, I sometimes go for a drink at the pub across the street that is frequented by the conservatory and philharmonic musicians. This makes for an interesting crowd and inevitably one or two tables at the back piled high with instruments. Then it’s back on the metro to my host family’s house for dinner. My host mom is Iranian so dinner is usually full of rice and vegetables. Dinner is colorful with everyone’s chatter, then after a shower and some homework I’m ready to go to bed.