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Music Lessons and Renting a Cello on the Côte d’Azur

Contributor blog post by  Jemma:

French Lessons has stumbled on Hogwarts School of Miraculous Strings, and it’s right here in the heart of the Côte d’Azur.  How surprised and charmed – and humbled – we are . . .

“The cello matter is more complicated than I thought,” a local friend emailed right before my family, and I arrived in Antibes for the summer.  Violeta had left three messages with a personal contact, and finally, his shop called her back to recommend two others.  The quick search for a suitable cello was becoming a job.

Violeta, I should say, is an internationally acclaimed violinist. Just writing that makes me happy. We met over a decade ago through our then-toddlers, and for a good while I had no idea she knew an F-sharp from an A-flat, but over the years we’ve become firm friends.  “I am absolutely positive that we will find something,” she wrote. Her usual optimism would propel the search.

…Continue reading here for Jemma’s delightful story about the family outing to Nice and a world apart from the typical tourist sites. A place that not only has a 7/8 cello that they are willing to rent to Jemma on a short-term basis, but it’s an instrument that the owner handcrafted for his sister. Jemma imagines this workshop as somewhere that J.K. Rowlings might find inspiration for her next series of books.

Via:: French Lessons



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Jemma Hélène

Jemma was born and raised in the US Midwest. A banker by trade, she slogged away at a Swiss investment bank in the UK and South Africa before moving – for decent spaces of time, anyway – to the South of France. At a similar stage, she also moved to the right side of her brain as a writer. She has published articles in Maclean’s, SuperYacht World, and various travel and university presses.

At this point Jemma lives mostly in Canada, but she spends the whole of every summer in the Côte d’Azur town of Antibes. From this seaside town of ramparts, situated midway between Nice and Cannes, she has penned her blog French Lessons since 2007. Each post captures a snapshot of the remarkable, real life of the French Riviera. “Consider these pages my summertime gift to you,” she tells her readers.

When not engrossed in things French, Jemma is - not in any particular order - writing a book, making music, performing motherly duties, expanding sustainable education in places that have less of it, promoting Canadian writing, and travelling off-the-beaten-track: over 90 countries, and counting.

You can reach Jemma through her blog site at French Lessons.

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