Written by María Moragón Sánchez
We are going through some tough times. COVID-19 has come into our lives and we have had to learn to live with it and change our daily routines. So much so, that from the CSMV digital magazine «Notas de Paso» and in this confinement time we have contacted Kristian Haja (viola) and Paris Salierno (flute), both Erasmus students who have made their mobility in our conservatory, to tell us a little bit about their experience in the CSMV.
Interviewer: First, I wanted to thank you for accepting my invitation to do this interview along with other of your Erasmus colleagues. It is always a pleasure for the CSMV and for all the students and teachers to receive students within the Erasmus programme. But now, and to break the ice a little bit… could you describe your Erasmus experience in one word?
Kristian: «Fire». I would say fire, because I did so many things; a lot of work and practise, experiencing Spain and the culture and of course a lot of bonding relationships. I always felt a kind of fire inside me, maybe the fire of Spain.
Paris: I don’t think it is possible to describe my Erasmus in one word because it’s such a great experience that it completely changes you. But if I had to, I would say «unique».
I: I would also like to ask you why you chose Valencia, and specifically, the CSMV, to carry out your Erasmus mobility. What was the first thing that attracted you to come to Spain?
K: Spain interested me a lot because I was learning the language and I really appreciate its different style of living- which I wanted to experience myself. Valencia is a city which has a lot to offer- culture, bars, beaches and much more. Additionally, the CSMV was recommended to me by my Erasmus coordinator.
P: At the beginning I wanted to go to Germany, mainly because I had a lot of knowledge of the musical reality of the cities I chose there. However, the German conservatory that I chose didn’t accept Master students, so the other two cities I chose were Madrid and Valencia. I was chosen in both of these cities but finally I decided to come to Valencia because of the proximity to the sea (I come from a small town outside Naples near the sea, and for me the sea is something necessary). What really called me to come to Spain were the similar traits between the Spanish and the Southern Italians.
I: And now, let’s talk about music. How did you find the musical level of the CSMV? Which were, for instance, your favourite subjects? Which teachings do you take from all of them?
P: The musical level at the CSMV is quite high. However, as far as the flute class is concerned, I have been impressed with its level. In my opinion, the pedagogical level of the flute teachers is not adequate for a higher conservatory. Moreover, my favourite subject is chamber music, mainly because I have found a musical partner and a friend. Moreover, my teacher (Cristina Aguilera) always makes you feel comfortable in class and helps you when you have any problem. The most important teachings that I take with me are, for instance, arriving on time to orchestra class, and realising that the professional world is difficult, so it is better to be used to it.
K: I had wonderful viola lessons and the many chamber music groups I participated in gave me a lot of experience and great moments. The musical level at the CSMV is very diverse and I have met extraordinary people, who I admire a lot.
I: People occasionally say that the administrative process of the Erasmus programme can get a bit complicated: papers, study contract, etc. From your personal experience, did you have many difficulties within this process? How did you find the organisation of the Erasmus department of the CSMV?
K: For me, the process was not difficult. You can apply at the CSMV via Dreamapply, an internet platform, which makes it really easy. Francesc, our coordinator, always tried to help.
P: Personally, I did not have any problem with the process, or the papers, etc. The organisation at the CSMV is wonderful. Francesc Gaya is fantastic and he solves everything very quickly and effectively. I can only thank him for the work he does for the Erasmus department.
I: Finally, and as it is often asked in this type of interviews… would you recommend the Erasmus mobility at the CSMV in your own conservatories?
P: I would recommend this Erasmus experience without any doubt!
K: Yes, I would recommend it, also because of the unique city and the fantastic people I have met. I cannot imagine a better place for me to have done my Erasmus! 🙂