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France: Studio Art, Music and Dance in Paris (IES)


Todd Heidt

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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The Studio Art, Dance & Music Program offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to concentrate on and advance your skills in art—painting, drawing, music—in one of the world’s major artistic centers.

Serious musicians can compose, practice, and perform at the École Normale de Musique de Paris/Alfred Cortot, a leading conservatory that prepares you for the rigors of life as a professional musician. While dancers can develop dance skills at the Paris Marais Dance School under highly respected professionals. Studio art students can develop their painting and drawing skills at the Villa Bastille. 

You take 15-19 credits per semester. All courses are taught in French, but support in English is available at our partner institutions. You will take your language course at the IES Abroad Center. Your painting, drawing, dance, and/or music courses will all be taken at the local institutions.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • IES Abroad French language course (required, 4 credits)
  • French-taught art courses at local institutions (required, credits vary)
    • École Normale de Musique de Paris/Alfred Cortot
    • Paris Marais Dance School
    • La Villa Bastille 
  • IES Abroad French-taught area studies courses (optional, 3 credits; requires at least 4 semesters of college-level French)

Classical music students who wish to benefit from high quality, demanding instruction may audition for the prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique/Alfred Cortot (ENM). Founded in 1919 by the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot, the Ecole Normale is the private-school equivalent to the National Conservatory, and educates about 1,100 students. 

The Ecole Normale is located in a stately mansion (designated a historical monument) in the 17th arrondissement, about 40 minutes by Métro from the IES Abroad Center.

The Ecole Normale has requested that interested students contact their IES Abroad Advisor with any questions.  Please do not contact the Ecole Normale directly. Music study in Paris through IES Abroad is limited to the Ecole Normale; IES Abroad cannot customize music study at other institutions in Paris.

Students who qualify may take up to four 3-credit courses at the École Normale, in addition to French language and other courses at the IES Abroad Paris Center. Instrumentalists may study teaching or performance, while vocalists focus on performance only. Course offerings are limited in the spring semester, and certain specialties, such as percussion, are not taught at the École Normale. Admissions decisions are made by the École Normale de Musique.

The Paris Marais Dance School is a part of the Marais Centre Dance, established in 1970. This private institution offers student-centered classes to beginning and experienced dancers alike.

The Paris Marais Dance School is located in a former  hôtel particulier that dates from the 1600s in the stylish 4 tharrondissement. The institution boasts three recently renovated dance studios—all named for famous composers—that are still decorated with the original wood-beamed ceilings.

Both full-year and semester students can take classes at the Paris Marais Dance school. Classes are held once a week, and IES students have the right to attend certain seminars and other extra-curricular events at the school.

La Villa Bastille is an art school (drawing and painting) where students have the opportunity to work freely and independently while benefiting from the instruction of an experienced artist. At La Villa Bastille, students can put into practice the principles needed to depict live models or can learn the different painting techniques (watercolor, oil painting, acrylic painting). Small groups enable individual guidance by the instructor.

Credit: 4.5 credits per semester (fall, spring and full-year options)

Program advisor: Professor Joan Huguet

Learn more about the IES Paris: Studio Art, Music and Dance program.

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

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Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022