Romain Lapeyre, cellist of international level, is professor at the college of Ponts-Jumeaux, in Toulouse. At years old he has already played for Queen of England, filled concert halls and been recorded by his students on France 2 in prime time.
Music can change lives, and Romain Lapeyre is his messenger. At 32, this cellist has already toured the globe several times. Within the prestigious “Symphonic Orchestra” in London, with underprivileged children from Sistema ensembles, in Venezuela, or in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, in a college in Bobigny.
This native of Agen now heads the music class at the Ponts-Jumeaux college in Toulouse. An instrumental ensemble of 90 students, unique in the region, to which he has added a choir of 130 voices.
“The pupils each receive an instrument, free of charge, and are trained by professionals, within the framework of the college, four hours per”. A project that brings students together, gives them momentum and confidence to progress in other subjects. And unanimously in the educational team.
This experience, Romain has already lived at the 10th power, in the poorest department of France, 93. It was his first teaching position.
“There was a music class with flexible hours, but completely damaged. Fourteen students only… ”The beginnings are difficult. “We don’t want French songs, we like rap! », Answer the pupils, to whom Romain proposes to participate in a choir. And then the magic happens.
“The first year, frankly it was not that great. But on a mounted concert. On did. There were 50 parents. The second year was much better. And there were 400 parents. The third, 800 parents ”. The following two years, the MC93, national stage of Bobigny, is sold out to see the choir of Romain. An experience that will change their life.
“At least four students from those five years spent at Bobigny are studying music today. Yousra is now at the Sorbonne, and wants to become a music teacher. When I knew her, she had an average of 4. She approached one day, and asked me if she could understand the choir. I said to go listen to singer Barbara, telling myself that she probably shouldn’t… Three days later, she had listened to everything, and transcribed the lyrics. She loved it. Her grades took off, in 3rd she was 19. ”
Yousra, among more than 200 kids, thanked his teacher, with the help of the TV show “La lettre”.
“One day in October, the principal of the college in Bobigny asked me to go to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris to attend a concert. It remains mysterious… but I do it, ”says Romain. Arrived on site with his company, he does not find a living soul in the hall. An opener approaches, and directs him towards the room… which is full. All eyes and cameras are on him. He is “the” star of Sophie Davant’s show. On stage, his students from Bobigny sing, to thank you for having changed their lives, “Thank you, Mr. Professor”. “A unique moment”, remembers Romain, moved.
From his past career, in the biggest concert halls in the world, Romain keeps great and beautiful memories. But he turned the page. “The day before my return to school as a trainee teacher, 8 years ago in a college in Gironde, I was in Amsterdam for a concert. I arrive in the morning of my first hour of class, at 6 a.m. at the airport. At 8 o’clock, I turn the key in the door. I was dying of stage fright… ”His second career was beginning. The one that changes lives.