As a cellist, Arsène lives on his concerts, but cannot help from dedicating part of his time to teaching: every month, in Châtellerault, in a wonderful property on the banks of the river Vienne, he gathers about ten students of different age and level some even practising another instrument than cello. 

More than in the specific technical study suited for each instrument, Arséne is interested to arise the interest of those whom he calls his apprentices, to the meaning of music itself and uses varied experimental and puzzling techniques to reach his goal.

Often taking support on the theatrical techniques, taking ideas from Stanislavski but also from Diderot, he reveals the importance of the inner world of the musician, and refuses to separate instrumental technique and music, considering the art of interpretation as a whole.

In this idyllic environment, always favourable to self-fulfilment, learning is not confined to the lessons themselves, but goes on and develops well beyond, thanks to the numerous discussions which animate the meals, the walks, or the sudden meetings in the park.

If Arsène’s untiring and demanding approach always finds an echo, including amongst the youngest, it is because it is always served with an unfailing, passionate and always communicative enthusiasm. By seeing himself as an amateur teacher, he reinstates the first meaning of this word, so often misused, whose root is amare: love. 

Very widely inspired by Jérôme Pernoo's personal experiences, this work gathers and organises them so that it can be read either as a novel or serve as a guide for musicians.

Jérôme Pernoo is a cellist. Having taught during seven years at the Royal College of Music of London, he was appointed professor of cello in 2007 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris .