Marie Huby 40, France, Piano Teacher.
How would you define Iceland in your words?
A peaceful little country with rather high living standards, a good education system, and high life expectancy. Though cold and quite isolated because of the island situation.
What do you like about Iceland?
The nature, the quality of life (more respect for family life, better pay even if the cost of living is quite high), and in general much more respect for children (no hitting, no humiliating is tolerated - though it of course happens) Rights for homosexuals, trans people, and also special needs groups.
One thing you would like to change in Iceland?
The fact that you always need to “know someone” to get somewhere (jobs, opportunities…) It looks like qualifications don’t count if you don’t know the right person.
Your favorite thing to carry in Iceland?
One thing that a lot of people don’t know about you?
Before I went for musical studies, I graduated as a biology engineer and even started a doctorate on pig reproduction. But after 6 months it got really clear to me that I needed to change and go back to my first love, music.
Was there any person or song that persuaded you to take music as a profession?
Not a famous person but my 3 piano teachers, that taught me since I was 3 to 23, and were all friends and relatives, definitely made me see that this was what I wanted to do, like them.
How would you describe your journey as a music teacher? Did you study before starting teaching?
Well, like many classical musicians, I began learning music before I was 4. But I really began to learn more “professionally” around 20, because my parents were very much against me pursuing musical studies.
What steps has your school been taking during COVID?
In the primary school where I work, the groups were cut in half and came to school for a shortened day every other day. Possibility also of working from home and a lot of work sent home. In the music school they offered the possibility of distance teaching via Zoom/Skype but it did not work with all students as they all are with different disabilities.
What do you like about Icelandic music?
Very broad question but mostly the freedom of it and the “not so money business” stuff.
One golden tip for any person who would like to be a musician?
Get some education here - finish a Masters, take one year in a recognised music school. That´s a VERY good way to get people to know you.
What comes in your mind where you hear these words? One or two words only.
Icelandic music: Björk
Favorite Icelandic singer: Bubbi and Björk
One thing you miss from HOME: Cheese!
Favorite bar in Iceland: Kattakaffihúsið
Favorite restaurant: Fish Market
Favorite sightseeing place in Iceland: Snæfelsness
Dream: grand piano ;)
Favorite sport: Dance
Your favorite saying in Icelandic: Þetta reddast! ( Though it can also be pretty annoying :D)
Iceland future: I’m definitely staying here, both for my children, since they are close to their Icelandic heritage and get a very good though relaxed education here. Also I’m staying here for myself as my work conditions here as a music teacher in grunnskóli and music schools are MUCH better than they would be in France.