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Music and Art School of Siem Reap

Developing art in Cambodia

About the project

I was alone,
We are ... 80 students. A music and art school was born in Cambodia.
A lot of energy, will and hope.

My name is Alexandre Scarpati. In 2009, I graduated in classical trombone and chamber music at the Montpellier conservatory, France. I also took part in the JAZZ degree course offered by Mr. Serge Lazarevitch. I have worked as a professional jazz musician for the past nine years.

Three years ago, whilst travelling for research and artistic exchanges in Southeast Asia, I fell in love with Cambodia and decided to call it my home.

I settled in Siem Reap and quickly realised that there was no music and art school offering thorough courses and curricula in classical, pop, rock or jazz music. 

Hence, in October 2013, the establishment of the Music and Art School of Siem Reap, to share my love of music, dance and the arts with as many people as possible (locals, expatriates and tourists). 

Vidéo: Roger Bernolin, retired baroque recorder teacher of Genève Higher Conservatory

 The Music and Art School of Siem Reap is now in its second year of operation, with 80 enrolled students learning curricula in classical, pop/rock, dance and fine arts or simply mixing the genres.

Video: Benoit Brandt, director of the french school of Siem Reap

The school needs your help:

- To finance the purchase of quality musical instruments, so that the students get the best for optimum learning.

- To support the procurement of necessary administrative and educational materials.

What are the funds for?

Video: Dominique Soutif, french honorary consul and director of the École Francaise d'Extrème Orient of Siem Reap

The money collected will contribute to: strengthening the liquid assets of the Music and Art School of Siem Reap; the purchase of musical instruments (violin, saxophone, guitar, cymbals, trumpet, cello, trombone and small percussion for children); the provision of educational material (manuals and scores); the acquirement of office equipment (computers and furniture).

To achieve this goal is to contribute to the artistic development of Siem Reap town.

I am convinced that together we will succeed.

About the project owner

For more details and to follow our school activities, please log on to our website and Faccebook:


Who is Jean Claude SCARPATI?

Alexandre Scarpati: He is my father, he helps us to collect the money from Europe for the school based in Cambodia.

Why is there a need for a music and art school?

Alexandre Scarpati: I studied at a conservatory, a place where musicians, dancers and actors share a common space. This prevented me from specialising in a single field, and thereby opened my mind.  I enjoy it when musicians take an interest in painting or dancing, and vice versa. Art is a generic term that brings together several fields and it was common sense for me to gather them together within the same school. At our school students can of course study music, as well as traditional dances (salsa, African and Middle-eastern dances) and fine arts.

Why did you settle in Siem Reap?

Alexandre Scarpati: It is not me who chose Siem Reap, but the town which entrapped me with its atmosphere, history and the gentle life that permeates this temple town, and of course the magic of the Angkor site. 

What was the methodology used to hire teachers?

Alexandre Scarpati: It was a long process, taking several months. I started forming music bands with local and expatriate artists (playing jazz, rock, Cambodian psychedelic music, ska, etc.).  After a while, I realised that a team could be put together to establish a music school, which led me to talk about the project with other qualified artists I met. The school is now 18 months old and is staffed with 16 teachers who have relevant teaching experience in their respective countries.

What are the perspectives?

Alexandre Scarpati: Once the liquid assets of the school have been solidified, I am hoping to relocate it to a more fitting space in order to accommodate the growing number of students that wish to enrol each week. I would also like to develop a special area for artist residencies.

In the longer term, I aim to set up a symphonic orchestra and a big band which would be composed entirely of school students.