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The popular notebynote music center in Divonne-les-Bains, France, has just announced a series of new initiatives designed to make music more accessible to the international community of Geneva, Vaud, and neighbouring France.

Following its recent relocation to larger premises on the Rue Fontaine, the notebynote music center is now able to offer a much wider range of group activities for both adults and children, as well as private instrument lessons, which have been available at the centre for many years.

A professional musician in her own right, notebynote founder, Sue Lake, told knowitall.ch: “I’m really excited to be taking my school into the next phase of its development.  It started with just a few private lessons for children nearly 10 years ago, but is now growing into something that can serve the musical needs of the entire English-speaking community, both children and adults, at all levels from amateur novices through to experienced musicians.”


There are many services in this region designed to help expats integrate within their local communities – indeed many of them are listed in our Know-it-all passport guidebook!  Networking groups, for example, provide a wonderful opportunity for people to meet others and make the most of their time living in this region as expats.

One networking organization, which is benefiting from the global popularity of social media platforms is InterNations.  Set up in 2007 with the sole aim of making life easier for expats, InterNations now claims to be the largest expat social media platform in the world. With 1.4 million users, InterNations communities can be found in 390 cities across more than 195 countries – with 9 cities in Switzerland, including Geneva (about 15,000 members) and Lausanne (about 5,600 members). France also has a number of communities of which the two closest are in Lyon and Grenoble.

The best way to capture what InterNations does for expats is to give a brief overview of the services it provides for its members:


A new casual soccer league has been set up in Lausanne to help raise money for street kids around the world.  Called StreetSoccer-Lausanne, the new league was created by Glyn Atherton, a local soccer enthusiast inspired by the many fund-raising events, which took place in Rio throughout the recent World Cup in Brazil.

Explaining why he decided to set up the league, Glyn told knowitall.ch, “My step-daughter enjoys having a kick about with me and I wanted to find a way for her to enjoy soccer with other kids but without it being too serious.  As I got to thinking more about it, I realized we could also use the opportunity to raise funds for the world’s street kids at the same time.  The idea of forming a fun and casual soccer league for charity was quickly born.”


The La Châtaigneraie Community Orchestra (LCCO) is looking for more musicians to participate in its Spring Concert, scheduled for 13 June, 2013.

Set up last year by music teachers at the La Chataigneraie campus of the Geneva International School, the aim of the orchestra is to support both student and adult musicians from the local community in the development of their musical potential, through ensemble work and the performance of a wide variety of symphonic music.

The LCCO has already performed in three major concerts, the first in collaboration with the Chamber Orchestra of Carouge and featuring two student violin soloists. The next two concerts, which were performanced in both France and at the La Châtaigneraie campus, formed part of a joint project with the String Orchestra of the Pays de Gex, and featured the flutist Manuel Casel.

This new project will be the first to involve musicians solely from the LCCO. With no support from other orchestras, this means the organizers are looking for more musicians from the local community to get involved in what is sure to be a highly rewarding experience for all.


Whilst the offices of the American International Women’s Club offices may have been quiet over the summer, the AIWC photography group was busy planning its Photo Exhibition.

Featuring works from 17 of their photographers, the Photo Exhibition 2012 is scheduled to take place on September 27th with an opening-night vernissage, providing an opportunity for club members and members of the community alike to chat with participating photographers, learn more about the photography group, and enjoy an evening with friends. All photos, two of which are featured in this article, are for sale unless noted otherwise; a portion of each sale will be donated to the club.

The personal styles and experiences of each photographer, as well as the group’s wide range of monthly themes, have served as inspiration for the photos on display. The club’s photographers range from novice to professional, and have used a wide range of cameras to produce their work.