• 13+ French
• (I)GCSE French (AQA, CIE, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC, MYP)
• (I)GCSE History (AQA, CIE, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC)
• A-Level French (AQA, CIE, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC)
• Oxford/Cambridge Music Applications
• Oxbridge Preparation
• Music (all levels)
I have been a Tutor and Lecturer in France and in Music at the University of Oxford since 2018. Before that (2013-2016), I have regularly given private courses to individuals who sought to strengthen specific disciplines (French language, French literature, history, and philosophy in particular).
I have been working with Keystone since early 2021, giving tutorials in French, Music, and History, as well as a seminar on Western Music History through the series Keystone Inspires which aimed at adult learners.
I have extensive experience teaching people between the age of 8 and 16, and I regularly lecture older students at undergraduate and graduate levels.
I have completed my DPhil (PhD) at the University of Oxford in 2022. My expertise lies in the fields of opera production, cultural power, and creativity in C17-18th Europe. In parallel, I teach as a Lecturer in Music and French at the University of Oxford. I also work in development and policy-making regarding education.
Before my DPhil, I have been a student at the École Normale Supérieure, which granted me the status of civil servant with a salary (2013-2018). I graduated with two Master Degrees, one in Music and Musicology, and another in Philosophy (in partnership with La Sorbonne). Among the different awards I have obtained over the course of my education, I am particularly proud of receiving the ‘Young Scholar Prize’ for a scientific paper delivered in August 2018 in Utrecht for the STIMU Symposium.
I have also engaged with consultancy work on European geopolitics (with the think-tank ‘Groupe d'Études Géopolitiques’ based in Paris) and energy (as the founder and president of the consultancy group ‘TREVE’). In 2017-2018, I was a laureate of the fellowship ‘Women4Climate’ launched by the network C40 Cities, a leadership group dedicated to issues related to climate.
For my undergraduate, I followed a formation of three years in Paris, called ‘classe préparatoire’ (CPGE), during which students follow intensive classes in all Humanities subjects (including literature, modern and ancient languages, philosophy, history, geography, music). In high school, my formation was also centered around the liberal arts.
My understanding of French, music, art, and history is deeply grounded in practice. During my middle and high school, I have been a professional singer for Radio France. I have curated various exhibitions in Paris between 2016 and 2018. Between 2016 and 2021, I have worked as an art critic for a French newspaper (I/O Gazette), which has led me to roam through European artistic and production networks.
Engagement: learning means engaging in a personal relationship with knowledge. The more you spend exploring a topic, with patience and method, the more you are likely to fall in love with it. Often, students struggle because they do not relate with the skills or disciplines that they are confronted with; as a result, they do not see the point in studying them. Showing them how those can interlock with their interests, aspirations, and general sense of curiosity is an essential leverage for building confidence and motivation.
Method: my work is always tailored to the needs, difficulties, and strengths of the student. Depending on those, I plan my lessons with clear short- and long-term goals, adapting the exercises to the progress made and the requirements that arise during the year (e.g. exams). I am very patient, especially with young students, and I am happy to figure out personalized techniques to enhance the student's process of learning and memorization. I always give extra material (some sort of ‘toolbox’ of historical dates or grammatical points, for example) to the student in order for them to strengthen what we worked on during the tutorial and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the topics discussed.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I teach Music and French to undergraduates students at the University of Oxford, and work for a research institute.
I regularly write scientific papers in academic journals (e.g. ‘Revue de Musicologie’) and articles for various magazines and newspapers, generally about arts, culture, and education (e.g. ‘The Critic’, Athwart’, 'Engelsberg Ideas’). On the long term, I aim to articulate my occupation as a teacher with additional academic and consultancy activities.
''I am writing to express my thanks for your help and attention during the time my son has been studying French with your tutor Lola Salem. He has now taken his French IGCSE, which with Lola’s excellent teaching and support he feels went well, and more crucially was not the stressful ‘disaster’ he feared. As this was the objective when Keystone Tutors suggested Lola as his tutor, I can happily say ‘mission accomplished’. We are really grateful to her, and would have no hesitation in recommending her and Keystone Tutors in the future.'' (Father of a GCSE French student)
“Jemima said you were BRILLIANT! She is so thrilled finally to be understanding things — Thank you so much.” (Mother of a student in French, Year 7)
“The first lesson went really well! [...] Serena felt so much more confident after your help and you were able to simplify the language as in Switzerland French is super hard!” (Mother of a non-Francophone student in French, A Level, in a Francophone school)
“I found it greatly helpful and think we covered everything necessary. I felt engaged and was able to ask any questions, and felt as though I understood the stuff we covered well. […] Finally, and most importantly, it has further encouraged my passion in the subject and given me great insight into my studies at A-level.” (Student in music entering Eton with an Orwell Scholarship)
“Isaac to my opinion has scored his highest ever today! He was super confident and had an amazing pronunciation. Fantastic job. Thank you so much for your support — you prepared Isaac really well for his oral exam.” (Teacher of a A-Level student in French)
“Mia has been very happy so far and I think the approach is very positive and encouraging in Lola’s lessons, which was what Mia was hoping for.” (Mother of A-Level student in French)
“[My son's] teacher told him that he was very well prepared [for his mock exam]. This is really down to you - thank you.” (Mother of A-Level student in French)
“Abigail enjoys Lola’s class and it’s very helpful as a head start for GCSE Music.” (Mother of a GCSE student in Music)
“My son found Lola's class really effective in honing in on the areas that he found challenging. He felt Lola was receptive to his needs and was able to adapt her lesson plan to suit. Lola even followed up with him after the class with a summary of key material and further revision information to support. From my perspective, It was clear that Lola had studied the material that I shared with her in depth before meeting Isaac. All in all she is a very proactive tutor — bravo!” (Mother of a A-Level student in French)
“Excellent class [...]. The discussion, with illuminating musical illustrations particularly incisive and even, dare one say, inspired.” (Student in my Keystone Inspires seminar on the History of Western Music)
“[If you are] interested in classical music and European history, Lola is just the lady to explore the various and sundry connexions and influences between the two.” (Student in my Keystone Inspires seminar on the History of Western Music)
“Terrific class with Lola. Great thanks to Keystone Inspires for offering. Hope there for repeat and very enthusiastically recommend for those who didn’t get the chance. Other classes with a curriculum focused on individual periods or genres would also be very welcome.” (Student in my Keystone Inspires seminar on the History of Western Music)
“Clementine greatly enjoyed her lessons with Lola.” (Mother of a GCSE student in French)
“The lesson with Abigail went very well. She responded well to your approach. I hope the holiday lessons are going to be a great success!” (Mother of a GCSE student in French)