A. Coppi

Free University of Bolzano (ITALY)
In this study, the author investigated the Italian program that was inspired by the Venezuelan music education movement for social change known as El Sistema, as well as its possible similarities to Community Music - not popular practice in Italy. On-site observation at geographically and culturally diverse program sites took place over the course of 2 years. Community Music (CM) is a music education practice that providing opportunities for children to make music regardless of their previous knowledge and experience. CM is a word for a wide range of “music education” programs that take place “outside” the boundaries and schedules of ordinary school music programs.

Music can help children express things, empower them, create positive attitudes, build confidence and open routes to new opportunities. Music brings children and people together as well as providing an enjoyable and fulfilling range of activities. The general purpose of CM is to help place music-making in the hands and voices of everyone by creating equal opportunities for children to enjoy active and creative participation in music. CM aims to traverse many types of musical disciplines and work across different sectors and groups of children, including adults, young people, refugee and ethnic communities and other minority groups. Music-making that occurs outside ‘formal’ arenas for music such as concert halls, classrooms and recording studios could be classed as community music. Wherever children can meet, in all types of places, is where music can happen. Choir and Orchestras for Children are a fundamental experience to learn music in group. Some recent studies from VicHealth in Australia has strong and consistent findings that suggest that group singing is a powerful personal and social health promotion activity. Numerous studies using different research designs and approaches have reported the following benefits of singing in groups for increase self-confidence, empowerment, wellbeing and interpersonal skills a general lifting of the spirits and a sense of joy and accomplishment, lowered feelings of social isolation, increased social capital through participation in social, cultural and community activities social and friendship networks: Community Music as a field of research, an identifiable professional practice, or a unifying ideal is still unfamiliar to many. In short, since concepts of CM vary widely from society to society.

The evidence of the research (2 years) brings the author the hypothesis that could be possible to read the process of development of El Sistema Italy (Founded in 2010) with the lens of C.M. There are some questions that are not clear.

Qualitative and quantitative data was collected through interviews with survey participants, supporting materials, and audiovisual recordings. Interviews, focus groups and a questionnaires were given to program staff, teachers and other interested parties.
The programs operate as after-school partnership between a Public Primary Schools and local arts organizations. Some other programs function as an in-school partnership at Public Charter Schools. Shared instructional principles included: intensity and frequency of instruction; access and excellence; passion first, precision second; peer teaching and mentorship; and immersion in ensemble.