1 Fondazione Sequeri Esagramma Onlus (ITALY)
2 Free University of Bozen/Bolzano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5651-5659
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1215
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
During this health emergency, people with special needs and their families found themselves in a state of deep isolation (Oltre le distanze, 2020). Schools and associations have thus managed to adapt their lessons and initiatives to the needs of the lockdown in order to offer support to children and their families. Fondazione Sequeri Esagramma Onlus (FSE) is a center of research, education and therapy that offers inclusive pathways based on the first-hand involvement of people in the richness of the work of art (symphonic scores, vocal dramas, multi-media performances). All its courses are based on the belief in the formative value of the work of art in its richness, on the conceptualization of the orchestra as a relational space, on the use of inclusive educational strategies (such as the reworking of the material based on the needs of the students), on the integration of psychological, educational and artistic competences of the professionals for the utmost quality of the work in all its aspects (Sbattella, 2013).

The present study aims to describe deeply the experience, the process and the results of the online adaptation of the course of Inclusive Orchestral Education (EOI), one of Esagramma’s inclusive musical programs. This course was born from the desire to include all people (also people with intellectual disability and autism) in contexts that are complex, rich and prestigious, suggesting an adult and competent perspective for everyone. The program is usually articulated into individual instrumental lessons and orchestral rehearsal with the Esagramma Inclusive Orchestra, a symphonic orchestra that performs on Italian and international stages and that always involves musicians with and without disabilities, offering a unique polyphonic and inclusive experience.

In coherence with these principles, the purposes of the online delivery of this course were to give continuity to the music path with weekly appointments despite the lockdown; to improve musical skills; to fill the time of isolation with interesting educational activities; to support the bonds of friendship that the orchestra stimulates among its participants. In the preliminary phase, FSE conducted online meetings with all the teachers, scanned the available software and resources for online inclusive education, and prepared multi-track bases in order to draw up the best possible activity for each of its 24 student. Alliance with caregivers was considered crucial: FSE met all of them to define the most suitable modalities for the engagement of each student and the specific strategies to promote their autonomy. In the implementation phase, face-to-face instrumental lessons were turned into online lessons using “Voice over Internet Protocol” (VoIP) software, and instead of orchestral rehearsals, the group met once a week for a music history course, specifically prepared by an Esagramma musicologist.

To describe in all its richness the experience of the course, structured observations were conducted during the course and semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted after the course with teachers, students and their families. The data collected are currently being analyzed, but the first insights suggest interesting results about the engagement of students; about the impact of this course on their everyday life; about newly developed strategies that could become good practices also for in-presence inclusive education.
Inclusive Education, Music Education, Orchestral Education, Online Education, Esagramma Method.