The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation is responsible for the international coordination of the MUS-E Network. This includes promoting and sharing best practices and coomon tools and each month IYMF sheds light on national initiatives that are worth sharing at the international level. This articles focuses on MUS-E Italia Onlus and the initiatives they have set up during or after the lockdown period. A true example on how MUS-E is relevant, innovative and flexible and on the power of the MUS-E programme and the network.

During the lockdown Mus-e Italia did not stop (https://www.mus-e.it/speciale-coronavirus/) and tried to keep the relationship with the school alive, including through the newsletter and the facebook page.

Many of their artists have sent materials and proposed activities to teachers (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWHLzWRx_WDuU_bI7PQss3A) and this has certainly helped to strengthen collaboration even in this complex period, supporting children’s creativity and learning.

#IoSguardoFuori

The first initiative we would like to highlight is  #IoSguardoFuori, an initiative dedicated to all children. Starting from a note of what they see looking out of the house and  put even what comes from within their selves, using the techniques that they most like. They have received more than four hundred drawings, paintings, etc. from children.

#IoSguardoDentro

After the success of the #IoSguardoFuori, they thought to relaunch with a similar proposal dedicated this time to writing: #IoSguardoDentro.

A collection of reflections written by children on the subject: “After the virus… what world would I like?” The idea is to open ourselves to tomorrow, to the theme of restarting, to the desires of the little ones, to the world we imagine  for the future. One page, not more, every child. The best will be collected for a publication published by the publishing house Zefiro Ltd (www.ventodizefiro.it) that presented us with this proposal.

The book that will come out of it will be put up for sale at a very affordable price (also in eBook version). The publishing house will take care of the publishing realization supporting its direct costs and will donate a percentage of the revenue to Mus-e Italia.

MUS-E National Choir Project

Following the emergency Covid19 (DPCM 3.3.2020) Mus-e Italia wanted to re-edit and resume the Mus-e National Choir Project involving 6 cities with 12 classes.

The extraordinary work done by the Choir Directors involved in these two years of project had come almost to completion when on 20 February last the Covid19 emergency forced the sudden suspension of all activities. The children involved, almost 350, were seen cutting off all contact with their music teachers, with the music itself and with the singing, alongside any hope of participation in the National concert scheduled for April 17th at the Valdese Temple in Turin, which with important efforts both economically and organizationally, had reached the final stages of its organization.

The project was reviewed by Antonella Coppi, coordinator of COROMUSE, specifically, using the systems of remote teaching activated in each school and the collaboration of teachers, children were able to resume their vocal exercises on music guides in mp3 format made especially for them on the overall repertoires already studied, to which to follow the video recording of their performance through simple smartphones. All the works will be mounted in a final unique video product that will collect the performance of everyone.

OPS: first Italian digital Festival of Educational Wealth

From the 1st of June until the 10th of June 2020, Mus-e Italia has organized OPS! (the latin word for “wealth, richness”)  the first Italian digital Festival of Educational Wealth: what do we want to propose to our children in September? With or without viruses, with or without open schools, what are the concrete proposals that all of us, not only MUS-E, must put in place to promote their development as much as possible?

In this context, they wrote a “manifesto” with 10 articles, inspired by the UN Children Rights  but focused on education: each day  two speakers from various fields were invited to discuss specific issues. Speakers included  experts, pediatrics, pedagogists, but also parents and journalists in order to stimulate questions and comparison of ideas. It is possible now to see the entire Festival on the Mus-e Italia’s channel on Youtube or directly on the Mus-e Italia’s website. Teresa Dello Monaco from Mus-e Cyprus took part in the festival, a true example of collaboration and of the power of Mus-e network!

2020-2021 INNOVATION AND RESEARCH -MUS-E AND UNIBIZ

In the months of the return to normality and the resumption of school activity, the young pupils will manifest the need to appropriate again their “being a child” and to feel an active part of the group, a process that teachers will have to support and take care of to help them process the detachment from the school suffered and the disorientation experienced in the months of the “virus“. In this direction, Mus-e will be able to pose first in the educational landscape as an educational and social tool, becoming a real lever of change and emerging as an innovative paradigmatic experience where children can recover the pleasure of creating and experimenting through art, as a source of well-being and opportunity to express their emotions and thoughts, helping to give meaning to the disorientation experienced. In a school that will necessarily have to recover its educational role, Mus-e intends to focus on artistic discourse, as a privileged tool to help teachers and children to rework and re-negotiate, through personal and creative storytelling, lived and meanings of what we are experiencing. Art is in fact a medium for reflection: through it you can express and rework thoughts and emotions, accessing the possibility of taking care of the self and the self in relation to others and with others.

The national theme on which the work of local offices will focus will be: “MUS-E: the art of educating to invent”. Mus-e Italia promoting the theme will stimulate its sharing at the different local offices, which in the full freedom of programming will make them the proposal, rereading it individually and declining it on the territory.

Artists will be able to develop innovative educational paths, based on the reversal of the established practice focused on “doing” and artifact as a product, towards a “making” art as a boost to the individual and group creative process: in this perspective, “do Mus-e” can offer itself as a “bridge” to tie the artistic languages to a process of “doing school” broader and aimed at the transversally of “narration”. The creative stimulus from children will be read as a lens of storytelling to further support children’s experiences and experiences and transfer the model to other fields of educational knowledge in school.

Mus-e’s work becomes of specific interest in pedagogical and educational research, because developing a path that is based on artistic experience, means overturning the usual practices to help create a multiple perspective, influencing the way of observing and interpreting reality. During the artistic experience, in fact, the child’s mind is involved in a process of discovery of how and why. This causes the experimentation and discovery of unexpected and daring solutions to open the child’s reality to the possibility of developing creative thinking, as a decentralized look at the world. In a time of uncertainty, emergencies and loneliness, we need even more utopias, overthrows of educational paradigms through art, imagination and fantasy.

In this perspective, the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Bolzano https://www.unibz.it/it/faculties/education/ has signed a collaboration agreement with Mus-e Italia Onlus in order to monitor and investigate the activities stimulated in art laboratories during the A. A. 2020-2021, with a focus on artistic languages as a fundamental model for the cognitive, affective and emotional development of children and professional profiles that will favor the process of storytelling, as a co-constructive process of the experienced reality.

Researchers will also process and read data collected through data triangulation, as well as the consequent construction of a matrix/model that can provide constructive and creative work tracks even in schools with different pedagogical orientations. The analysis of the data involves the systemization of the collected data, the convergence and concatenation between the collected data and re-visitation in the light of the national and international reference literature.

The project concludes with a final phase of evaluation and dissemination, aimed at Mus-e Artists, teachers and university students in a perspective of updating and training.

In agreement with the partners concerned, the project and the results will be collected in a scientific-disclosure publication.