The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) welcomed the “Zerosei Alessandro Bocelli Center” in Lajatico into its roster of projects that include the building of schools where musical languages are encouraged both as an educational tool for children and as a source of aggregation and culture for the community.
The decision to expand the Center’s Music Workshop with new instruments and to enhance it by donating a piano is rooted in the awareness that the natural tendency of children to share images, thoughts and emotions though communicative means based on complex rhythmic and melodic forms must be supported through environments that are rich and compelling in terms of opportunities for exploration, building and sharing.
The project aims to increase the educational opportunities available – both for adults and children – by building collaboration networks with music institutions, in order to create a concerted plan between the various players, which includes and promotes local resources.
The establishment of a specific coordination body will guarantee both the quality and musical identity of the Zerosei Center, as well as the sustainability of what it will offer time and the link with the culture of the place in which it is located.
Currently the beneficiaries are 64 children who – under the guidance of eight educators and teachers – attend the center, which is a building that can accommodate up to 84 children.
The goals are as follows:
- Offer suitable conditions so that each child can develop their own musical talent, understood, first and foremost, as the instrument that will allow them to build a part of their identity through getting the opportunity to relate with others. Thus, music is firstly a resource that offers each child a perspective of explanation, exchange, identification and self-realization.
- To offer a wide range of valuable musical instruments that allow rich and varied exploration, sharing and construction of the musical technique, understood as the means – and not the end in and of itself – to achieve complete mastery of the language.
- To provide significant support to the rural areas of the Alta Valdera, which finds itself facing demographic and environmental challenges every day, by obtaining musical certification for the Education Center.
The Zerosei Alessandro Bocelli Education Center in Lajatico was inaugurated in 2015 thanks to the Bocelli family’s donation of land to the Municipality of Lajatico for the construction of a school in the memory of Andrea Bocelli’s father, Alessandro. Located in La Sterza – on State Road 439 that connects the Valdera with the Val di Cecina – it meets the need to offer a quality solution to those families forced to work away from their hometown due to the depopulation of rural areas, who find themselves commuting on the Volterra – Pontedera link.
The Zerosei A. Bocelli Education center welcomes children aged 3 months to 6 years old and features the clear influence of sound and musical languages, thereby identifying itself as a place that supports, enhances and develops an educational project that is shared with the families in the awareness of the history, culture and reference points of the community to which it belongs.
In addition to providing the instruments for setting up the music workshop and purchasing the piano, ABF will also support coordination and training initiatives aimed at promoting the building and strengthening of communities of self-sustainable practices within which musical culture will have a central, inclusive and innovative place.
Children are musical. Indeed, they are born with elevated abilities of sound perception, differentiation, elaboration and processing. They naturally tend to share images, thoughts and emotions through communicative means based on complex rhythmic and melodic forms.
Thus, focusing on the language of music within schools entails certain considerations:
The language of music is, first and foremost, a tool that allows us to build our identity as it offers us the opportunity to relate to others. Thus, music is firstly a resource that offers each child a perspective of explanation, exchange, identification and self-realization. This means that the musical technique is not the end in and of itself, but the method for reaching complete mastery of the language. However, the quality of musical communication can only be honed if the conditions exist that support the pleasure of studying and relating. This can be defined as a purely human drive for mastery, that manifests in children at play, i.e. in the pleasure of performing an activity to the best of their ability for the mere pleasure of honing the product of the process they have undertaken.
Thus, technique alone cannot be music, but the language of music needs the technique. This develops in real contexts of relationships and communication. In the educational practice, this defines the central role of music as an utterly inescapable fact that is linked to a context that can only be understood as a whole and cannot be broken down into areas. The musicality of people, words, nature…. take on meaning if placed in relation to the areas of experience that they come from. Thus, the language of music also offers itself as a fundamental resource, the connector and signifier of meaning of other themes thanks to its ability to convey emotional content that is deeply connected to the identity of the individual.
ABF’s proposal to promote the culture of quality musical language
Indirect policies for the development of organizations promoting and managing innovative undertakings have been identified as the most significant in terms of quality and quantity output. In this regard, the two actions that ABF intends to promote to foster the construction of a community of practices within which musical culture is central, inclusive and innovative are indicated in the coordination and training actions.
The proposal of a permanent technical round table, attended by the representative of the institution, the representative of the local musical studies association and an institutional supervisor from the local community, as well as a person in charge of coordinating on ABF’s behalf, aims to promote:
- Concerted planning between the various players, which includes and promotes local resources, while keeping the educational and cultural principles promoted by ABF at the center of the organizational discussion.
- Collective educational action that responds coherently to instructors and teachers’ demands for quality music education and that, simultaneously, is monitored by the same technical round table.
- An increase in the quality of the musical education on offer provided by total adherence to the guidelines proposed by ABF in the plan implemented by the experts of the association, as well as the possibility of verification and recursive reorientation of the plan itself.
At the same time, it will be possible to implement a training course in collaboration with the local musical associations, certified musical institutes or conservatories, aimed at promoting musical culture in educational contexts. The latter could be implemented within universities, with internal and external teachers and be set up as a “post-graduate course” in music education for early childhood with a diploma certifying attendance at the course issued jointly by the institution and ABF.
This would provide:
- A pool of suitably trained experts (also through compulsory internships in ABF schools).