The ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ Institute benefits from being placed in the city of Modena which boasts a rich musical tradition in continuous evolution, and strongly promotes culture, especially music also as a means of economic development and social and cultural inclusion. The Institute lives in this reality with other institutions in a relationship of fruitful cooperation, participating in international projects, and collaborating actively in particular with the Culture Department and the Education Department of the municipalities of Modena and Carpi.
The Institute, vital in the production to enhance the development of international cooperation, can provide its relationship networks established through several signed agreements which involve various fields, and guarantee space and subsidies to the artistic activity of the Institute’s students and teachers.
First of all, the protocol “Modena, città del bel canto” signed by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Modena, Municipality of Modena, Fondazione Teatro Comunale in Modena and the Higher Institute of Musical Studies ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ (https://www.modenabelcanto.it/). Modena and its lyrical tradition lie in the context of the region with the highest concentration of Opera Houses in the world. At the heart of this rich musical texture, Modena, the city of Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Raina Kabaivanska, is today a training place for hundreds of singers who have the opportunity to cultivate their skills before entering the stage of the most prestigious theatres, thanks also to significant economic contributions to support the initiative.
The prevision, inside the Institute’s educational offer, of a second-level postgraduate course, such as the first level Master’s degree in Theory and Practice of Ancient Music, has received very positive feedback both at the level of student participation and teacher cooperation.
This Master’s degree has attracted valuable teachers who enjoy good repute and boast international cooperation.
The cooperation with subjects linked both to the conservation of the musical heritage, such as the Galleria Libreria Universitaria and the Archivio Estense in Modena and in the field of music production within the famous Festival “Grandezze e Meraviglie” of Modena, have proved to be of considerable interest. Thanks to this cooperation, it is possible to make available to the public a corpus of 500,000 images together with the entire book and archive patrimony and the Estense period.
In addition to this, there is a network of ensemble music production between four Higher Institute of Musical Studies and Conservatories in Emilia-Romagna (Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena), the activity with the same Institutes of ‘Orchestra Giovanile della Via Emilia’ and the implementation of important educational courses, such as the aforementioned annual Masterclass of Lyric Singing by Raina Kabaivanska.
All these available resources, along with the Institute’s participation in the Erasmus+ Programme, represent a potential pole of attraction for international students who may choose to spend their mobility here. At the same time, they will project the Higher Institute of Musical Studies ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ in Modena and the cooperation network into the international scene, enabling the participation in partnerships for the development of creative projects.
In this sense, the Erasmus+ Programme can indeed represent an excellent useful tool to strengthen the Institute’s mission and to make it more internationally attractive.
The objective of the near future is increasing the number of cooperation and improving the quality of the existing ones, but above all promoting the activities that can guarantee interdisciplinarity of projects, which allow delving into the multifaceted aspects of music.
The expected results, objectives of the Institute’s policy on the implementation of the European area, can be summarised as follows:
-increasing the bilateral cooperation with Higher Education Institutes together with the stabilisation of active cooperation since a close interaction allows the mobility facilitation and greater attention both to content and to provided services;
-increasing the number of students and mobility to foster more professional and cultural exchanges and wider usability of learning and production activities;
-implementing the comparison in teaching methodologies through a mutual exchange of specific knowledge and of the organisation that high-level didactics requires, increasing the number of both incoming and outgoing teaching mobility;
-implementation of common work of knowledge and learning aiming at increasing employment exchanges;
-implementing and promoting the exchange of optimal practices and innovative training practices through shared research studies;
-continuous sharing in each phase of project implementation and optimal practices;
-promoting the development and use of ICT in the field of lifelong learning, even considering possible future emergencies;
-promoting research project implementation in support of learning and training, even at a distance. Sharing both optimal practices and multimedia supports and content between institutions is particularly important. For this objective, it is preferable the implementation of the already active source “Open Educational Resources” and action of awareness towards all partners aimed at sharing the results of their research on open access channels.
The Institute’s ultimate goal is its placement as a competitive institution in the international context of Higher Education Institutes: for this reason, relevance and support will be given to projects which promote the development of lifelong learning, the interaction between education and culture, and intercultural dialogue.
The mobility in all forms provided in the Erasmus+ Programme KA1 will be the main focus of action for the Erasmus+ Programme for the Higher Institute for Musical Studies ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ in Modena, including all forms of mobility that will be made available: Student Mobility for Study, Student Mobility for Traineeship, Mobility for Traineeship of the Graduates, Teaching Mobility, Staff Mobility for Training. The increase in mobility will be facilitated by an expansion of inter-institutional agreements preferring as complete a geographical distribution as possible. Currently, the Institute can count on 15 inter-institutional agreements spread across 8 European countries. In the future, it is planned to consolidate the already existing partnerships and to establish new ones, making sure to spread the agreements across several geographical areas and to entrench them on the various courses of the educational offer in order to guarantee students and staff the chance to take advantage of the same plurality of the offer present within the ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ Institute.
The objective of implementing international cooperation up to the participation in partnerships which develop creative projects related to areas of excellence of the Higher Institute for Musical Studies ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ in Modena requires the reorganisation of the structures supporting internationalisation. The Institute has an Erasmus+ Office to support the planning, the organisation of international activities: from the management of incoming and outgoing mobility to the management of future cooperation projects. The Erasmus+ Office revolves around the figure of the Erasmus Coordinator, who acts as a link between students and teachers, assisted by a member of the Administrative Office responsible for back office. Recently, the Institute has chosen to invest in the enhancement of the Erasmus+ Office by including in its staff an external collaborator with extensive experience in international projects. The Erasmus+ Office is flanked by the Press Office, which deals with the dissemination of the programme activities, and the Production Office with its specificity.
Besides, it is important to underline that the ‘Vecchi-Tonelli’ Institute can count on the support of Europe Direct, European Projects International Relations and Complex Project Coordination Office of the Municipality of Modena, which offers specific services also in the field of training (project management; relations with international partners; reception of international delegations).
Planning, organisation and implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme require, consistent with the often mentioned “quality” of the projects, resources dedicated to it in terms of personnel, equipment and spaces. The Institute’s Board of Directors has therefore decided to implement these expenditure items aimed primarily at support to improve efficiency.
The importance of participating in the Erasmus+ Programme lies especially in the impact on the participants’ personal and professional growth. The opportunity of doing an internship abroad offers students an important return on their CVs and increases their employability.
Participating in Student and Teaching Mobility means getting in touch with other cultures, different methodologies, meeting different educational and cultural realities, while strengthening the sense of belonging and of sharing the ideals of inclusion and integration. Therefore, it is important to deploy all the necessary resources to increase mobility and offer as many people as possible this opportunity. The verification of these parameters will be possible through the analysis of the Participant reports.
The Erasmus+ Programme gives the Institute a chance of increasing its international dimension, raising the number of cooperation to promote mobility and to offer students and teachers a wider range of possibilities. The knowledge of specificity and Partners’ planning ability offers the Institute the opportunity of taking part in international projects, even identifiable in partnerships, by providing its excellence. Participation in these programmes also leads to a refinement of its staff’s planning ability. In service of the intellectual work made available by its teachers, the Higher Institute of Musical Studies will provide its administrative structure and in particular the Erasmus+ Office.