A new score for Conservatory training


(Chicago Popular) — – Welcome to the Chicago News. The subject of this news is A new score for Conservatory training
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Italy has a centuries-old tradition in the field of musical education. Our country saw the birth of the first Conservatories in the world (Naples, 16th century) and after the Unification it rearranged the most significant experiences developed in the pre-unification states through a series of decrees (the most important of 1918 and 1930) substantially remained in force until the end of the twentieth century. In summary, musical teaching was recognized – also in line with the historical practices of musical teaching – a uniqueness such as to consider its theoretical structure different and separate from that of the disciplines of the scholastic and university systems.

From this point of view, any theoretical or non-addressing subject was considered “complementary” to the “main” discipline represented by the study of the instrument, singing or composition. The method of “doing” assumed a pre-eminence not only practical (given that the purpose of a violin course is to be able to play the instrument at very high levels, as required by the profession), but also normative: the organization of the courses of study (five to ten years long) was based on a small number of (multi-year) teaching courses, almost all aimed at achieving the objectives of the discipline. The diploma mark depended only on the instrumental or vocal public performance carried out in the final test. The professional purpose (to carry out activities, for example, as a soloist or orchestral) was practically the only one to weigh in the evaluation of the training curriculum. The instrumental, vocal and compositional teaching (yesterday as today delivered mostly with individual lessons), resembled that of the Renaissance workshop, with the central figure of the “teacher” able to “educate” the student above all through his own practical artistic example.

The reform law of 1999 (n.508, which defined the higher sphere of musical, artistic and dance training) was born as a result of reflections that arose from the end of the Second World War, also due to the radical changes that society, not only Italian, lived after the war. Today the profession of musician requires skills that in the past centuries the Conservatories could not consider: knowledge useful both for specific training (for example musical analysis, which has only recently become an independent discipline), and for the overall formation of the artistic personality, also with the deepening of disciplinary fields not strictly related to music such as foreign languages, the organization of events, body awareness practices, etc.

Inspired by the principles of the “Bologna Declaration” of June 1999, the teaching of music in the reformed Conservatory has tried in the new century to follow the university’s own models. This has resulted in a proliferation of autonomous teachings (several hundreds), in the didactic perspective of considering the technique, which every musician must possess in order to perform the most important repertoire compositions at the required levels, not only as the result of an assiduous instrumental practice (guided by the “teacher”), but also as the student’s ability to make himself intellectually autonomous and able to characterize his own creative path. This is an objective that can be achieved with the multidisciplinary knowledge acquired through the various compulsory courses provided by the degree courses.

Furthermore, following the increase in the occupational fields offered by the current musical profession and the consequent need to specialize skills, the reform has seen a multiplication of the training offer which today has reached, for the first level (three years) only, seventy different courses of study (excluding addresses).

The problem with current teaching in conservatories consists in the fact that the new teaching model has not always expanded, as expected, the knowledge imparted to the student useful in the search for a job. Indeed, sometimes the model has become counterproductive from a professional point of view. The masters of the past knew that to be also an “artist”, as he should, a musician cannot limit himself to playing the score playing in tune and as requested by the composer. They also intuited that “knowledge” is not a sum of single technical and cultural knowledge, but the ability to synthesize multiple knowledge to solve artistic problems related to musical interpretation or composition. From this point of view, the organization of musical study courses in the reformed Conservatory shows some gaps, which also affect the whole theme of teachers and research doctorates.

The teaching and organization models of the Conservatories will then in the future have to more effectively combine the great musical didactic tradition (which over the centuries has produced so many musicians / artists) with the current needs of the profession, creating an environment capable of enhancing the specificity of artistic-musical training, but at the same time providing the student with the knowledge really necessary for him to become artistically autonomous.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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