The Conservatory of L’Aquila considers the adhesion to the Erasmus+ project as a fundamental part of its wide-ranging curriculum and musical output. In 2004 the institution achieved the Erasmus Charter and since that time it has been taking part in all Erasmus+ mobilities within the framework of the KA103. Despite being a small organization, the Conservatory has established several consortia and invests significant resources in the mobilities co-funding. For the development of the institution, internationalization is certainly of great importance. Indeed, the Conservatory organically includes the Erasmus+ activities in its own projects. In 2019 it was the leading proponent of the “MUSAE - KA2 Capacity Building in Higher Education” project, aiming at the propulsive and innovative capacity of internationalization in Higher Education.
The Conservatory intends to increasingly become an international landmark as a qualified center of academic education and musical output as well, full of innovative creativity, with a strong territorial identity and simultaneously connected to the international network.
The principal goals of the Institution are to increase the level of higher music education, to become a center of music output which involves the social fabric and promotes the transversal knowledge and the development of new technologies by encouraging partnerships with higher education institutions and cultural organizations, in order to provide students with more chances to outline their own identity in the world of work. The fundamental factor to carry out these intents is the essential opening to an international area by joining the Erasmus+ project, which offers the opportunity to achieve wider deeper knowledge and best practice, thanks to staff and teachers mobilities. The European area is the main target of the Conservatory, whose attention is addressed to third countries too.
Regarding the KA103, the Institution aims at enhancing the students and staff participation in the programme by improving the mobility quality and the inflows as much as possible. All types of mobilities, especially students’ internships and staff/teachers training, will receive an increasing attention. The decisions made by our institution concerned the participation in consortia whose purpose is the implementation of students’ internships, as well as the future employability of graduates, with a particular focus on training and research developed by the staff and teachers. The opportunity offered by the mobilities is an irreplaceable source of content enrichment, study and implementation of new methodologies. The chance to establish internships near foreign training and production institutions stimulates our students to undertake professional activities in order to define their profile as musicians. Finally, the “Alfredo Casella” Conservatory considers a study or an internship experience abroad as a highly qualifying feature both for the student and the institution, as well as a practice with a great value in terms of cross-cultural awareness and development of the European identity and citizenship.
Regarding the mobilities for studies and for teachers training, the Conservatory intends to expand its outreach to the third countries neighbouring the European Union. Strategic partnerships with Ukraine, Russia and Vietnam have already started. This is the preliminary step to participate in the call regarding the KA107. Interest in such qualified music institutions will be a strong factor that will strengthen the quality of education.
Regarding the strategic partnerships (KA2), the Conservatory is committed to the MUSAE project, which involves European and non-European countries of the Mediterranean area in a cooperation dedicated to the self-entrepreneurship of the artist. This perspective is the central idea of our institution policy.
The Institution aims at improving qualitative targets such as devising a plan of several mobilities involving departmental and interdepartmental projects, encouraging teachers to do research and staff to update administrative skills, introducing students to the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ mobilities, expanding the institutional partnerships in order to offer students more occasions. Looking for orchestras, theaters and music festivals to promote the insert of instrumentalists, singers, conductors, pianists-accompanists; looking for academies where orchestral, theatrical and chamber music activities might be developed; looking for events having professional training features and piano accompaniment, and the coaching of teachers during the education process; looking for research institutions and recording studios for sound engineers and electronic music composers.
From a quantitative standpoint, the institution intends to increase the number of internships, STA and STT mobilities. Particularly, the main goal is to boost the number of individual mobilities gradually to generate a 10% annual growth, and to get a doubling at the end of the term. In addition, the institution aims at enhancing the curriculum of masters, concerts, and workshops that are organized, year by year, thanks to the incoming teachers mobilities, as well as online presentations regarding foreign institutions, stimulating students to consider these activities as an integral part of the curriculum. These activities will be computed in the electives.
A particular effort is dedicated to introducing the Institution and its strengths to attract foreign students, compatibly with severely penalizing historical events happening beyond the will of all.
Economically speaking, the participants will receive funds from the Conservatory, adding a co-financing to the students, teachers and staff mobilities, and Erasmus+ funds from human resources, a department consisting of two administrative assistants and two teachers/coordinators.
Regarding the procedures quality, the support to participants is provided with a clear and ruled process, that is to say the attention to identify appropriate destinations, which might herald of further developments; the strengthening of linguistic skills pursued within the institution; the monitoring of ongoing mobilities realized thanks to the continuous staff availability; the final feedback concerning the students mobilities and the ECTS credits recognition. Of particular importance is the participation in the AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires) activities in order to broaden and consolidate the network of partner institutions, and to grasp incentives and updating helpful to support the mobilities planning.
The involvement in cooperation projects, as it was already mentioned, has become a significant part of the institution effort. Since the establishment of MUSAE project (KA2 Capacity Building), whose leading proponent is the “Alfredo Casella” Conservatory, the institution has been cooperating with higher education institutions in L’Aquila, in Europe, and in the Asian and Mediterranean areas. A particular expertise has been identified within the institution, and it will be enhanced through an interdisciplinary approach with other arts, academic disciplines regarding the economics of art, and the self-entrepreneurship of artists.
As a member of the AEC, the Conservatory closely follows the “AEC Goes Green” initiatives, and it believes it is important to gradually adopt measures to reduce the environmental impact. Particularly, the institution implemented the Erasmus Without Papers, adopted the EASY system to manage the mobilities, in this way dematerializing the procedures. In addition, the institution is increasing the students digital access to administrative procedures and to the courses content, as indicated in the principles of the “Student Card”. An e-learning hub is under development, with a rather good offer regarding the performing arts side-disciplines. This hub will allow distance teaching and virtual mobilities that together with blended mobilities will be most of the future exchanges, contributing to improve the curriculum of the Conservatory and students.
The actions and principles described aim at accomplishing long-term results in a pattern already experimented over time. The commitment concerning the internationalization results in a qualitative improvement of contents, procedures and above all in a greater openness to creativity and innovation for people involved within the institution. The effort to engage all the structures of the institution – from the executive to the administrative – will have a significant impact in terms of quality and number of students enrolled, future employability of the students, enhancement of the institution locally, nationally and internationally, as well as a broad involvement of all education departments.
The Conservatory is confident about the considerable cultural growth that the actions undertaken will have on all parties involved within and outside the institution, starting with the local community and developing into all the international partners.