Cori Solidali

The Project

FE.N.I.A.R.CO. (Italian National Federation of Regional Choral Associations) wants with this project to promote a supportive intervention to help the guests of
permanent social-service structures, using music and choral activity as moment of stimulus and socialization. The idea comes from the realization that the choirs can make non only their institutional activity within the cultural field but also supportive activities thanks to the involvement created by music and singing.

The Federation, through the Regional Associations, will find the structures that can fit in the territory and will involve the aiming subjects. The guests of these structures will be invited to participate to the rehearsal of the local choirs or the can be the audience of the organized concerts.

The idea from which comes the project

The Annual Report of Istat for 2003 about Italian reality showed the presence of 295 000 people hosted in more than 8.000 social structures on all national territory. Most of them are old people (self-sufficient or not) and disabled adults who had to go away from their social and familiar milieu because of their age or due to particular psychical or physical problems. Entering an institute is a moment of strong change in their social, environmental, emotional and behavioural conditions: in fact, these guests are far from their relatives, their social and cultural milieu and have to adapt to different rhythms and habits, breaking suddenly from their experience and they often show maladjustment. In particular, living in these institutes often means for the guest a decrease of their social, emotional and creative life and it can shortly bring to a diminish in their relationship and socialization capacity, a less perceptive precision, a tendency of passivity in the events and a lack of reaction to external stimuli.

Choral singing as “therapy”

Choral singing can be seen from two points of view:
• by participating to rehearsals and performances as active member of the group;
• by participating to performances as audience.
In both cases the therapeutic action of music comes out from the emotional involvement of learning new songs and melodies or hearing again music and words that remind people situations they have lived in the past.
The involvement of old and disabled people in choral music activities produces many benefits and in particular:
• favours socialization, communication and permits the integration inside a group and the realization of interpersonal relationships;
• it’s an important recreational moment, because it’s a source of joy and spontaneous participation;
• it encourages expressiveness and creativity, and also stimulates self-esteem and a positive relationship with the surroundings;
•it means a psychological and emotional support, that detracts the subjects from themselves and from their psychic or physical pathologies, reducing the attitudes of self-compartment or paranoia;
• it represents an important moment of touch with reality, both regarding the relationship with the choir members and the time structure of the activities, with a role of re-orienteering the perception of time;
•it stimulates the re-learning of the lost abilities and the learning of abilities people has never had;
• it stimulates the preservation or the regain of the memory, recalling past events, encouraging ideas associations, and re-equilibrating the time perception.

The aims

The realization of “Cori Solidali” project fully inserts in the activity of social promotion made by FENIARCO. Music represents a powerful mean of communication that can arrive even where words cannot: it recalls memories, provokes strong emotions, creates connections and relationships, it stimulates individual creativity and relieves soul wounds. Through this initiative, the Choral Associations on the national territory can make an important solidarity activity for people that, for different reasons, are forced to live far from their social and familiar context, relieving maladjustment and isolation situations, working as a motivating force in situations of depression and introvert or, simply, giving a valid activity to keep the free time busy.
The aims of FENIARCO are:
• to involve the guests of permanent social-service structures in choral singing activities both from an active point of view and the listening side;
• to open new routes and communication channels, favouring the interaction between the guests of permanent social-service structures and external people;
• to stimulate people in their knowledge functions (attention, concentration, observation, listening, evaluation);
• to better the environmental and relationship adaptation;
• to better the intellective, psycho-sensorial and mnemonic functions of psychic disabled people or of very old people;
• to better the time perception of disoriented people thanks to the recalling function of music;
• to involve outcast people in activities of getting in touch with the external world;
• to better the relationship capacities of isolated, depressed, catatonic, anxious,… people;
• to create relationships between the involved subjects and the choir members.

Methodologies

Music therapy was introduced in Italy since the Seventies and it had demonstrated the double therapeutic effect of music both from a physiologic and a psychic point of view. The relationship and involving activity that the choirs will make with old and disabled people will be based on the clear and scientifically proved realization of the importance of music in the interaction between people with psychic, physical, sensitive or aging problems and, in particular, it will underline the character of singing as an “instrument” able to integrate and develop the dynamics of communications in a group with the aim of opening communication channels both in the people itself and between the people and the world to which he relates itself.
In particular, we will use the choral singing method, that tends to harmonize different voices to obtain an homogeneous result from the heterogeneous sounds. The recipients of the intervention will have an approach to choral singing based on the gradual learning of singing techniques in their basic elements and from single interventions aimed to fill or to minimize eventual personal lacks. Moreover, we will use the basic didactic principles of choral singing, i.e.: to explain the usage of breathing; the right position of the singer; to warm the voice; singing exercises and listening training.

Innovative aspects and “experimental” characteristics

The project “Cori solidali” presents an interaction between innovative aspects and experimental characteristics. One of the most innovative aspects of the project lies in activating integrative routes between different realities: the one of choral association, the one of psychic, sensitive or physic disabled people and the one of old people. So, the idea consists in creating choirs in which people with different problems and different past lives can compare in a creative and stimulating context, in order to learn together the difficult art of understanding and helping each other, seeing that people can learn a lot from each other.
The experimental characteristics lie instead in the methodological approach of the project. The choirs, are not mere performers in front of an audience but they will also develop pseudo-educational routes to use choral singing as a stimulus to creativity, relieve from depressed pathologies, help and support for anxious or catatonic patients, psychological support for unmotivated old people, consolation for situations of emotional instability, etc…, according to the basic principles of the music therapy discipline.

The main expected results

From the realization of the project on the national territory we expect positive results from the point of view of the relationship between the regional choral associations and the permanent social-service structures, but also a positive and proposing interaction between the guests of this structures and the members of the choirs involved in the initiative. In particular, we would like to underline the main expected results:
• to involve the Regional Associations affiliated to FENIARCO in the iniziative, with a considerable augment of the social activity of choirs on the national territory;
• to involve the permanent social-service structures with moral and physical benefits for the guests who will actively or passively participate to the initiative;
• to make aware the national and local territory of the problems connected to people who suffer from a progressive outcast from the “external” world through performance tours;
• to activate routes of active and alternative charity work in order to build continuing relationships with disadvantaged and isolated people.

For more information:
FENIARCO Secretariat
Seat: via Altan, 39
33078 San Vito al Tagliamento (PN) - ITALY
Tel: +39 0434-876724
Fax: +39 0434-877554
e-mail: info@feniarco.it

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