MEETS, Music and soft skills: starting blocks for an avant-garde training project, with 6 European partners
- The project aims to create an innovative teaching method to develop the transversal skills through music in university students
MEETS, Music in higher education to develop transversal skills, is a transdisciplinary and cross-border project funded by the European Erasmus+ program.
The project has the double purpose of research and performance, and it aims to realize a useful method for the development of soft skills (or transversal skills) through the study of music during the students' academic years, namely in the university orchestras and choirs.
In addition to Almo Collegio Borromeo of Pavia (Italy), which is the creator and leader of the project, other five European partners are involved: the University of Linköping (Sweden), the General Foundation of the University of Valencia (Spain), the Tallinn University Symphonic Orchestra (Estonia), the European Network of University Orchestras (ENUO) and Forte Fortissimo TV (Italy), as media partner.
The core idea of MEETS (www.meetsproject.eu) is that music - approached during the years of university education in a professional way, though not necessarily being professionals - can be an extraordinary tool for developing students’ transversal skills, useful in everyone's future professional life.
In addition to the "traditional" soft skills – i.e. communication, team building, decision making, problem solving – the project aims to investigate whether music can also develop more innovative and peculiar skills, important for many professional areas.
The key point is: even in professional life, it is necessary to give our contribution as a human being, including attitudes and sensitivities not directly linked to the labor field, even skills that seem so far from it. Which ones? Aesthetic sense, a sane skepticism, the related critical sense and openness to other ways, stress management, intuition and two really special skills: the ability to experience or to live fulfillment and the ability to live and manage the flow state, when you are performing. This is the ability to take contact with your emotions and know how to manage them even in contexts in which you don’t have full control of the situation. A very important skill in professional life and, more in general, in human relationships. These innovative skills are necessarily developed by those practicing music, though unconsciously most of the time.
The question is if and how music – as both an individual and collective form of art – can help this “holistic” development of the personality.
To do this, the MEETS project team has launched a first phase of analysis, investigating the world of orchestras and choirs related to university education institutes, graduate schools and conservatories in various European countries.
About 250 questionnaires were administered in as many European institutes across the continent with a response rate of 25%.
Thereafter, 20 in-depth interviews are being carried out with the institutes which have shown particular interest in this approach, involving directors, managers and students.
In the end of May 2021, a first document giving an image of the European reality in this innovative field will be published.
The numbers of MEETS
6 partners, 4 countries (Italy, Estonia, Spain and Sweden); 150 students who are members of orchestras and choirs; 8 training events for students and directors; 1 competition for young conductors; 1 competition for young composers; 16 live and streaming concerts.
An innovative method
The project also includes a lot of activities, in partnership with various European orchestras, choirs and universities music departments. The aim is to create a shared method which could be a training model for all the universities in the world. The method will be ready at the end of 2022.
The MEETS methodology could be the starting point for implementing new cultural activities for the benefit of students and the academic environment, not only thanks to a wider cultural and musical offer, but also by providing students with a new opportunity to prepare them for adult life in an innovative and attractive way.
- Concerts and competitions/contests
Among the activities foreseen by the project, there are exchanges between institutes and musicians: each partner (apart from the ENUO) will host students from the foreign orchestras and choirs involved as well as the conductors will exchange between the different ensembles.
A music composition contest, which will have soft skills as its topic, and an international competition for young choir directors and orchestra conductors are also scheduled.
Become an associate partner of MEETS
We are still looking for some representatives that would like to share our findings on their platforms to create more awareness but also would consider implementing/testing certain parts of our MEETS method afterwards.
In return for your effort we very much like to take your input into consideration with regards to the development of our method and offer you a very visible spot on our website (http://meetsproject.eu). For that we would need a little bit of information so we can represent you in the best possible way as well as a picture of your logo.
We are very proud to announce that the following orchestras and members of the ENUO are already associated partners of MEETS:
- Ghent University Symphony Orchestra
- The University Orchestra of RWTH Aachen University
- University College Dublin Symphony Orchestra
Intrigued about this? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Stay in touch with MEETS
On our website www.meetsproject.eu you can stay updated of the progress in our different intellectual outputs.