MUSA – European young MUsicians soft Skills Alliance is a European vocational training project for young string quartets. It aims to provide them with entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and competences that are usually missing in their curriculum although fundamental for their professional career.
MUSA is addressed to young professional string quartets specialized in the classical chamber music repertoire and composed by musicians between 20 and 35 years old who regularly work together.
The project also includes the following associated partners, that have expressed their interest and support for the initiative: Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane, Borletti-Buitoni Trust, Câmara Municipal de Mafra, Centro di Musicologia Walter Stauffer, Europa Nostra, European Chamber Music Teachers Association, European Historic Houses, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Fondazione Monzino, Fondo Ambiente Italiano, Fundação EDP | MAAT, Palácio Nacional de Mafra, Philharmonie de Paris, Si-Yo Music Society Foundation, String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, UK Historic Houses.
MUSA started in October 2020 and lasts for 25 months. It is composed of four main activities:
Innovative training course in the music sector in Italy:
4-Bows drive, the string Quartet image strategy in collaboration with IED – European Institute of Design.
The workshop, held at IED Campus and in Historic Houses in the province of Bergamo, focuses on:
• Image Strategy & Styling: key considerations for enhancing the personal presentation of professional musicians and creating a memorable image identity through colour and style
• Digital Storytelling & Communication: an introduction to the social media landscape and how to create and curate engaging content.
• Photography: the fundamentals of photography, including mobile photography and posing for pictures.
The workshop aims at improving the understanding and the skill-set of the string quartet in regards to their public image. At the end of the programme the musicians will receive professional photo/ video materials and style guidelines.
During the week of activities, the musicians are hosted in residency and perform concerts in Historic Houses part of the network of Dimore Storiche Bergamo.
Innovative training course in the music sector in Portugal: Cross-fertilization among the arts with experimentadesign.
The workshop focuses on:
• Understanding of Space The relationship between sound and space with architecture: thinking of space as a non-visible and abstract platform, a territory for communication
• Light Design and Public Performances
• Product design and the creation of musical instruments, combining the knowledge of instrument makers with the vision of product designers
• Interconnections between classical music and contemporary art
• Graphic Design and Communication working with graphic designers to create the leaflet for the final public event
• Sound Design, new sound applications and possibilities through cinema, theatre, performance and art
These activities are conducted by designers, graphic designers, contemporary artists, architects and professionals in the field of scenography.
The residency, workshop and concerts take place at the National Palace of Mafra and MAAT museum in Lisbon.
Innovative training course in the music sector in France: Recording & Market Distribution in collaboration con ProQuartet-CEMC and La Ferme de Villefavard en Limousin.
The activities in France concern topics such as:
• Recording of a piece of music, with the aim to give quartets the tools to communicate and introduce themselves to agents, concert hall directors and competition juries; the musicians will learn how to adapt the choice of the repertoire and the interpretation to the context, and to understand the technical issues for a high-quality recording
• Market Distribution and Copyright Regulatory Market related to labels, innovative multimedias, and European regulatory frameworks of copyright, legal concepts on copyright and intellectual property
• Mental and Physical Preparation how to deal with stress, how to get individual and collective motivation, discipline and positive thinking, how to better protect oneself against physical injuries
These activities involve an artistic consultant, a sound engineer, a record label representative, an administrative consultant and a coach for physical and mental training.
The residency, workshop and concerts take place at La Ferme de Villefavard en Limousin.
MUSA final event aims at disseminating the project results in the wider European context and lasts two days. Testimonies of musicians and representatives of the involved institutions play a central role in retracing all the MUSA steps over Europe and the achieved results.
On this occasion, ASK Research Centre of Università Bocconi presents a Handbook for Higher Training Programs in Cultural Entrepreneurship for Young Musicians and a Research on the Educational and Social Values of the European Cultural Heritage, realized over the 25 months of the project implementation. These two fundamental outputs contribute to make MUSA’s results sustainable and transferable over time on a large scale.
The event concludes with a round table aimed at presenting policy proposals capable of connecting music education, cultural heritage, and circular economy models. This is the first act of a lobbying action at European level that will be pursued in the following months with the scope to enhance, transfer and support the MUSA project.
MUSA involves the participation of 9 international string quartets, selected by all the partners and hosted in residency in historic houses and other places of relevant cultural interest. String quartets, in fact, need to spend as much time together as they can in order to become a single instrument made of sixteen strings, both technically speaking and on the point of view of the development of transversal competences and skills. For this reason, the artistic residency represents a source of inspiration for the development of the quartets’ identity and competences.
MUSA has the final objective of enabling young musicians to improve their career prospects, providing the organizations involved in this sector with a new training offer, strengthening the relationship between the music and the cultural heritage sectors with the perspective of enhancing the European culture to achieve a socio-economic development.
KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
KA202 – Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training
“MUSA – European young MUsicians soft Skills Alliance”
Grant Agreement N. 2020-1-IT01-KA202-008397
The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.