What is music ‘beyond’ music itself? What does it trigger in people? What does music – especially music-making – mean and represent for the human being? What ‘happens’ in her/him when she/he makes music? What personal and social processes that go far ‘beyond music itself’ can be set in motion by making-music? What is artistic and musical talent? How does it manifest itself and how can it be optimally supported? Which educational paths and pedagogical methods and ‘strategies’ foster its development? What competencies beyond the strictly musical ones ‘should’ today’s professional musician have?
The answers to these and many other similar questions can be as varied as the variety in the world of different people, education systems and anthropological, sociological and cultural realities in which human beings live and make music.
Music can be pure joy, energy, vitality and at the same time a unique and extraordinary medium of individual expression, an intimate and profound inner motion, a flow of emotions, an aesthetic pleasure, a cultural and social identity, a personal and indispensable need as well as a personal comfort, transcendence, therapy, and medicine.
For many years Francesca Canali has been interested in alternative teaching methods that consider music making (playing and teaching) not only from an artistic point of view but also as a unique opportunity to enhance, develop and empower the musician’s whole personality, while promoting personal and social awareness, empathy, solidarity and social integration.
All her researches and different musical and pedagogical experiences, residencies and projects in different cultures and systems of music education such as, among others, her collaborations with the Venezuelan El Sistema or the Colombian Fundación Batuta, have in a way opened new horizons in her personal approach to music-making and made her more aware of how music represents an extraordinary opportunity for the human being that goes far ‘beyond music itself’!
Francesca Canali’s current focus is on the meaning and impact of music-making both at an individual level, as an ‘activator and means’ of empowerment especially with regard to young women and vulnerable people, and at a social level, as a means of socialization, intergenerational exchange, communication and integration.
She is firmly convinced that an enthusiastic and appreciative approach to making music and playing together in orchestras and ensembles from the very beginning of any musical pathway, fosters a holistic development of the individual personality and at the same time facilitate the development of an emotional, sensible and artistically involving quality of playing and performing.
Beyond the talent and innate musicality of every human being, and beyond the success that the talented and ambitious student aims for and eventually achieves, making music plays a profound role in the life of every person who dedicates herself/himself to it: music is a kind of ‘life companion’ and represents an extraordinary possibility, available to everyone, for self-discovery, personal growth, development of one’s personality and sensitivity, as well as intercultural and intergenerational communication and exchange.
These reflections led Francesca Canali to deepen her knowledge and studies in areas indirectly related to music education and performance, such as: psychology and neurophysiology of learning processes, perception, creativity, body awareness, empowerment and development of human potential, concepts, forms and strategies for talent development.
In order to document and, above all, make these kinds of issues visible to non-musicians, Francesca Canali is working on a video-documentary project on these themes.