ScalzaBanda is a music education project started in February 2012, which currently involves 60 children aged from 4 to 16 years. The main purpose of the project is to facilitate social integration through learning and playing music together.
The ScalzaBanda is a huge challenge. It is aimed at using music to reach two goals at the same time: on one side, offering the chance to learn music to unprivileged children, who otherwise could not afford the costs, on the other side, favoring social integration in Montesanto, an area of the historic centre of Naples, in Southern Italy.
Indeed, beside the cultural value of the music education program, we believe that music is an important mean to foster personal growth and social inclusion. In fact, making music not only refines the cultural sensibility but, on a personal level, it builds the child character, educating to self-control, concentration and discipline. Furthermore playing music together also instills civic sense, encouraging moments of integration and socialization, teaching the respect for people, the ability to properly provide personal contribution in a group without overwhelming others, and the ability to listen to others as well as themselves.


Montesanto is a very heterogeneous area, where people whose status is totally different coexist in the same place. This coexistence is all but simple! Socio-economical and ethnic differences lead to a sort of parallel worlds, whose people hardly interact with one other, sharing the same geographical space in everyday life, without ever really blending.


The ScalzaBanda children come from very different social, economical and cultural backgrounds: some of them are children of immigrants, others have very problematic family backgrounds, there are also children with disabilities and children coming from very poor context, and are mixed together with non-disadvantaged children. Each of them has something to learn from the other, and all of them benefit from the exchange of experience and culture that takes place among them.


Up to now, about 40 children aged 7 and up regularly attend six classes where they learn playing clarinet, flute, French horn, percussions, trumpet and oboe. Moreover, about 20 little children aged from 4 to 7 years (ScalzaBandina) take an introductory music course. Free loan for using a musical instrument is provided to whoever cannot afford having his own.


The ScalzaBanda team includes 15 people: 8 professional musicians who teach, one conductor, an arranger/composer and a 5 people staff.


The ScalzaBanda activities have been financed by the Banco di Napoli foundation for childcare (FBNAI) just at the beginning. Now the ScalzaBanda survives through donations from individual supporters and a huge amount of volunteer work of its organisers.