You are here

Adelfia: where science meets musical training for inclusion – despite Covid-19

Edited on

03 February 2021
Read time: 2 minutes

In Adelfia (Italy), URBACT OnStage has brought together science and music pedagogy through a pioneering research project that has served to engage children with autism and ADHD in the exciting adventure of being part of an orchestra – despite Covid-19!

Adelfia Urbact Onstage


In Adelfia, UBRACT OnStage has allowed us to implemented our project associating scientific validity to social and pedagogical value.

We have 3 young orchestras yet as a tool for inclusion and social change. Our new collaboration provides a social value to the project to which, we deem, it is important to associate also a scientific usefulness to further improve the quality of life and health – an important principle recognized by the Constitution itself as well-being for the individual, such as for children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism.

First of all, training allows you to create musicians. What does this mean? This means that cognitive improvements are only secondary effects. So, children are no longer considered as patients but as musicians.


And this is the fundamental difference between a music therapy job and the Musica in Gioco training, as also described in the article published by the researcher Maria Celeste Fasano and her staff, because it determines the empowerment and therefore the possibility of experiencing a new role.

Celeste Fasano is an Italian researcher at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences in Aarhus University (Denmark), and she was also a member of Musica in Gioco staff –Adelfia’s demo action implemented during the URBACT OnStage project in the town.

On the back of her latest work, published in prestigious international magazines, she reported encouraging results in terms of children growth and hyperactivity control.

A second phase of her research involves the inclusion of children and young people aged 6 to 12 affected by ADHD and Autism in youth orchestras.

Therefore, the URBACT local group of Adelfia, in association with the public Schools of the town and the ASFA (Italy's Association in Support of Families with Autism) worked in collaboration with the students of the Aarhus University, Bari University and Oxford University for the realization of the second phase of Fasano’s research. Although the pandemic changed the timing of this research, Adelfia’s URBACT local group did manage to support the research project by identifying the kids to be involved – thanks to the schools and the associations; by recruiting parents of children with such diagnosis, by making a baseline pretest by Celeste Fasano and her staff; by providing musical training - between December and May, by Musica in Gioco, and validating the post tests.

It arrived one year ago, but the pandemic stopped our project in the first phase. Therefore, training continued online, but the number of children was not always the same. Anyway, the research material is based on children’s diagnosis, tests before and after training and video rolled by Musica in Gioco during rehearsals, which are going to be studied by the researchers.

This research seems to be the first of this kind in scientific literature, but  we must keep in mind that the results show the variant of the unexpected conditions due to the pandemic.


Text by Maria Pia Ferrante. For further information, please contact her at
Follow our activity on Twitter