Proyecto Erasmus+ KA229: "Biodiversity meets music"

Schools from Greece, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Norway, and Germany initiate a multilateral partnership and carry out their project "Biodiversity meets music", drawing attention to the value of biodiversity by means of music. Aims of the project are to increase awareness of the various forms of biodiversity, the exemplification of the international relevance in various contexts and the development of solutions for problems related to the topic of biodiversity. Due to geographical, social and cultural aspects, each country contributes individually and particularly to the project.

Biodiversity is essential for ecosystem services and hence for human well-being. Therefore, we want to study the manifold aspects of biodiversity and its importance for our daily lives in the context of an international exchange. Due to local or regional characteristics, all partners have different views on the topic, supplying the students with the experience and the awareness of biodiversity loss and a thoughtful reflection of their own actions and its effects. During the two-year project activities focus on the following questions: What is biodiversity? Which species are endangered in my environment? What is the significance of species diversity for humans? What are the causes of species loss? What does the development of species loss mean? Can species extinction be halted? Which approaches to preserve or protect biodiversity exist? What can I do about it? How can I help increasing social awareness of Biological Diversity? Questions are treated in the geological, geographical and political context, as well as in a cultural dimension, e.g. in music, art or literature. The international dimension of the project refers to the UNESCO topics "biodiversity" as well as "World Heritage Earth". Different concepts of life and perspectives on the dependence on biodiversity will be examined from economical, ecological and cultural points of view. Biodiversity is a part of the different curricula in all participating countries; therefore, the project provides the chance to benefit from its results and products to a large extent.

In detail, our students are going to analyze their environment in the light of sustainability in order to realize the European and the global importance of biodiversity. The basic aim is to realize the cross-border, interdisciplinary importance and the resulting consequences and challenges for our daily routines. Furthermore, we intend to work on aspects of the economical dimension of biodiversity. Our students extend their research and presentation skills, they learn how to plan, carry out and analyse surveys and other data collection methods. In addition, they improve their foreign language and intercultural skills. Activities during the exchange meetings comprise visits to wildlife sanctuaries, research institutes and nature conservation associations, focusing on the analysis of species loss, its reasons as well as the documentation and presentation of results. As a long-term consequence, they increase their appreciation for the importance of biodiversity as a basis for a sustainable and social life and may in future understand the impact of their actions on the world and to make responsible decisions as outlined in the Brundtland report (1987).

To raise and strengthen awareness of the multiple benefits and values of biodiversity, it is necessary to win the "hearts and minds" of politicians, managers, citizens, scientists and stakeholders so that they can bring about corresponding social changes. Music can help to provide some of the affective components of environmental education – emotions, values, and motivations driving pro-environmental behaviour. It can transport both content and emotion, it can captivate, entertain, and create a sense of community. Music as a universal language brings people together, lets them dance and sing along, sometimes even cry. It paves the way directly into our hearts and intoxicates our senses. Thus, we intend to use music as a tool for environmental education and advocacy. In addition, in this project the medium film is used for documentation of the project as well as to support the contents and statements on species extinction by moving images.

For this purpose, we intend that our students acquire basic skills in courses on film and sound engineering/recording. Learning composition techniques will enable them to create own compositions inspired by nature sounds. Composing, making music together, considering sounds typical of each participating country will emphasize diversity in culture as well. Our students extend their presentation and performing skills by organizing events (e.g. concerts), by documenting the project (e.g. CD or DVD production) as well as communicating with our partners (eTwinning, at meetings and workshops). As a final review, a joint meeting is planned with all partners. The Ritzefeld-Gymnasium Stolberg, Germany, is the coordinating partner.