Future artists educated at primary school
Turkey’s first Turkish music primary school educates talented children from an early age to represent the country on an international scale. The schools offers music education in addition to the lessons in the curriculum of the National Education Ministry (MEB).
The Palet Turkish Music Primary School in Istanbul’s Üsküdar neighborhood opened in the 2019-2020 academic year to train fully equipped artists who have the sense of politeness, courtesy and nobility. The school offers an education model based on Turkish music. The education staff includes the artists of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) as well as academics.
Many forgotten traditional resources and unpublished lecture notes are revised and presented to students in the school.
The school was designed specifically for this style of education, inspired by traditional architecture, with domed classrooms and a courtyard. There is also Turkey’s first thematic Turkish Music Museum in the school.
The school also has a sound recording studio, a concert hall with 140-person capacity, an instrument making workshop, a robotics workshop, a woodworking workshop, a book archive, meeting and individual study rooms, and an indoor sports hall. Also displaying musical instruments, the school provides detailed information about these instruments that can be accessed with the QR code system.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Yüce Gümüş, the founding representative of Palet Turkish Music Primary School, said that after a long preparation period, they opened an institution that has been active in education for three years.
Gümüş said they launched their school as “Turkey’s first Turkish music primary school,” adding, “Our school has no precedent in Turkey. There are very few examples in the world. When music and art education start at a young age, we observed that people grew up in a very different way, and there was no such example in our country. We opened this school to close this gap.”
Gümüş said that the students are accepted to the school with a special talent exam, which has some differences from the classical ones in order to make an objective assessment because they are very young.
Mentioning that they are a primary school where formal education is also given, Gümüş noted that formal education classes are held until noon, and that children continue to receive education in many branch classes such as music specialization lessons, English and traditional-visual arts in the afternoon.
He stated that while conducting the talent exam, the students are given a one-week to 10-day courses, and that a psychological counseling and guidance specialist and parent communication specialist also make interview with their parents.
Stating that they consider Turkish music as a whole, Gümüş said, “We don’t accept expressions such as folk music, classical Turkish music, Turkish artistic music. An education that has all the details of Turkish music is given here.”
Speaking about the lessons, he said, “We first teach the literary side of a work and then the musical education starts. Instrument training is given, too. The first year is like a prep school. Starting from the second grade, instruments are selected and after that, it is included in the curriculum, and the children continue their education for three years by getting involved with these instruments. The artists of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT) artists and academics working in conservatories support very much. Here, we give our children the infrastructure to become professional musicians if they want to continue.”
Stating that this is a private school and their quota is very few because talent is important, Gümüş added, “We take the most talented children as much as possible and continue to go with them in an individual way.”
Gümüş stated that they had their building designed as a cultural center no matter how much they serve as a school, and that there are many activities for the public there, and invited those who would like to visit the museum and follow the concerts.