Orff Education in Turkey

Best known for his work Carmina Burana, Carl Orff was not only an important musician, but he was also an important educator. Developed by Orff himself, Carl Orff Schulwerk, also known as “Carl Orff Approach”, recommends as an educational method, the use of elements familiar to children in order to give them a basic musical training. For this, the Orff Approach uses improvisation of language, and playing as a group with music. The aim is to benefit from various fields of art in order to bring out the individual’s intrinsic creative powers through rhythm, movement and speaking.

Carl ORFF

Orff Schulwerk in Turkey – First Approach

Turkey was introduced to Orff-Schulwerk as early as 1938. Paul Hindemith and Dr. Eduard Zuckmayer acquainted Orff-Schulwerk and its instruments with the students of the Gazi Educational Institute.

Composer and pedagogue Muzaffer Arkan knew that the promotion of Orff-Schulwerk would be successful on the basis of Turkish music and culture. In collaboration with Ankara Maarif College (now TED) brought many instruments donated by Carl Orff to Turkey. Sadly, the implementation eventually proved to be ineffective: The Orff Approach needs to be integrated into an existing educational system in order to become permanent.

Early Music Education

Between the ages of 3 and 8, when creativity and emotional intelligence are established, a child’s talents develop rapidly and naturally. As scientific data demonstrates, a child’s power of perception during this time is two and half times greater than an adult’s. Consequently, it is of great importance that music education starts at pre-school age and is handled with great care. Early music education directly affects the child’s abilities and knowledge regarding music.

Recently, institutions, departments and programs that train “Pre-School Music Educators” have started forming in Turkey. Yet, in music schools and conservatories training music teachers, courses in music education and courses covering cognitive development psychology education are still insufficient. The implementation of the Orff Method, especially in public pre-schools and elementary schools, will open opportunities for music, as well as for overall education, by supporting the development of future generations’ aesthetic and artistic foundations.

With this in mind, Güher and Süher Pekinel developed the “Carl Orff Anatolia Project”, in order to ensure the implementation of the Orff Approach as part of music lessons in all schools in Turkey.

Since September 2010, the project proceeds to prove itself sustainable with the collaboration of the Orff Schulwerk Turkey-Austria-Germany.

Continuing this commitment, the “Carl Orff Anatolia Project”, gained new momentum in 2016, thanks to the financial sponsoring from Finansbank. During the 2016-2017 academic year, three young pedagogues chosen from all over Anatolia, were granted a scholarship and trained in the Schulwerk in detail at the Orff Institute/Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Beginning from September 2017, these three young educators will share their knowledge and teach the Orff Approach to other teachers in schools in numerous Anatolian cities and villages within a two-year advanced course, so that local music teachers will be able to use this new system in their own schools. The aim is to create a domino effect and for the Orff-Schulwerk to reach thousands of children.

More information on „“Carl Orff Anatolia Project” and „Orff Schulwerk in Turkey“ is available in the special edition of Andante Classical Music Magazine „Music Education in Turkey and the Orff Approach“ published in June 2015.

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