Uncovering children’s artistic potential through games

The “Orff Education,”developed by famous composer Carl Orff and implemented world-wide, especially aiming to uncover children’s artistic potential, is becoming increasingly prevalent in Turkey, as well.

Senem Yazıcı, 30.11.2011

The “Orff Education,” which has been implemented worldwide and aims to unearth the artistic talents contained within us all, particularly in children, is becoming increasingly prevalent in Turkey.

In the “Orff Education,” started by German composer and music pedagogue Carl Orff who lived from 1895-1982, which is based on the approach that “the human body is the most important instrument, thus every person has the potential to express themselves and their feelings through music and movement” and the thought that children are innately mobile and that they lose this constitutional characteristic as they get older, aims to prevent the loss of such talents in children, and to uncover such lost talents in adults.

In a statement he gave an AA reporter, Ismail Bilen, the Izmir Branch President of the State Theatre, Opera, and Ballet Employees Foundation (TOBAV) where Orff classes are offered to children and educators in Izmir, said that his own introduction to the “Orff Education” was late. Explaining that some of the initiatives that were undertaken in this field in the 1940’s were left unresolved, Bilen said that the Orff doctrine, which is especially valuable for children, has only become widely familiar and implemented across Turkey in recent years.

Talents shouldn’t stay hidden

Stating that parents cannot be impartial towards their children and that even if they could, they might not be able to recognize their child’s prodigious talents, Bilen pointed out the importance of uncovering talents at this juncture.

Emphasizing the matter of bringing children’s artistic talents to light and guiding them through this education, Bilen said that “We bare witness to adults stating that they feel regret regarding an art form or instrument many times in life. With this education, kids are given the opportunity to not be left behind, and important talents are discovered.”

Training Orff educators

In the “Orff Education,” which is taught by individuals whose expertise is certified by the Mozarteum University Orff Institute in Austria, basic rhythmic exercises and instrument exercises, drama, music, dance, and various instruments indigenous to different countries are presented to children through games.

Bilen, who points out the increase in self-confidence, in addition to the love and general appreciation for art in kids who receive the “Orff Education,” stated that “In this system of education, kids whose talents are uncovered through the utilization of artistic input, gravitate towards art, music, ballet, and chorus.”

Bilen also stated that a large portion of the children who have received this education are continuing their studies in various branches of art.
Mentioning that while the Orff education primarily needs to be known by those providing this education to children and that there are even those among the graduates of the faculty of education who are not aware of this tenet, Bilen noted that the the “Anatolia Orff Project” was being carried out through a collaboration between the Ministry of National Education, state artist pianist sisters Güher-Süher Pekinel, and the Orff Center Turkey, with the aim of reaching more children through this tenet.

Ezgi Akbay, who provides children aged 4 and up with Orff education at TOBAV, said that children who take part in this education have a lot of fun, play games, do not forget the things they learn through these games, and start to become aware of their own talents.