Güher & Süher Pekinel Music Department
Update: As a result of the sustained work at TEVITÖL, the Ministry of National Education has reinstated two mandatory weekly hours of music lessons within the curriculum in all public schools in Turkey starting from the 2017-2018 academic year.
TEVITÖL is a boarding school, giving high school education in English to highly talented students from all over Turkey who are chosen through a three-step process. The Güher & Süher Pekinel Music Department was founded at the school on the conviction that musical education has a significant influence on education as a whole.
The Music Department was founded by Güher and Süher Pekinel after a concert they were invited to give to benefit the Turkish Education Foundation İnanç Türkeş Private High School (TEVITÖL).
During their first visit to TEVITÖL, Güher and Süher Pekinel noticed that the multi-talented students were eager to learn an instrument, but were unable to make progress because of insufficient space and teachers. The driving energy for the significant decision to establish a music department in line with the requests of these students, was the aim to prepare this next generation of CEOs their social responsibility to support culture and cultural projects, and further a higher cultural profile for the Arts through their investments, projects and financial support.
Güher and Süher Pekinel’s greatest desire is to help these young people establish their own emotional and intellectual balance by discovering, experiencing, directing the creative energy inside them by living with art. All of them learn an instrument and give solo and chamber music concerts, learn the basic understanding in music harmony, history of world music and continue these activities after their graduation. Music making in university and in their social lives enables them to more sharing and socialisation, to find more effective solutions to their problems through their discovered depths, feeling more happily let them create more intensively in many ways.
TEVITÖL is the only school in Turkey where twelve teachers from the music department teach 190 children, not only instrument lessons, but also in the subjects of Music History, Music Theory and Choir.
Goals and Achievements
The goal of the Güher & Süher Pekinel Music Department is to reimplement music education in all schools in Turkey. After years of intense work, on the basis of excellent results of the department, the Ministry of Education allowed the grading of Music as a school subject as part of the curriculum at TEVITÖL, and now upon graduation, is accepted as extra credit at notable universities. As a result of their sustained work at TEVITÖL, the Ministry of National Education has reinstated two mandatory weekly hours of music lessons in all public schools in Turkey starting from the 2017-2018 academic year.
The History of Music class at TEVITÖL focuses not only on music, but benefits from a syllabus that includes all types of art in order to expand the horizon of the students and encourage them to explore more wide-ranging areas of interest. Most of the teachers in the Music Department are lecturers at conservatories and artists in reputable orchestras, a clear indication of how the department achieved its superior quality in such a short time.
It is not the aim of the G&S Pekinel Music Department to train professional musicians, since it is a well-known fact (with some rare exceptions) that musicians who begin playing for the first time from the age of 15 onwards, cannot pursue professional careers.
Surely, very highly talented individuals can prove themselves at 15-17 years of age if they are sufficiently determined, as composer Egemen Kesikli, who today has an exemplary carrier. Nevertheless, he remains an exception since he already was improvising on the piano at a young age, even without a musical training. After graduation from high school, Kesikli was awarded a full scholarship at St. Olaf College in Minnesota at the Music and Political Science departments where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The “Music Department Certificate of Achievement” presented to students at their high school graduation ceremony, makes them eligible to obtain college credit in application procedures at many foreign universities.
Other graduates who currently are studying in fields such as medicine, chemistry, engineering or informatics at universities like Harvard, Cambridge or Stanford, all have in common that they continue to pursue their musical interests as part of the orchestras at their universities.