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İki Elin Sesi Var, Children’s Symphony Orchestra
City/Region : Eskişehir Tepebaşı municipality , Turkey

“İki Elin Sesi Var, Children’s Symphony Orchestra” was established by Eskişehir Tepebaşı municipality in January 2015, thanks to sponsorships and municipal funding. The orchestra provides a social and cultural space for thousands of children in the municipality and allows them to participate in the arts. It is also hoped that the programme will help reduce drug and crime rates in the municipality.

Through participating in the orchestra, the children gain motivation and self-confidence and improve their social and teamwork skills through music.

Agendas addressed
Public spaceSocial inclusion and integration
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Apply innovative financing approaches
Context
ESKİŞEHİR TEPEBAŞI MUNICIPALITY

Tepebaşı Municipality, one of the central municipalities of Eskişehir, was established in 1993. The city hopes to become a city of culture and meaning , through providing a quality cultural and arts life, a rich social life, and environmentally sensitive activities to their citizens.

Tepebasi Municipality is always aiming to inform and raise awareness among children and families, especially in rural areas, on topics such as health, climate & ecology, environment, recycling, art and culture.

The orchestra makes a great contribution to the urban culture and arts. The Children's Symphony Orchestra was created as part of a project in which children between the ages of 7 and 17, who were not educated in any instrument, received arts education free of charge. The orchestra was set up to prevent and reduce addiction rates among children, and in the hope that it would lead to less children joining street gangs. For more information, click here.

In Action

Music has the ability to transform your life and can be a powerful tool against the threats in childhood period. Therefore Tepebasi Municipality aims to gather children together to make music together, ensuring the social development of the participating children and strengthening the ties with the universal values of humanity.

The social connection between ethnic minorities and peace in communities has the potential to be strengthened through music. Through implementing these activities and informative trainings the chances for saving the children from the negative consequences of living in such neighbourhoods are much higher. Currently 673 children have benefitted having instrument and orchestra courses (250 children who plays music and 473 educated children) given in the Children Symphony Center.

This programme, which is run mainly on donnations, offers common social and cultural habitats to thousands of children and also their families with limited opportunities in urban rural areas. The  children's symphony orchestra is located in a disadvantaged area of the city. The economic and social impossibilities of the children living in the region are the most important reason for the positioning of the study area here. Because of the intensity of the students' lessons at the school, the music hours were adjusted to their availability. In the same building, free lessons such as mathematics and English were given in order to contribute to the school courses.

In addition, an expert psychologist from the municipality worked to find solutions to the mental problems caused by the children being in disadvantaged areas. Mayor Ahmet Ataç has expressed his views on the Children's Symphony Orchestra, which has been awarded many awards. “I am a dentist and I always look to the city with my physician. Physical areas, green spaces in the city, everything is important and basic tasks. But the main ones are social, art, sports and health projects. We had this project 3 years ago. With 40 instruments, this orchestra started to work. The process was very successful; our children gave 21 concerts (2 of which were abroad). We are very pleased with the success of these children. We also received awards with the Children's Symphony Orchestra. The biggest prizes are telling you how to modernize Turkey.

Results

There is no selection or screening system in this project, where children are away from all the threats in their surroundings and are free to learn music and create a workspace for them to do so, The orchestra was established to increase social effectiveness in the disadvantaged region, starting with 130 students to make music and now that number has risen to 250. Children who gave a total of 21 concerts, in many cities of Turkey have made music together with important artists. Children who make music in countries such as Belgium and Albania, as well as Turkey is working as 3 orchestra. As a result of the training they have received through the programme, 17 children were accepted to a conservatoire, and  23 children were accepted to fine arts high schools.

Impact

İki Elin Sesi Var* Children's Symphony Orchestra (*Two heads are better than one.’ (Approximate translation of a Turkish idiom)), was established as a tool to prevent children in the neighbourhood getting caught up with gangs and addicitions. The project has also had a number of sustainability benefits.

The project, which especially felt the impact in local terms both qualitatively and quantitatively, contributed to the transformation of the region. It can be said that these children who have grown up with art have changed over time in order to complete their personal development and become healthy individuals.

On the other hand, through this project, it has been observed that the performance of the children in the lessons is improved due to the educational support given to the children whose successes at the school are followed. Thanks to the songs they have learned, children who know the composers and western musical cultures have developed their general cultures. Therefore, children who change their physical lives have started to show interest in activities such as cinema, concert, theater. The effect of where the Children's Symphony Orchestra Training and Study Center building is located is very influential in this success. Children who live in areas where the use of addictive substances is widespread are followed up psychologically by the psychiatrists of the municipality. It has been observed that both children and families have spiritual healing. On the other hand, it is possible to observe the success of the project from the increasing number of children, increase in music performances, decreasing crime rates.

Challenges and lessons learned

As the center is located in a disadvantaged area, often the children who attend have mental health problems. This situation is improved by the municipal psychologist. At the beginning of the project, there were not enough instruments, but thanks to donations this problem was overcome.

Due to the intensity of the lessons in the school, students are able to devote time to music lessons in the evening hours. Students have had difficulties with the alienation of music culture at the beginning of the project. But through adapating to their own culture, they found it easier.

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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

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79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

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Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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