French musician Valerie Devy is teaching violin to 35 children as a part of the "Zeytin Çekirdekleri Projesi" (Olive Seeds Project) in Balıkesir's district of Ayvalık. Residing in the Çakmak neighborhood, formerly a village, Devy said she comes to the district to teach music courses to local children. "I am interested in collective education. With this method they learn fast and concentrate better on music," she said. Devy also underlined the difference between rural and urban children: "Rural children learn faster than urban children. This is because the environment is homogeneous and children are mostly on the same cultural level and close to each other. Teaching becomes harder in the city as children come from different [social] levels."
Speaking to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, Gökay Bacan, the deputy mayor of Ayvalık, said the project, which was initiated last year, aims to increase social and cultural activities among rural children. He said the project includes 330 children from each neighborhood and they are planning to reach 3,000 students. Children are offered the chance to learn violin, dance, singing, percussion and cello in groups. Bacan said children receive training in different kinds of music: "One group is learning the violin while another group is engaged with dance." Devy, who owns a music organization company in Istanbul, carries out joint music projects between Turkey and France, Greece, Tunisia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. She offers voluntary support to the ongoing project in Balıkesir.
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