Istanbul's Fatih Municipality offers free music courses for the talented children of Sulukule, famous for its great musicians. Children can take cello, viola, piano, guitar, flute, violin, music theory and solfeggio classes
The neighborhood of Sulukule in Istanbul's Fatih district, where many famous musicians grew up, still remains a breeding ground for future musicians. Initiated by Fatih District Mayor Mustafa Demir, the Sulukule Art Academy offers music courses on cello, viola, piano, guitar, flute, violin, music theory, solfeggio and instrumental training in groups of up to 105 children. With a boost in interest, the academy will accept 200 children this year and has already started to open applications.
Children aged 7 to 14 can apply for courses through the Fatih Municipality's official website (fatih.bel.tr). Applicants will take an exam with the participation of professors from prominent music conservatories on Oct. 10. Following an examination similar to those at conservatories, the successful children will begin their courses. They will be given one two-hour music theory and a one-hour instrument lesson per week. Additionally, they will receive orchestra lessons for three hours the following term. Based on a part-time conservatory training schedule, courses last two years. Students study in four-month terms. The academy was established to discover musically talented children and help them to develop their talents. Demir said that students will receive practice and theory lessons from academics. Demir is also keen on attracting minorities. "We want to reveal the talents of Romani children and combine them with education," Demir said. "The courses will open up new paths for them. These courses are open not only for Romani children but every child in Istanbul. Students taking courses at the academy will have a greater opportunity for a better future and will develop their cultural and education background. We achieved our targets and have begun to reap the rewards of the project."
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