Music Education in Schools (TR)

Educational administration runs by the Ministry of National Education (MEB) in Turkey. Turkish Education System is structured in four levels; pre-school education, primary education, secondary education and higher (tertiary) education. Pre-school education covers children 36-72 months and involves various musical events in this educational process. In 2012, the new legislation passed by the Grand National Assembly about the education system and with this law, education in primary and secondary levels divided into 4+4+4 system of schooling. In this structure, primary education consists of the two-stage type of school: Elementary school (First 4 years-Grades 1-4) and lower secondary school (Second 4 years- Grades 5-8). In primary education level, one hour music lessons are required from 1st to 8th grades and there are additional 2-hour elective music lessons from 5th to 8th grades (MEB, 2013). Secondary education level consists of grades 9-12 (Last 4 years) and often called high school (Lycees, Lise in Turkish) which includes various types of schools such as general high school, vocational high school, technical high school, science high school, fine arts high school, etc. that provide four years of education. General high schools prepare students for higher learning institutions. Vocational and technical high schools provide specialized instruction with the aim of training qualified personnel. Technical lycees include special formations such as electricity, electronics, chemistry, machinery, motors, building, etc. Vocational lycees can be Industrial Vocational Lycees; Girls’ Vocational Lycees (home economics etc.), Public Health Vocational Lycees, Commercial Vocational Lycees, Agricultural Vocational Lycees, Meteorology Vocational Lycees, Animal Husbandry Vocational Lycees, Land Registration and Cadastre Vocational Lycees, etc. (, 2017). In secondary education in general, there is one hour mandatory course where students choose either ‘Music’ or ‘Visual Arts’ lessons. In addition to this, there are 2-hour elective music lessons offered during all four years of education (Grades 9-12) (MEB, 2014). In all of the levels of Turkish Education System, except higher education, central music curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education is being used across the country and education is mandatory.

Music lessons in Turkey were formed in the axis of ‘singing’ and ‘music theory’ for many years. At the end of the 20th century, in 1994, content areas of the music lessons are diversified and some creative activities added in the curriculum (Kalyoncu, 2002); and later in 2006, with the constructivist approach, student centered activities in music lessons stepped forward in curricula (MEB, 2006). In the high school music curriculum developed in 2009, the similar student-centered approach is taken into account (MEB, 2009). Along with “Listening-Singing-Playing”, “Musical Perception and Knowledge”, and “Music Culture”, “Musical Creativity” is one of the four compulsory learning fields in the current music curricula in primary and secondary education in Turkey (In the high school music curriculum learning field of “Listening-Singing-Playing” is represented with two separate learning fields: “Listening” and “Singing-Playing”). Thus, ‘Musical Creativity’ began to be recognized in Turkish music education system officially both in theory and in practice. This development lead policy makers consider for the issues of preparation of textbooks and other course materials, lesson plans and practices, teacher’s guides as well as training of music teachers. At the same time, it has a challenging role for all the responsible persons concerned with the music education issues to keep track of the innovative approaches in music education planning, implementation, inspection, research and development and etc. (Kalyoncu & Özeke, 2016).

References, Ret.: 29.05.2017.

Kalyoncu, N. (2002). Musikunterricht in der deutschen und türkischen Grundschule. Eine vergleichende didaktische Analyse [Music lessons in German and Turkish elementary schools: A comparative didactical Analysis]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag.

Kalyoncu and Özeke (2016). “The Place of Creativity in Music Lessons in Turkish Primary and Secondary Education.” Looking for the unexpected: Creativity and innovation in Music Education, Proceedings of the 24th EAS Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania, 16–19 March 2016, 31-34.

MEB [Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı] (2006). İlköğretim Müzik Dersi Öğretim Programı. [Music curriculum for primary education] Ankara: MEB.

MEB (2009). Ortaöğretim Müzik Dersi Öğretim Programı. [Music curriculum for secondary education] Ankara: MEB

MEB (2013). İlkokullar ve Ortaokullar Haftalık Ders Çizelgesi [Weekly timetables for Elementary school and lower secondary school]., Ret.: 25.02.2016.

MEB (2014). Ortaöğretim Kurumları Haftalık Ders Çizelgeleri [Weekly timetables for secondary education schools]. Ret.: 25.02.2016.