About Müzikhane social music school
Müzikhane (House of Music in Turkish and Persian), is a social musical school based in Mardin Province, located in the south east of Turkey along the border with Syria. Initiated by San Francisco-Based composer, Sahba Aminikia as part of Flying Carpet Festival in 2018 and under Turkish NGO, Her Yerde Sanat Derneği (Art Anywhere Association), the school continues to grow to become a cultural learning center for vulnerable children. Her Yerde Sanat is an organization initially dedicated to providing circus arts training to refugee and other vulnerable children across the Anatolian region. Müzikhane aims to provide world-class cultural and artistic opportunities to vulnerable children in the same region, while also allowing the magic of their music to spread around the world to places where music and beauty are needed most. We connect artists from all around the world to our children, and they learn from those who have been through horrendous experiences and still keep the fire of hope burning in their hearts. In our view, the most true and honest music is created out of pain and hardship.
Where we are
The Syrian war has entered its 8th year. Since the beginning of the war more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees who have lost their home and homeland have found their way into Turkey. One thousand new refugees enter Turkey each day, primarily through Mardin Province, and new social policies are constantly being developed to integrate them. Despite of all the efforts by the authorities, extreme difficulties and monumental challenges continue to exist. Children are the most vulnerable and struggle to find meaning in their new lives in a world adults have created around them. One third of Syrian children refugees are still not integrated into the educational system and remain illiterate in both their native and adopted language. Problems such as child marriage, child labor, child abuse, and lack of identity persist in an already impoverished area. This is a region where it is extremely difficult to have a childhood, preserve innocence, and keep a smile.
What we can do
We aim to cultivate the innate beauty and confidence within a child via a non-political, non-religious and non-ideological method. We cannot solve all the problems these children deal with, but we can bring beauty, light and hope into their lives. We cultivate independent human beings who do not need anyone or anything to bestow identity upon them, and we equip them with story-telling skills so they may express themselves in the most meaningful ways possible. We teach them to express themselves through music and positive social interaction rather than through violence and revenge. We also emphasize the social aspects of music as collaboration and adherence to structure guides them toward healthy social skills. We teach them how to be positive creators rather than negative manifestations of dark experiences. By providing a structured educational environment we guide children as they find the beauty and civility that, even if buried by trauma, is inside every human being.
Projects already initiated
We are strongly inspired by Sirkhane, designed and implemented by Her Yerde Sanat Derneği (Art Anywhere Association) and it’s co-founders Pinar Demiral and Serdal Adam. Sirkhane Social Circus School was founded in 2012 in Mardin, Turkey, near the Syrian border. The organization offers circus and art workshops to children and youth in schools, refugee camps, and other locations where there is need. They reach out to children affected by conflict from Syria, Iraq and Turkey with the hope of replacing damaged childhoods with happiness and enriching imaginations via social circus pedagogy.