Home-schooled children embrace global music in Wilmington, OH

By Lindajoy Fenley

A small but enthusiastic group of home-schooled children welcomed Aysenur Kolivar’s ensemble to Ohio by listening, dancing, and playing the musicians’ unique instruments from Turkey.

“If you got me music like this, I’d listen to it,” student Micah Baggs told his mother as he watched other children gather around the musicians on stage. He said he has decided to explore world music as a result of the workshop that inaugurated Arts Midwest World Fest’s weeklong residency in Wilmington, OH.

Some 20 home-schoolers—from tiny tots to young teenagers—sat on stage at Murphy Theater for an intimate cultural exchange with the Turkish musicians, who last week worked with much larger school groups. Several parents at the event said that they wished more members of their home-school association had taken advantage of the opportunity to meet the musicians.

Michelle Persing, the mother of six home-schooled children at the workshop, said her family had been to other Arts Midwest concerts and heard that the musicians traveled to the public schools. She was especially pleased that the Murphy Theater extended the opportunity to learn about the world through music to home-schooled children.

Abigail Proffitt, another home-schooler who has studied violin since she was three, enjoyed bowing Onur Senturk’s vertically held kemanche. Abigail said she enjoyed the different styles and beats of the music from Turkey.

The students got to hear what Turkish language sounds like when accordion player Alpay Surucu spoke in the language of his home. Percussionist Tolga Yenilmez translated Alpay’s explanation of the many ways his accordion can make sound using the keys, the buttons, the bellows, and even the instrument’s exterior.

When students tried to say “good morning,” “hello,” and “goodbye” in Turkish, C.J., a 10-year-old with an ear for language, offered hints of how to learn the strange-sounding words. For example, “günaydın,” Turkish for good morning, sounds like “good night,” he said. And when fellow student Kelin Storer asked how to say “goodbye” in Turkish, C.J. suggested that the phrase “hoşça kalen” also sounds like, “Hello Kelin.”

While students might not learn the language anytime soon, it’s likely their visit to Murphy Theater will help them remember something about Turkish culture for a long time to come.


This is an exciting program. There needs to be more like this for our children to develop into well rounded adults.

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