Everyone's Wonder Boy?


Child prodigy!

It has turned into a saying that is heard a lot today and that I follow with sadness as I see it in the posts and read it in the interviews. It is a definition that is used abundantly in newspapers, interviews and social media platforms, sometimes in order to attract attention while making news, and sometimes to make their own advertisements by people who do not have professional competence, without thinking about the pressure they place on people, without realizing how much it raises expectations...

We often hear the news of our students who have made their names known with the competitions they have won in the country and abroad, but since not everyone has the chance to reach a medium where they can advertise, even though they cannot reach you directly, more than what you read fills our ears every day and our pride increases. These children are often touted as "Wonder Child". When I evaluate these achievements at an early age as an academician, I can say that the performance expectations of the 8-12 age group (can play up and down) can be met with a hardworking, properly guided student, and especially with the successful education level in the conservatories that provide preparatory units (secondary-high school) education in Turkey. I can observe that it is now very possible to achieve the achievements in question. This is a tremendous achievement for our institutions. So, is it right to describe the protagonists of these successes, which are increasing day by day, as "Wonder Child"? Which word should we focus on?

Let's remember who did what with the "Wonderful Children Act" in our country and approach the true meaning of the discourse.

In 1948, the Law No. 5245 on Wonderful Children, prepared by the Minister of National Education Hasan Ali Yücel, was enacted with the name “Law on Sending İdil Biret and Suna Kan to Foreign Countries for Music Education”. Its scope was expanded in 1956 with the Law No. 6660, and it was named as “The Law on the Education of Children with Extraordinary Ability in Fine Arts by the State”. It was brought to a state where it could be used not only in the field of music, but also in all fields of fine arts. Students who were tested by the commission of 10 members of the Ministry of National Education and who were found to have extraordinary talents could be sent abroad to receive education. I would like to share with you the names who benefited from this law in the field of music: Verda Erman (piano), Ateş Pars (composition and piano), Fuat Kent (piano), İsmail Aşan (violin), Tunç Ünver (violin), Selman Ada (composition and conducting) , Gülsin Onay (piano), Hüseyin Sermet (piano).

Mithat Fenmen and İlhan Baran developed a new model in 1968 as the law became inoperable and the number of successful students gradually increased. Oya Ünler (piano), Burçin Büke (piano), Fazıl Say (piano), Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu-Demiriz (piano), Şölen Dikener (cello), Yeşim Alkaya (piano), Çağlayan Ünal (cello), within the scope of the special status resulting from this study ), Ertan Torgul (violin), Özgür Balkız (violin) and Çağıl Yücelen (violin) studied abroad after graduating from the conservatory. Emrecan Yavuz was taken under the protection of the state in line with the decision of the board of experts, which was established in 1976, but the law could not be implemented.

Now I ask you to read the names I have mentioned again and again. Let's remember how they represent our country, the concerts they gave around the world, the works they composed and the successes they added to their successes throughout their careers. Thus, it will be much easier for us to decide whether we should say "Wonderful Boy" or "You guys are amazing" in order to encourage and appreciate our children, who have started to introduce themselves with their achievements at the very beginning of their education process.  

I don't want to finish my article without mentioning a few young people whose names we are starting to hear frequently today, who do not need any adjectives, who inspire us all with their actions, and who make us proud with their amazing achievements in international platforms without even being referred to as Wonder Kids… Dear Can Çakmur, dear Kaan Baysal, dear Hande Küden, dear Denizcan Eren... I hope that what you do and the path you follow will set an example for all our youth...

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