CyberFair Project ID: 5548

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Uniting and Healing Effects of Music of the Balkans'
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Edirne Koleji
    Edirne, Merkez, Turkey

16 students, ages 14-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 19, 2009. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2009

Classes and Teachers: Fisun Aydin-Esin Ciftci / Science Class 9-A

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Edirne is the westernmost province of Turkey, located in Eastern Thrace along the Greek and Bulgarian border. One of the oldest settlements of both Thrace and Anatolia, the city of Edirne was populated by various nations and tribes in history, and hosted many different civilizations. The oldest known settlers of Edirne were the Odrises, and they are considered as the founders of this city. Shortly after the Odris reign, Edirne was taken by the Macedonians, acted as one of the important cities of the Roman and Byzantine civilizations for 1000 years. Then the city entered the command of Ottoman Empire, the city was made capital to enter its finest age and turned into a significant center of commerce and culture for Ottoman Empire.The city lost its magnificance after Ottoman Empire collapsed, and became a border town of modern Turkey. As the second largest capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city has a rich cultural heritage.The mosques, religious centres, bridges, bazaars, caravanserais and palaces, all make Edirne a living museum.

2. Summary of Our Project

We have started our project by choosing our topic to focus on. It was a very painful period for all of us because Edirne has a very vast cultural heritage due to its hosting many civilizations from the past up to now. Then we came up with the idea of uniting and healing role of music of the Balkans. We wanted to show this rich harmonized music and its effects as many people as possible. So we have started our researches about music. First, we have decided our topic as the ‘Uniting and Healing Effects of Balkan Music’. Then we have considered what else to include in our web site. We thought that it would be unfair not to mention about dances, festivals, arts of architecture, and handcraft in our web site because Edirne has hosted so many empires and it was an Ottoman capital and a Sultan’s city. We created ten main pages: About Edirne: Here we described our city, its history, climate and arts of architecture. Our second page is about our main focus called ‘Bayezid Kulliye’ where we told the healing effects of music. Here we told the history of the building and the medication styles with music, a detailed description of the building and the medication, the story of famous traveller Evliya Celebi about the healing music and also we included a video and photos of Bayezid Kulliye to visualise the facts we have mentioned. Then our third page is about our main topic ‘Folk music’. In this page we gave information about the Balkan music and its effects. Our fourth page is about Folk dances, fifth page is about festivals, sixth is about handcraft. We also added four more pages: Image gallery, Narrative, About us and Bibliography.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our first difficulty was to choose our title to study on for our web site. This was caused because Edirne has had a rich cultural heritage hosting many different civilizations so far. Finally we decided to study on “Folk Music”: “The uniting and healing music of Balkans”. Moreover, we planned to add other important cultural events into the subcategories. We had diffuculty in being organized because we worked on this project as a whole class consisting of 16 students. Our heavy lesson schedule was a problem for us to have enough time to study on our project. Also our team coaches had very busy programmes so we used every opportunity to come together for our project. Besides, we had difficulty in arranging our school programmes to visit the local places for our interviews. Most of the time we stayed at school after the lessons and also we came together in order to study at the weekends because of insufficient time.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

From the first day we were informed about this international web project, we were very proud to be involved in a project like this. This project helped us to learn and understand our culture from different aspects and it also motivated us to take action to introduce our rich culture to the public and raise awareness among people about the the effects of music and the other cultures in Edirne. For this project, our motto was ‘The might of music will heal’ so when we were exhausted of our studies, it motivated us a lot.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Firstly, we listed and classified the different types of music and art forms in our community. We started our research about them and arranged interviews with the experts in the authorized institutions. Our city Culture and Tourism Director informed us about the cultural performances. We attended a local fair to examine art forms. Learning supported by technology and computer has always been important in our country, city and our school and so while we were studying on our project we had been involved in an education programme which met the principles of learning in our country. Our city’s Education Director supported us in many aspects. With this project we are surprised to find out how difficult to reach facts by just not getting the information from the internet but also from the local places with interviews, from videos, books , magazines and brochures. We learned what working and earning money meant. We had a stand and sold handcraft to earn money. We earned it by ourselves. It was a nice experience for us. We practised all the group concepts and learned working colloboratively. We started researching from general ideas to the specific ideas and we examined details a lot to have a good background information for our web site. Now we can understand the specific ideas better and more easily. We discovered that learning can’t take place in only classrooms because our visits to local offices, interviews, applied surveys and also delivering leaflets were all valuable tools for learning. We were ambossodors in our interviews and that helped us gain confidence in ourselves and discovered that we are responsible and authorised for our own learning in our school community. Researching and adding the results what we had gathered on an electronic environment helped us visualize the facts in our mind in a very effective and a permanent way.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

In order to prepare an attractive website, we used a lot of information tools and technologies. These helped us ease our work. The more technology is used, the more attractive the website became. We have computers at school but we usually used our laptops which we did most of the work at the weekends. Laptops were the most useful tools that we used throughout our project preparation period. Telephones were also important in order to arrange our meetings. We made use of Internet a lot when we wanted to share our studies with each other. Each and every of us has a laptop so we have been quicker in completing our work. In our interviews, we used our video camera which we recorded our interviews on and photo cameras which we took photos of our interviews. In order to use the photos in some documents, we used scanners and added these on our website. As computer software, we used a lot such as “FrontPage 2003”, “Photoshop CS2”, “Photoshop CS3”, “Microsoft Office”, “Macromedia Flash Player”. We also made use of books, newspapers and magazines in order to include some useful information. We have been to museums and fairs to learn the things from its original resource. We not only used the information on other sources, but also we created our own website with the help of the technology. We found out that our imagination became true with the help of technological tools. Otherwise, all the creative ideas would have stayed in our minds. We also used other websites and newspapers to introduce our project to the public.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

At first, we were excited because our team coaches informed us that this project would lead us to speak with authorities and announce our project to our own country. In other words, we would do what was necessary by using our own opportunities. That meant that we would be heard as long as we were courageous. So, we started to work by planning what we would do. We made a list of authorities that we would have an interview with. In order to complete our interviews, we arranged meetings, we visited those places. After giving information about our project and what we wanted to do, we asked several questions to the authorities and noted down their answers. We asked for useful resources to the people we visited. Beside these, we arranged meetings with the Mayor and the Governor who are the two most powerful people in our local area. We gave information to them about our project. We had interviews with the Director of Education, Culture and Tourism Director, Trakya University Music Department Asistant Professor, the Director of Bayezid Kulliye, The Soap Factory in our city and got their help and support in order to prepare a good web site and announce our project to the whole country. We gained the appreciation of everyone that we contacted with because of taking part in such an international project which would raise awareness among people. We were the leaders of this movement. We did whatever we could do although we had limited opportunities. While announcing our project to the people through press, we were once more the spokespersons who gave information about what could be done. We also arranged a meeting at our school’s auditorium to inform our friends about our project. The more active we were, the more courageous we became.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project is about uniting and healing effects of music. We learned from the authorities that so far there hasn’t been a wide research about our music culture so they stated that this will be a great contribution to our community. In our community people learned a lot of attractive new things they haven’t heard before with the help of our project. We worked as a bridge between our school, local authorities, the media and local people. Not only our team coaches and we examined our web pages but also the local authorities, the media and local people looked through and evaluated our web site. They commented about the good and insufficient parts of the web site.They stated that this is a useful tool both for learning and reflecting our culture. Our school principals and vice-principals were always beside us to help us with our project and advised us to make our web site more effective, attractive and creative.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We couldn’t handle it on our own and do so much alone. We needed the help of authorities. Otherwise, we would not be able to introduce our project to the public. First of all, we would like to thank to our school’s principal since she let us go for our meeting with the institutions during the lesson time. We had meetings with formal institutions which are open between 8.00am and 5.00pm., so we had to meet with them during school time otherwise we would not have been able to interview them. We got help from several institutions during our project studies. First of all, we should mention that we took all the necessary documents from the institutions we had interview with. We would like to thank to Mustafa Buyuk the Governor of Edirne for the interview and the Mayor to have helped our project to gain publicity; Irfan Ozcan, the Director of Culture and Tourism of Edirne; to the Director of Bayezid Kulliye, Enver Sengul, to Trakya University Music Department Asistant Professor Sibel Pasaoglu; the owner of Edmis Fruit Soap, Can Urenli. He let us visit his factory and gave valuable information about the production of fruit soap. Also he donated us fruit soap and mirrored brooms to sell at our stand which we sold in a shopping center in our city. By this way we managed to earn our own money for the expenses for our web site. We present our deepest respects to our school founder, Mr. Adil Cebi; Faculty Coordinator and Primary School Principal, Mr. Mahmut Bozturk; High School Principal, Mrs. Aysun Yigitsoy; High School vice-principal, Kemal Cavdarlier; to our computer teacher, Serkan Turen and to all the people at our school for their great assistance , support and valuable contributions for the project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

While we were working on this project, we discovered that people don’t give importance to our traditional culture and they don’t know much about music, its effects and features. We realised that they also have false interpretations about music culture as they thought Roman music was the only original music in Thrace.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5548)

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