Conservatory education of a musical savant with autism: a case study in Turkey

ERDEN Ş. , Reyhanoglu G.

ADVANCES IN AUTISM, cilt.5, sa.4, ss.282-292, 2019 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 5 Konu: 4
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1108/aia-11-2018-0046
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.282-292


Purpose Savant syndrome, a very rare condition in the world, refers to individuals who have extraordinary talents but might have disabilities that prevent them from maintaining their life. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the views of conservatory instructors about the education of Bugra cankir (BC), a musical savant with autism. Design/methodology/approach As it was difficult to communicate with BC and elicit his views, interviews were conducted with his teachers, who had similar experiences in his music education process. The participants were six instructors who worked as full-time instructors in the conservatory. The participants were administered a semi-structured focus group interview form that described the difficulties, experiences, perceptions and feelings they had in their interactions with BC. Data obtained from the study were subjected to content analysis methods performed by the researchers; analysis involved identification of the codes and themes and formation of sub-themes and codes in line with these themes. Findings Results showed that the participants had difficulties in teaching BC because of having insufficient knowledge about his features. In addition, while planning the conservatory education processes, the participants were found to redesign the teaching content considering the features of the student. Research limitations/implications - The present case study is important in terms of revealing the problems experienced in the education processes of these individuals. More detailed qualitative studies or action research could be utilised in studies to be conducted in the future. Originality/value BC's educational experience is the first case for educational institutions and instructors in Turkey.