Me, My Team and What We Do...
First of all, welcome and thank you for visiting our site. If you allow me, let me tell you a little about myself, in case there are some of you wondering who this Sinan Söyler is... Those who know me a little bit will say that I am a very social person. In addition, many of you know that I have been a Tekke Lodge member that has been going on for a long time. Yes, this is a Sinan Söyler who has fellow dervish friends and walks on the path of dervishhood. When people first hear this, they may find it a little strange, wondering how such a modern-looking musician can become a Tekke member. At least I can say this, if there were no Tekke Lodge, Tekke Lodge Literature and Tekke Lodge Music, it would be almost impossible for us to carry our centuries-old musical and literary culture to this day.
I was born in Istanbul, my family came from Malatya Pütürge and settled in Istanbul 4 generations ago. We are 4 siblings, I have 1 older sister, 1 older brother and 1 younger sister. I am someone who has been involved with music since my childhood, so much so that I will never forget, I had a Walkman that I bought when I was 10-11 years old, I would put on headphones at night and listen to Dede Efendi and Tamburi Cemil Bey and fall asleep like that. Would you believe this is still the case, I cannot fall asleep otherwise. Maybe this is why I was not interested in lessons other than music during my school years and unfortunately, I was not a very successful student. For this reason, I was even able to graduate from high school externally.
I entered the music world at a very early age. With the encouragement of my brother, who is also a musician and studied Vocal and Qanun at Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory, I became a regular member of the Bağcılar Association for the Preservation and Sustenance of Turkish Sufi Music in Istanbul, which operates within the Federation of Turkish Sufi Music Associations, as soon as I finished primary school. My first encounter with the Ney instrument was here. In fact, my first Ney was given to me as a gift by my esteemed teacher and spiritual elder here, Albay Ahmet. I took theoretical and practical lessons on Turkish Music and the Ney instrument, with an emphasis on Sufi Music. While I was playing the Ney as a basic instrument, I also started to learn how to play the Oud instrument. I was even very good at playing the oud. However, with the suggestions of my esteemed masters, I decided to give priority to my main instrument.
At the end of my first 2 years in the association, I made a good progress in Ney and at the age of 15, I attracted the attention of Turkiye's leading Neyzens and I took lessons from our well-known Ney masters Neyzen Ömer Erdoğdular, and Prof. Dr. Neyzen Ali Tan. I was a good student when it came to music, but I guess I was also naughty. That's why my dear teacher Neyzen Ömer Erdoğdular kicked me out of the class three times. When I was expelled, I would go to my esteemed teacher Neyzen Ali Tan and knock on his door. Thanks to him, he would never turn me away and would take me in and make me sit next to him. After I was kicked out of the class for the last time by my dear teacher Neyzen Ömer Erdoğdular, we continued to advance my lessons with my dear teacher Neyzen Ali Tan.
I had the opportunity to participate in tours and concerts organized by many organizations at home and abroad within the scope of Bağcılar Turkish Sufi Music Preservation and Sustainability Association. During my first trip abroad, I took part as Neyzen in an international tour that included Frankfurt, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Stuttgart in Germany and Strasbourg, Paris and Valence in France. Thanks to this institution, I had the opportunity to chat and practice with many of our masters in friendly meetings. Therefore, this institution has a very special place for me both in my personal life and in my music career. I am currently a member of this organization. I participate in the practices of the association and the organizations of the institution as Neyzen.
Between 2011 and 2013, during my military service, I served as Neyzen in the Turkish Armed Forces Harmony Band in Ankara for 15 months. As you will appreciate, hundreds of people applied for the talent test for the Harmony Harmonica, but thankfully we were given the opportunity and I completed a 15-month tenure here, which contributed greatly to my personal development.
(Turkish Armed Forces Harmony Band, or simply Turkish Armed Forces Harmony Band, is the band that represents the Turkish Armed Forces at the force commands and General Staff level; it is affiliated with the Turkish Armed Forces Band Schools Command, gives concerts at home and abroad, and has its training center in Ankara. The choir was affiliated with the National Defense University after the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
After military service, I returned to Istanbul and in February 2013, I started working as a Ney Instructor at Başakşehir Bilgievleri Music Schools affiliated with Başakşehir Municipality.
By passing the exam in 2014, I started the Turkish Classical Music semi-study associate degree program at Avcılar Municipal Conservatory, which operates under the supervision of Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory. At the same time, between 2014 and 2018 I continued to take lessons from Turkiye's well-known Ney masters, Prof. Dr. Süleyman Erguner and Prof. Dr. Ali Tüfekçi at Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory in Maçka campus, and also I continued to take private meshk style lessons from Neyzen Başar Dikici.
Obviously, a musician must know his instrument very well. I focused on Ney, which is my main instrument, and as a result of the training I received from my masters and my personal research, I became familiar with the intricacies of Ney making, first by using different templates and then by trial and error, I started to make Neys in my atelier at home since 2011. Finally, in 2013, I started to make Neys in my own template and established the first full-fledged Sinan Söyler Ney Atelier in Bahçeşehir .
On one hand, I continued to work as a Ney Instructor at Başakşehir Bilgievleri Music Schools, on the other hand, I continued my education with my masters at ITU, at the same time I participated in meşks and concerts with the Bağcılar Turkish Sufi Music Conservation and Sustainability Association, and at the same time, I was opening Neys in my atelier in my remaining time.
I never like to brag about myself, but yes, I have a versatile and entrepreneurial personality. In this context, I founded my own music school, Söyler Sanat Academy, in Bahçeşehir, Istanbul, in 2017. My music school attracted many students from all over Turkiye, and in August 2018, I stopped working for Başakşehir Bilgievleri Music Schools and devoted all my time to my own music school and Ney atelier. I opened 2 new branches for my music school, in 2018 in Beşiktaş and in 2019 in Halkalı, increasing the total number of branches to three. At the same time, I moved my 6-year Ney atelier in Bahçeşehir to Beşiktaş at the ground floor of Söyler Sanat Academy.
I collaborated with London Music Academy for the accreditation of Söyler Sanat Academy. Providing consultancy services to many private music schools in different cities of Turkiye, Söyler Sanat Academy has also included many famous names and great masters in its teaching team such as; Serhan Yasdıman (Guitar), Cafer Nazlıbaş (Kabak Kemane), Polat Akarçay (Dilsiz Kaval), Şaban Gölge (Violin), Murat Süngü (Cello), Kutsal Sütoğlu (Kanun), Ufuk Kaan İçli (Oud), Ayşegül Altıok (Vocal).
However, the Covid-19 pandemic negatively affected the music and education sectors, as well as all sectors, and our music schools had to suspend their activities as of March 2020.
During the pandemic, I continued to open Neys for the Ney lovers all over the world at the Sinan Söyler Ney Atelier in Beşiktaş, Istanbul. In my atelier, besides Turkish Neys, I also make Arabic Neys. At the beginning of 2020, the Neys I opened started to be sold online through our website that we made with Yusuf İlker Karaaslan, who has been my Ney student for 3 years and a very dear brother to me, in time become a very talented Neyzen as well and a very skilled Ney maker. In addition, we continue to give one-to-one and online Ney lessons to our Turkish and foreign students from Turkiye, Germany, Albania, Greece, Qatar and other Gulf countries, Malaysia, USA and many other places.
In the meantime, I applied for the Artist License Exam within the framework of the Intangible Cultural Heritages program opened by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism in October 2020 and passed the ministry's council exam held in Ankara on October 22, 2021 in both branches. I successfully passed through and was awarded the Ministry of Culture Artist ID as a Neyzen and Ney Maker by the ministry ( HKBM Registration Number: YB2022.0269 )
Finally, at the end of the pandemic, in November 2021, I took up a position as a contracted Ney Instructor at Beykoz Municipality Music School.
My monthly trips to Qatar also started during this period. Together with Yusuf İlker Karaaslan, who has been living in Qatar for years and has now become my business partner, along with a few local and foreign musicians residing in Qatar and our own musicians we brought from Turkey, we formed TÜRK MEŞK in November 2021, and we entered into the music market which has just started to take shape in Qatar. While our musicians in TÜRK MEŞK perform different genres of Turkish Music, with the addition of local and foreign musicians that were recruited locally we started to make music in different styles, from Arabic Music to Latin Music, and present it to our audience in various 5-star venues. Over a short time period the number of days and the venues we performed increased. We were aware of the potential of music organizations and music education within the framework of cultural activities as well as the music market within the current entertainment sector in Qatar.
Thus, on May 8, 2022, we simultaneously opened the Söyler Sanat Academy Doha Branch and Sinan Söyler Ney Atelier in the West Bay region in Doha the capital of Qatar and started with our musicians under our roof to provide private and group music education to our students from the international communities residing in Qatar, also producing Sinan Söyler signed Neys.
As the new academic year started in Turkey, Söyler Sanat Academy Beşiktaş Branch has become re-active again as of September 2022. I left my job at Beykoz Municipality due to the intensity of both the music school and new formation in Qatar.
As of October 2022, TÜRK MEŞK started performing six days a week in Qatar. As of March 2023, we added three DJs, one from Turkiye and two from other nationalities to our TURK MEŞK team in Doha and started providing DJ services. Of course, we made many purchases, both instruments and equipment, during this process. So, we set up a Home-Studio and a private stage for ourselves and started rehearsing, recording and shooting there. In fact, different musicians started renting our private stage that we have we set up for their rehearsals.
In the first quarter of 2023, we started to provide consultancy services by signing a cooperation and representation agreement with Angham Alshrq Music School, a local institution serving in Doha. Angham Alshrq Music School, a music school approved by the Ministry of Culture of Qatar, provides music education to local and foreign students residing in Qatar with its teaching staff, and also has a total of three instrument stores, two in Doha and one in Taksim Istanbul. These stores are authorized dealers of world-famous oud maker Yıldırım Palabıyık's ouds and Sultan Music instruments, and they also manufacture their own Arabic style ouds in their oud workshop in Doha. Alngham Alshrq Music School mutually supports each other on the Arabian Attitude, and Söyler Sanat Academy on the Turkish Attitude. We plan to continue our activities by adding different instruments to our private and group lessons in our branch in Doha and in the Angham Alshrq Music School with which we cooperate, during the 2023-2024 academic year.
We carry out joint activities in different projects with Angam Al Sharq, which also includes the organization company IntoSocials. In this way, we provide professional photo and video shooting and social media management services.
In mid-2023, we took this cooperation even further and became involved in the management of Angham Alshrq Musical Instruments Store Istanbul Branch. Here, we provide administrative consultancy as well as consultancy and support on sales and marketing.
Finally, in August 2023, we opened the Söyler Sanat Academy Kavacık Branch in Istanbul. After we took over the management of the institution, which had previously provided quality service for years under the name of Aydoğan Music School, as Söyler Sanat Academy, we first completely restored all areas, including the classrooms, and created a new instructor staff by adding many new instruments to the curriculum. There is also a fully equipped Recording Studio within our Kavacık branch. In our recording studio we provide technical services such as; recording, mastering, mix mastering, arrangements, acoustic clips and social media reels are offered, as well as stage rental opportunities for rehearsals.