The primary purpose of this study is to determine perceptions of music teachers and music teacher candidates about children with special needs (CSN) through musical instrument metaphors. Qualitative research techniques were used in this study. Studies focusing on sensitive emotions of individuals with special needs may contain concepts that are difficult to express. Therefore, this study, which obtained data using metaphors, was conducted using a phenomenology design. The sample of the study consists of 91 music teacher candidates and 50 music teachers working in Turkey. Study data were obtained by completing the sentences, “If you were asked to compare children with special education needs to a musical instrument, which instrument would you chose? The child with special education needs is like ...; because…” The obtained data were interpreted after being analyzed with the content analysis technique. According to the results of the study, it was found that music teachers described CSN as pianos, violins, drums, and flute instruments while music teacher candidates associated such children with pianos, violins, and flutes. It was concluded that participants described CSN as “versatile and sensitive” and perceived them as “requiring the right approach, expertise, sacrifice, and struggle” individuals in terms of educational approach and “providing self-awareness, giving peace and beauty” individuals in social terms. As a result of this study music teachers and music teacher candidates gave creative answers about CSN through musical instruments, which is considered a significant aspect of these teachers. Conducting similar metaphor studies in other fields may enable relevant people to express themselves better.
Music, Music Teachers, Teacher Candidates, Metaphor, Child with Special Needs.