While walking with my daughters in Showa Kinen Park last week on one of the last scorching hot days of summer, a lone giant brown leaf fell down upon us stopping us in our tracks. We instantly started singing `Leaves are Falling`, a song we haven`t sung for three years. “Leaves are falling, softly floating, tumbling to the ground”. It was like greeting an old friend – warm, beautiful, calming; and it left me smiling in anticipation of the beginning of autumn and all the wonderful songs I will be revisiting in class as I teach the Flute collection for the second time.
This semester, Ito-sensei will teach the weekday class on Thursday mornings at our new venue in Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, and I will teach the weekend classes on Saturday mornings in Higashi-Nakano, Nakano-ku. We can`t wait to greet returning families and welcome new members. Demo classes and the Autumn Semester starts on the 24th and 29th September.
Also, we will be continuing our Singalong Storybook Events at Ehon House in Mejiro, with the first one planned for Tuesday 11th October. Places are limited so be sure to book your place early. We have been having a lot of fun with this project and it gives us time to “play” as we plan and present. We have some great new books lined up for the next few months, including Dan Taylor`s colourful illustration of Tingalayo and Nick Sharratt`s Shark in the Park, which we can`t wait to share!
While spring is certainly beautiful, autumn is my favourite season in Japan and I just can`t wait to see all those leaves change colour “Orange, red, brown, yellow, orange, tumbling to the ground”.
I am very pleased to announce that Fumi Ito will be joining Ochiai Music Together in September and leading a Wednesday morning class at our new location in Takadanobaba.
Many of you may already know Fumi, as she has attended my classes with her son, Yoshi, since 2013. She is very familiar with the Music Together program and is now looking forward to teaching the program as well.
Twice a year Music Together runs teacher workshops in Tokyo. There is a 3 day workshop where people are learning to become Music Together teachers for the first time. As part of that we invite families to come and take part in free demo classes, to help illustrate to the trainees what a class is like. Again, many families from my center took part this week and I’m so pleased they enjoyed the experience.
Then on the 4th day, there is a Skills and Songs Workshop for existing teachers, and this is part of our ongoing training and development. Today’s topic was about advocating for early childhood music education in our centers and wider communities.
If you are not quite sure what Music Together is all about, watch this short video (with japanese subtitles) to see the impact and passion classes can have on the families that attend.
This week, during a meeting of the Hudson Antiques Tea Club, I was treated to a private performance by one of my guests. She brought with her a SHO, a traditional Japanese mouth organ, which was originally used in Japanese court music.
It was a really interesting sound, with quite a high pitch. Have you ever heard this instrument?
I am always very excited to find out about new instruments.
I wonder if it is difficult to play . . . . ?
This is not the lady I met, but here is a link to someone demonstrating the Sho that I found on youtube.