Christmas Family Event 2016

On Saturday 10th December 2016 in Higashi Nakano/Ochiai, all OMT families came together for a special end of year Christmas class.  We were very lucky as three parents played alongside us on piano and darbuka (hand drum), guitar, oboe.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


All children made their own pasta drum, made from dried pasta and paper plates, decorated with Christmas pictures, which they played throughout the class.

Making a pasta drum to play in class

Apart from singing some of our favourite songs from the Flute Collection, we also introduced a new song from next semester`s Stick Collection, and sang some classic Christmas songs.

We also played with egg shakers and jingle bells.

We often say there are 101 ways to play an egg shaker. Here is one way I hadn`t seen before! LOL :O

We had two Singalong Storybooks: Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, and The Little Donkey`s Christmas Song.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After a big Christmas themed free dance and play-along we finished off with a stocking raffle with one lucky winner receiving a Christmas present, and all children going home with a little Santa gift bag of snacks.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  • All families who came to the Christmas Family Event.  I hope you all enjoyed it.
  • Mr Ikuzawa. for bringing his oboe out of retirement.
  • Ito-sensei, who just finished teaching her first full semester at Ochiai Music Together. All your hard work, commitment, and energy is very much appreciated!
  • Mr Ito, for taking these wonderful pictures of the day for us
  • My long-suffering husband, “Mr. T”, who also acted as my “roadie” by driving us and carrying all the equipment to class!

Finally, Fumi and I would like to say that we have really enjoyed spending time with all the children and parents over the Autumn semester.  It has been our pleasure to make music with you every week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here`s to 2017! With more singing, dancing, and joy!

See you next semester for the Sticks Collection Winter 2017

Warm wishes,


Director & Facilitator, Ochiai Music Together


Singalong Storybook Event, 2015/12/17 Ehon House, Mejiro

Singalong Storytime 

A singalong storybook.  Stories aren`t just for reading, we can sing them too.
A singalong storybook. Stories aren`t just for reading, we can sing them too.


ジリアン先生と一緒に英語の絵本を読みながら歌を歌います。 ギターにあわせて歌ったり、おどったり、エッグシェーカーを振って歌ったり、身体をつかって絵本を楽しみます! 05歳ぐらいまでの親子が対象です。


Singing along as we tell stories using English picture books

Join us for this parent-and-child musical event. 

Date/日時:   17th December 2015  (Thursday) 12月17()  11:00am-11:30am

Place/場所:  Ehon House Café Space 絵本の家 直営店

Participants/参加者:  Parents with Children aged 0-5 years


Fee/参加料:  500yen per family 500円家族組み

To book your place email/予約が必要:

Ochiai Music Together をもっと詳しくはこちら

Venue: EHON HOUSE Bookshop & Cafe Space

Mejiro, Tokyo

東京都豊島区目白1-7-14 みさとビル1F


3 Year Anniversary 三周年記念 – a personal reflection

September 2015 marks the 3 year anniversary of Ochiai Music Together.  At times I thought I would not reach this point.  Since passing the teacher training course and setting up my own center in 2012 I have been on a non-stop learning curve.  At first, one struggles to even remember the words to the songs let alone all the other aspects you need to think about in leading a class.  Becoming a good teacher really is a continuous effort.  I have come a long way in three years, but am still at the beginning of a long journey in my teaching career.

The business aspect of running my own center has brought other challenges.  It takes a lot more time than I originally imagined, to keep up with all the administrative tasks, scouting classroom locations; and advertising and recruiting new families is the most challenging task.  At times I often questioned whether it was feasible to continue OMT.  As any small business owner knows, sometimes small failures can really get you down and make you lose faith in your own ability.

I heard there is a common saying in Japan that you must stick at something for 3 years before you decide to quit.  And for me that lesson has certainly rung true.  I am very proud of how far my center has come, and how my classes have grown in size over the last 3 years.  I am beginning to see a wonderful community emerge, as the families of OMT get to know each other and share this special time in their lives – the difficult yet wonderful early years of raising children.  Seeing babies grow into toddlers and toddlers grow into preschoolers has brought me so much warmth and joy as a Music Together teacher.  And when a family brings along a newborn sibling to class they are truly welcomed by all the mums and dads and little ones in our group.  Teaching a class gives me a buzz that lasts all day long, and I cant help but smile 🙂  I consider myself very lucky to be able to see everyone once a week, and sing and dance with them. What great fun we have!

OMT is my business, but this early childhood music education program has always been very personal to me as well.  I first discovered Music Together as a parent when my eldest daughter Hazel was 1 year old. Taking her to class became the highlight of my week and I was amazed at the impact it had on her outside of class too.  I was totally fascinated by the program and this led me to train to become a teacher myself. At the time I was a stay-at-home-mum and I considered myself a bit of a mum-preneur starting my own business alongside raising my daughter. Then soon after I started teaching I became pregnant with Rose.  Some mornings I felt so sick, it was a struggle to not throw-up while singing the Hello Song (ha ha).  During my first year as a teacher, Rose was there with me in my tummy hearing all the music.  And when she was born she was most comfortable when she was listening to music.  I often joke she is my Music Together baby.  Her Japanese name is Ayane 彩音, and we read the kanji to mean many `different sounds`.

I dont`t just `teach` Music Together, I `live` it everyday with my own daughters, and I can`t say enough good things about what a positive impact it has had on our family life.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the families who have joined my center over the last three years.  Thank you for sharing all those wonderful musical moments with me.  May you always remember our classes fondly, like I do.

As I enter the 4th year of OMT, there is a lot to look forward to.  I am very pleased to be joined by my good friend Fumi Ito, who will be teaching a class in our new venue in Takadanobaba.  I will also be continuing with my guitar lessons, and in December I will be taking another teacher training course to further support my professional development as a Music Together practitioner.

Autumn Semester starts this week on the 24th September, and I return to the Fiddle Collection having come full circle on the 9 collection curriculum.  My egg shakers are all polished, scarves are all packed, and the octoband is just itching to be stretched out into all conceivable directions. Can’t wait to start ….

Here`s to the future!  Gambarimasu

Warm wishes, Gillian

“Rhythms and Rhymes” Around the World Music Video

From time to time Music Together asks families to submit video clips of children and parents playing around with the songs. Earlier this year they asked for submissions for families playing the “Rhythms and Rhymes” chant from the Bells Collection.

Click here to see the compiled result, clips from all over the world.

“Put the rhythm in your hands and go clap, clap, clap

Put the rhythm in your feet and go tap, tap, tap”


Enjoy 🙂



OCHIAI PARK PEACE FESTIVAL Sunday 31st August 2014
落合公園ピースフェス 2014年8月31日

Ochiai Music Together will have a stall at the Peace Festival in Ochiai Park and for the first time this year I will also be leading a workshop for families – a short 15min demo of Music Together. Please come along and enjoy the local festival.


東中野のクラスをオープンします! New HIGASHI-NAKANO Class Opens April 2013

Early Announcement – Spring Semester 2013 “TAMBOURINE” Collection

For the Spring Semester 2013 Ochiai Music Together will be opening a
NEW Saturday morning class in Higashi-Nakano. Due to the time of this
class, and the location, we predict that this will be a very popular
class therefore if you are interested in joining, please complete
pre-registration as soon as possible.

I will also be running one or two other classes during the Spring
Semester, but the exact days and locations (Mejiro and Kamiochiai)
have not been decided yet.

All Spring Semester classes (April-June 2013) will be shorter than
normal, running for 8 weeks rather than 10 weeks. This is because I
am pregnant and expecting my second baby in early July, so I would
like to finish working by early June. Thank you for your
understanding. No classes will be held over the summer, but I will be
back in time to teach the Autumn Semester (late Sept/early Oct – Dec

2013年春タームについて “ タンバリン コレクション”
この度、2013年春タームからOchiai Music

Here are further details regarding the new class in Higashi-Nakano

Saturdays, 10.45am-11.30am
April / 6, 13, 20, 27
May / 11, 18, 25,
June / 1 (make-up class on June / 8)

* Make-up Classes
If you miss any classes during the semester you are able to take
make-up classes. One make-up class at the end of term at each of the
venues has been scheduled. However, you are not limited to only one
make-up class. If you have to miss a class, you can take a make-up
class on another day and venue at any time during the semester. Just
email me and let me know when you wish to have a make-up class.

Dance Studio FUN-D-TION
1st Floor, Kotani Building (on Waseda-dor)
Higashi-Nakano 3-16-14

Nearest Stations: Ochiai Station (Tozai Line) 3 minute walk from exit
1&2, Higashi-Nakano Station (JR Chuo/Sobu Line & Toei Oedo Line) 8
minute walk along Higashi-Nakano Ginza-dori..
Further Information: The entrance is set back from the street
pavement, so it can be easy to miss. It is two doors away from
Toyopet. There is space to park bicycles beside the building`s
entrance. Strollers need to be folded and left outside the entrance.
The area is sheltered from the rain. If coming by car, there is a
coin-parking lot within a few minutes walk of the studio.


土曜日 10.45-11.30

* 振替について

Dance Studio FUN-D-TION


Thank you 2012 Families and Hello Winter Semester 2013


2013 Winter Semester DRUM COLLECTION

Hello Families. Thank you very much for all your support and joining Ochiai Music Together this autumn. I hope you have enjoyed the Fiddle Collection as much as I have. It is always so nice to see you in class, and see over the weeks how your child is developing and experimenting with music making. I hope that you will be able to join us next semester to enjoy the “Drum Collection”, January-March 2013. This semester I can only offer two classes due to small student numbers, the Wednesday morning class in Kamiochiai, and the Sunday class in Shimochiai (which is now moving to an earlier time).

Click here for full details of the 2013 Winter Semester

2013年冬タームについて ドラム コレクション

こんにちは。フィドルコレクション に参加してくれてありがとうございました。楽しかったですか?クラスの中でみんなのにこやかな顔が見れてうれしいかったです。子供たちが10週間で行った音楽作りの啓発とその経験 が垣間見れ、すばらしい事だと思いました。来年のドラムコレクション (2013年1月―3月) にぜひ参加してください。次回は上落合の水曜日と下落合の日曜日(もう少し早い時間)のクラス二つだけになります。すみませんが、人数が少ないので今回の木曜日クラスはないです。


Ochiai Peace Festival 落合ピースフェスタ

On Sunday 26th August I had a stall at a local festival in my neighborhood, the Ochiai Peace Festa. I met some nice families and talked to them about Music Together. The festival turned out to be similar to the program in many ways. There were lots of live music performances, there was dancing and waving scarves, with some really unusual instruments from around the world. There were many other stalls there selling handmade goods, even an old man who makes Kalimbas. They were great. I shall definitely buy one for my centre. Other events included a yukata fashion show, outdoor yoga class, and fabric dying workshops. A fun day, but very very hot!
My stall


Locally Handmade Kalimbas


Can you catch the somen noodles?


Children’s Storytime


The waving of scarves!


Yoga class


My poster child – 看板娘


Not sure what was more suprising, the man in the leotard or the didgeridoo?


My little helper


Vegan food from Cafe Raffa


Falafel – my favourite food in the world!


World music comes to Ochiai


Taking a break after the fashion show


Lots of handmade goods