Teaching Japanese Choral Music to Your Students?

As one of only few Japanese choral conductors in the United States, I would like to introduce Japanese choral music to the United States, building a bridge among cultures. The aim of this session is for participants to include Japanese choral music in their repertoire, understanding the pronunciation, and thus feeling confident to teach Japanese songs.

The session will start with a comparison of vowel pronunciation between Latin and Japanese. Diction of some popular Japanese words will be taught: Arigato (thank you), Sayonara (good bye), Kara-oke (nothing but orchestra), Pokemon (Pocket Monster), Sake (rice wine), among others.

Afterwards, sample scores published by Pana Musica will be handed out. The text of choral piece, “Ima kokoni” (Here Now), composed by Ko Matsushita, will be read together. SUNY Oswego State Singers will then perform the song, and participants will sing along. Several other Japanese songs will also be introduced and sung by the participants. I will share a song list of the composers presented during the session.

At the end of the session, I will present a brief history of the Japan Choral Association (JCA), the secondary biggest choral organization in the world, highlighting its membership, activities, competitions, workshops, and festivals.

The session will conclude with question and answer segment.