This is the 63rd year since the establishment of the Music High School Attached to The Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts (MHS). This year our high school was designated a FY2016 Super-Global High School (SGH) by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This project aims to train global leaders that can be active internationally in the future, and ours is the only arts-oriented high school to receive this designation. Through a variety of efforts implemented over the next five years, MHS will aim to further develop itself substantially based upon a strong collaborative partnership with the Tokyo University of the Arts, itself selected as a Super-Global University in FY2014.
The MHS was established in 1954, when the Japanese economy was in the post-war recovery period. The high school was the result of the strong desire on the part of the stakeholders, all of whom shared a passion for early specialized education in the area of music. In 1999, the Traditional Japanese Music specialization was added to the original composition and instrument (Piano/String Instruments/Wind Instruments and Percussion) specializations. Each grade level at MHS has a capacity of 40 students, all of whom are highly individualistic learners aiming to become future musicians. Ours is the only high school in Japan to possess specializations in both Western Music and Traditional Japanese Music. More than 20 years ago in 1995, the school moved from its original location in Ochanomizu to Ueno. In recent years we have been working to renovate the equipment inside the school. We will continue to take full advantage of our location next to the university to promote close collaboration between the high school and university. This collaboration will not only be in the area of specialized skill training, but also in solfège, music theory, orchestra, chamber music, and in the foreign language education needed for global leaders.
At the MHS it is customary to each year conduct a Public Practical Skill Examination for third year students, a Performance and Education Trip for second year students, as well as Regular Concerts and Acanthus Concerts for all students at the school (four times a year). We also participate in collaborative projects with the Kita-Ku Culture Foundation. In recent years we have proactively engaged in international exchange projects such as a concert held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris (2008), and exchange concerts with China’s Central Conservatory of Music and Shanghai Conservatory of Music (2010, 2012). In fall of last year, we realized our first overseas performance and education trip (Taiwan). With the super-global high school designation we expect the importance of the MHS to further increase as it engages in international exchange and early music education. We aim to nurture individuals that will in the future be active internationally as global leaders, and those who will form the core of Japan’s music culture. In the future as well we will work to transmit the successes of education at the MHS in a variety of ways, both in Japan and abroad.
The conditions that surround Japanese culture and music have changed considerably from the time MHS was established to today. The expectations and thinking people have toward music too have changed. Within this we recruit students with strong musical ambitions from all over the country, and provide advanced specialized music education in collaboration with the university. As we preserve that special characteristic of the MHS, a characteristic that has been present since its establishment, we also move forward in creating an educational environment ideally suited to the 21st century. Within this advantaged environment students are expected to learn the musical skills and mental attitude that will be their foundation in the future, and to discover themselves the way music should be structured as they work with their schoolmates. To achieve this, MHS teaching staff and university professors watch over the students and offer their strong support.
This year we once again welcomed 41 new students brimming with motivation to the MHS. We hope everyone across the country wishing to give total effort to music will come and study at our school.
The Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts
Principal Yasuko Tsukahara