The Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts (MHS) has been very active since it was designated in 2016 as a Super Global High School (SGH) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This project aims to nurture global leaders who can play an active role internationally in the future. Our school is the only arts-oriented high school to receive this designation. Through a variety of efforts implemented over the five-year period ending in 2020, MHS aims to further improve and develop based on its collaborative partnership with the Tokyo University of the Arts.
MHS was established in 1954 while the Japanese economy was in its post-war recovery period. It was the result of strong will on the part of the stakeholders who all shared a passion for early specialized music education. In 1999 traditional Japanese music was added to the original composition and instrument (piano, string, wind and percussion) specializations. Each grade level has a capacity of 40 students, all of whom are highly individualistic learners aiming to become future musicians. Although there are many music high schools in Japan, ours is the only one with specializations in both Western music and traditional Japanese music. We believe it is important to make use of this characteristic in the education we provide. As more than 20 years have passed since the school moved from its original location in Ochanomizu to Ueno in 1995, the degradation of buildings and facilities was becoming apparent. However, over the last several years campus renovations have been carried out and are now completed. We will maximize the utilization of our location next to the Tokyo University of the Arts to promote close cooperation between the high school and the university. This cooperation will not only be in major courses, but also in music courses such as solfège, music theory, orchestra, and chamber music. Cooperation will also extend into the area of language education. As a part of the SGH project from this school year it has been made possible to select primary classes in German and French in addition to English.
Each year at MHS a number of annual music events are held. We 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 conduct collaborative projects with the Kita Ward Cultural Promotion Foundation (three times a year). In addition, in recent years we have proactively participated in international exchange projects including a concert held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris (2008) and exchange concerts with China’s Central Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (2010, 2012). We also conduct performance training trips. In 2015 we held our first such overseas trip in Taiwan, after which we visited the United Kingdom in 2017 as a part of the SGH project. There we held a concert at the Royal Academy of Music and an exchange concert at the Purcell School. In this manner international exchange and the transmission of results are more important than ever before at MHS. In the future, we will continue to educate individuals who will be active internationally as global leaders, as well as those who will form the core of Japanese music culture. We will work to transmit the results MHS education both in Japan and abroad in a variety of ways.
Since MHS was established 64 years ago, the circumstances surrounding Japanese society and music have changed dramatically, and the awareness and thinking that people have toward music have changed as well. Within these conditions we gather together students with strong musical ambitions from all over the country. As we help these students improve themselves, we also provide high-level specialized music education in collaboration with the university. In this manner we are preserving the special character that MHS has possessed since its establishment. In addition, we promote the creation of an educational environment adapted to the 21st century. While in this rich environment students learn the musical skills and mental attitude that will be their future grounding. They are expected to discover themselves and the way music should be structured as they work with their junior and senior schoolmates. The MHS teaching staff and university professors watch over them and offer their solid support.
This year we welcomed 39 highly motivated new students to MHS. Life is only lived once, and the only person that can find your path in life is you. We sincerely hope that everyone across the country wishing to learn music seriously 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