This year has marked the fourth year since the Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts (Geikō) was designated as a Super Global High School (SGH) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2016. This project aims to nurture international-minded leaders who can play an active role in a global society. Our school is the only music high school to have been designated as SGH in Japan. Through a variety of projects having been implemented over a five-year period, Geikō has improved and developed further based on its collaborative partnership with our parent institution, Tokyo University of the Arts.
Geikō was established in 1954, when the Japanese economy was in its post-war recovery, with the support of the stakeholders who all shared the strong wish for an early childhood special music education. In 1999, Japanese Traditional music study course was added to the music composition and music instrumental courses (piano, strings, wind and percussion). We welcome around 40 students, who aim to become a professional musician, from all over Japan every year.
Among many music high schools in Japan, we recognize that our school is unique in that it provides both Japanese Traditional and Western classical music educations. Having moved from Ochanomizu to Ueno in 1995, our school have recently completed the renovation of the campus facilities. Located next to Tokyo University of the Arts, we are strengthening our ties with the university for further effective music education. For instance, students study under university teachers in major courses including solfège, music theory, orchestra and chamber music. They can also take basic French and German language courses provided by the university as part of collaborative work in the research of Global Communication of SGH.
As opportunities for the students to practice what has been learned so far, we hold a number of music concert events every year: The third-year students take a performance examination in public at the university concert hall; the second-year students give concerts at a week-long music study tour; every student can perform at the Acanthus Concert, which is held four times a year, and some selected students are able to join concerts as collaborative projects with Kita Ward Cultural Promotion Foundation held three times a year. Aside from these music events, we hold a tennis camp for the entire school in April or May. Following these, we have expanded our range into the international level. We have joined a concert held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 2008 as well as Japan-China Youth Exchange Concert in collaboration with China’s Central Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2010, 2012 and 2018. We have also chosen foreign countries as destinations of the music study tour in line with SGH project: Some of the students’ significant achievements include concerts at Taipei Municipal Zhong-zheng Senior High School in Taiwan, at the Royal Academy of Music, Purcell school and Yehudi Menuhin School in the United Kingdom between the years of 2015 and 2018. We hope for more successful outcome at the tour in Hungary and Austria in the next two years.
In this way, we put great importance on international exchanges and the dissemination of our progress outcomes. With the goal of nurturing individuals who can use leadership skills in the global society and can support core Japanese music industry, we will continue to pursue our unique pedagogical practices to permeate widely.
For the last 65 years since the establishment of Geikō, we have witnessed significant changes in the Japanese society, which have had a great influence on varying music culture and the people’s attitude toward it. Under these circumstances, we will continue to seek ways to utilize our long-established approaches to music education. It is also important to develop them in order to facilitate better learning environment where students can improve themselves to build a foundation for the success in music career in concert with the university. In this rich environment, students learn the musical skills and knowledge that will be their future grounding. We envisage that this favorable environment composed of stimulative school people helps our students not only to build a solid base of instrumental skills and musical knowledge but to shape their own world of music. All the staff of Geikō and the university will look over and support them.
We welcomed 40 students to our school this year. We live only once and it depends on your own will how great it can be. We welcome whoever wants to develop yourself by being absorbed in studying music.
The Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts
Principal Yasuko Tsukahara