Since it was designated last year as Super Global High School (SGH) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, The Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts (MHS) has been very active. This project aims to nurture global leaders who can play an active role internationally in the future, and our school is the only arts-oriented high school to receive this designation. Our school is the only SGH designated school among artistic high schools in the country. Through a variety of efforts implemented in the course of five years, MHS sets as its objective the achievement of further development substantially on the basis of a strong collaborative partnership with the Tokyo University of the Arts.
The MHS was established in 1954, when 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. From 1999, the Traditional Japanese Music specialization was added to the original composition and instrument (Piano/String Instruments / Wind Instruments and Percussion) specializations, and each grade level has a capacity of 40 students who 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. Also, as more than 20 years have passed since the school moved from its original location in Ochanomizu to Ueno in 1995, degradation of buildings and facilities was becoming a problem, but in the last few years we have almost finished renovating the school interior. We will continue to take advantage of our location next to the university to promote close collaborative cooperation between the MHS and Tokyo University of the Arts. This cooperation will not only be in major courses, but also in solfège, music theory, orchestra, chamber music, and in foreign language education with a focus on English.
At the MHS, as annual music events, 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 (three times a year), and we are also collaborating on projects with the Kita Ward Cultural Promotion Foundation. Apart from that, in the past ten years we have proactively taken part 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 2015, we conducted our first overseas performance and education trip (Taiwan), then as part of the Super Global High School projects, a performance training trip to the UK is scheduled for this autumn, and we are planning to hold concerts in London and perform exchange with local music school students. As you can see, the importance of the MHS is further increasing as it engages in international exchange and early specialized music education. In the future, we will continue to nurture individuals who will be active internationally as global leaders, as well as those who will form the core of Japanese music culture. Then both in Japan and abroad, we will work to transmit the results of education at the MHS in a variety of ways.
Since the MHS was established 63 years ago, the circumstances surrounding Japanese culture and music have changed dramatically, and the awareness and thinking that people have toward music have changed as well. In such conditions, as we recruit students with strong musical ambitions from all over the country and improve their human nature, we also provide highly specialized music education in collaboration with the university, and promote the creation of an educational environment adapted to the 21st century. While learning musical skills and mental attitude that will be their foundation in the future in this advantaged environment, the MHS students 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 42 new students with high motivation to MHS. You are only able to open up a new path in your life, a life that you only live once. We sincerely hope that everyone across the country wishing to undertake 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