A Message from the President

Learning social skills through music

Shinya Bandai, President, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

Shinya Bandai, President, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music

Learning music gives us "the power to grow" and "the power to cooperate."

Studying music seriously at the university level fosters the qualities and skills needed for students to succeed in life. We have termed the skills and qualities fostered in the process of learning music "the power to grow" and "the power to cooperate." Through the process of learning music, these skills and qualities become part and parcel of the learner's psyche. For that reason so they are an important aspect that we place great emphasis as we teach music.

In the course of musical activities, there are activities you tackle on your own and others you tackle in a group. The power to grow and the power to cooperate are developed through those different learning cycles. A learning cycle is a model that expresses the action process needed to become "who you want to be." As you move and act according to the learning cycle, your goals and actions become more focused and concrete. Through self-reflection, you achieve new growth. Then, you feed the strength you have gained back into the learning cycle and strengthen it and thus the world grows and develops.

Strong guidance and a comprehensive curriculum help the power of music to grow.

◆ A wide variety of practical-skill oriented classes that include ensembles, lessons, choruses, and chamber music.
Our excellent faculty refines the senses of each individual student and improves their artistic and technical skills.

◆ A liberal curriculum designed according to individual interests and personalities
Students are afforded the opportunity first to consider what they want to become in future and what kind of courses they need to take to achieve that and then to choose a curriculum that matches their goals.

◆ Planning a concert from start to finish - learning "Concert Planning, Management and Execution" through actual practice.
Under the guidance of a supervisor, students independently learn the work involved in holding a concert by planning, negotiating and and managing one with the final goal of staging an actual concert.

◆ Over 200 concerts a year
Having multiple opportunities to perform (present themselves) before an audience is an integral part of a musician's growth process.

◆ Multiple genres
Senzoku Gakuen enables students to come into contact with different music genres and ideas by providing a learning environment filled with creative new concepts. This allows them to receive a broad yet comprehensive education.

What takes place in the lessons is what is truly sought after in society.

A Senzoku education takes the form of lessons, ensembles, lectures, music practice and performance, concert planning, management and execution among many other classes. The majority of these activities take place in practical ways in small, interactive classes. We have also put an Academic Advisor system in place to create an environment where individual students can set their future goals and receive guidance throughout the process of planning how to achieve them all the way until they achieve results. They are evaluated and receive feedback at each stage of the process. There is an unfortunate tendency for students in many liberal arts universities to fall into the trap of becoming passive receptacles of passed-down knowledge. At Senzoku Gakuen, on the other hand, we pride ourselves on giving students the opportunity to learn skills that are highly regarded in society through our lessons.

A Message from the Dean

Takafumi Kojima, Dean of the College of Music

Takafumi Kojima, Dean of the College of Music

Many young people today pursue music as a hobby as a career, but how did they come into contact with music in the first place? Perhaps they took piano lessons as children, or maybe they first picked up a wind instrument when they joined the school band. It could even be that a song they heard on television stirred up their interest in composing music. Encounters with music are as diverse as the musicians involved.

Having come into contact with music, however, what motivates them to stick to it? The first thing that comes to my mind is that the emotionally stirring experiences they receive from and memories they form in connection with music give them the power to persevere. These emotions and memories form a great pillar of mental support that allows them to move past the struggles of daily practice and the frustrations of not being able to express themselves adequately as they continue to pursue music.

And as they move forward, those who build up a great store of emotions of various kinds and levels and who decide that they want to become music artists themselves and share those emotions with other people are the ones who take the bold decision to entrust their futures to music. That decision takes concrete form as a "dream" and spurs the young person on to achieve great things in many different forms, whether as a soloist on the stage, as a member of an orchestra, as a first-class artiste touring the world or as a music teacher who teaches children to love and respect music. The four years these young people spent in a college of music coincide with the time when their passionate feelings are at their clearest and most powerful.

Thus I believe one of the great missions of any college is to provide the knowledge the students crave, equip them with technical skills, give them opportunities to freely express said knowledge and skills and then provide clear advice on the results in order to fully develop each student's potential without stifling their individuality.

The College's other mission is to foster the wholly desirable and entirely unavoidable spirit of cooperation with others in the course of studying music. Music is created through various collaborations - between performers, between performers and composers, and between performers and their audiences. Fostering the spirit of cooperation and the communication skills needed to bring this about is just as important as teaching music itself.

Touching people through music is a monumental task. It goes without saying that performers need a thorough education and heightened sensibilities, but in addition to this they also need to train ceaselessly, to seek out and build up live performance experiences and, above all, to have the strong desire to express and convey something. Only then will they possess the great energy needed to move the hearts of an audience. I pray that each and every one of our students will receive from their studies here the musical and personal strength they need to make their dreams come true.