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MA Masters Music Performance, Jazz

February 22, 2012


I was born and raised in a small town named Yanai, in Japan. Growing up in a non-musical family, I was lucky enough to meet the Saxophone. Yet, my view in music had been quite I learned a great deal of technique and general knowledge about classical music, I started teaching saxophone as an instructor for the Yamaha Corporation. It was one of my saxophone students who opened me up to jazz music and showed me the many colorful ways to express my music. Jazz grabbed me immediately. Consequently, I came to New York with a passion to learn to play jazz, even though the culture where I grew up had little to nothing of this musical language. I attended the New School University, absorbing and developing my own voice in jazz and received my BFA in jazz performance. At 31, I am now musically mature and fully adjusted to New York. I see New York as the capital of the Art World and the Musical Center of the universe. I feel strongly that the Aaron Copland School is the perfect match for my high level of motivation and the inspiring, creative dynamics of your faculty. I see it as the place where I could give my all to our changing world of music and where I could become as creative as possible—it is the ideal academic environment for Jazz.

When it comes to Jazz in New York, the Aaron Copland School comes up a lot. I have visited the school and the vibes are explosive. I want to get the M.A. in Jazz Performance because I want the title and the experience of being part of your academic community. I love making friends because they tell me that I cheer them up and help to make them happy—this makes me play and compose as well. Now, I have become highly disciplined and I am looking forward to learning a great deal more about Jazz than I already know. I look keenly forward to becoming a bookworm for the next couple of years. I want to develop my own voice in jazz, composing as well as playing.

Being a Japanese jazz musician is challenging, especially because it is claimed that Japanese jazz artists “can’t swing.” It is here that I want to make my mark in the art world, putting the swing into Japanese Jazz. I look forward to an extensive study of music in culture in your program, to help me better understand how music is rooted in society and social psychology. It is true that Japanese people—and my parents are exemplary—consider that it is a shameful to at least fully expose their expression. Jazz is music of exposure, which is difficult for my people. Thus, I see myself as a musical pioneer dedicated to the quest of liberating Japanese Jazz. The Japanese people are fascinated with Jazz, and I want to go home some day and bring the happiness, the unbearable lightness of New York with me to share with them.

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