Tochigi, Gunma-Day 2 / 栃木・群馬にて -2日目

-From Wenhong, Viola

Today we spent our day in a town called Ashikaga, it was my first time to be outside of Tokyo in Japan, so I was amazed by the beautiful scenery of the Japanese country side.

I started by visiting an elementary school where the kids were so pure and passionate. Each of us went to classrooms individually, and it was so fun to play for the kids and do some games – I imitated some animals using my viola and made them guess and draw on the blackboard, they did a great job even they barely speak English.

Look forward to seeing more children in the next two weeks!

~ウェンホン(ヴィオラ)より

今日は足利という町で一日を過ごしたのですが、初めて東京を離れて美しい日本の田園風景にびっくりしました。

最初に訪問した小学校の生徒たちはとても純粋で熱心でした。メンバーが別々に教室を訪問するのですが、子どもたちに演奏してゲームをするのはとても楽しかったです。私がヴィオラを動物の鳴き声のように弾いて、子どもたちに何の動物かを当ててもらって黒板に描いてもらうのです。子どもたちはほとんど英語を話さなくても上手に当ててくれました。

これからの2週間、たくさんの子どもたちに会うことがとても楽しみです!


-From Michael, Cello

On the second full day of ICEP we gave 8 different performances.

Our first stop was the Yamamae elementary school in Ashikaga-City. We started the visit with individual class visits, and I was lucky to get three first grade classes! This is always my favorite part of ICEP as I spend 5-10 minutes with each class all by myself and have to use the little Japanese I know and a lot of pantomime to teach the children a few things about the cello. Over the past few ICEP’s I have developed several and demonstrations that always work well and bring out quite a bit of laughter from the students! Following the class visits we reconvened as a quartet and played 3 assembly performances for students in grades 4-6. The students were very attentive and asked some excellent questions. I always enjoy playing at elementary schools in Japan and this time was no exception.

The second part of the day brought us to the Kibou-no-ie hospital in Midori City. I tend to find hospital visits quite difficult but always powerful and meaningful. We played for four different groups – the first and last groups consisted mostly of children whereas the other two had a mixed audience of adult and young patients. Many of the conditions and illnesses we encountered were severe but we could see the obvious impact that the music had on the audience. Many of the patients had limited motor skills and yet when the music started many of them started moving with the music, tapping the rhythm, and even conducting! You could see the change in their faces as many of them smiled and their eyes were fixed on us as we were playing. We decided to spend most of our performances walking around the room individually so that everybody can see and hear our instruments from closer and have a more intimate experience of the music. These visits, as emotionally draining as they can be, always remind me the importance of sharing live music with everybody – especially those who are not fortunate enough to have access to concert halls.

While on our way the train station we had a little scare as we realized that Jeremias forgot to switch out of the hospital slippers and left his own shoes back at the hospital! Fortunately the shoes made it back in time and are now reunited with Jeremias.

We have just arrived Higashimatushima and are expecting another long and exciting day tomorrow!

~マイケル(チェロ)より

ICEP2日目は、8回も演奏があり、最初の訪問先、足利市立山前小学校の低学年のクラス訪問で、僕は一年生の3クラスを訪問しました。各クラス5分~10分ですが、つたない日本語と身振り手振りを使って、子どもたちにチェロを教えるのは、ICEPのプログラムで大好きな時間です。これまでのICEPで、子どもたちから笑いを取る方法がわかったよ。低学年のクラス訪問の後、4年生から6年生にカルテットで演奏したんだけど、生徒たちはとても真剣に聴いてくれて、いい質問をいくつも受けたよ。何度やっても日本の小学校で演奏するのは楽しい!

次に群馬県みどり市にある「希望の家療育病院」を訪問。病院を訪問するのは緊張するけど、とても意義深いことだと思うんだ。子どもから成人までの患者さんに4回に分けて演奏すると、病状がかなり重いようだったけれど、音楽の効果がはっきりとわかったよ。多くの患者さんは重度の障害を持っていたけれど、演奏が始まると音楽に合わせて体を動かしたりリズムをとったり、指揮を始めた人もいたんだ!演奏する僕たちを真剣に見て、笑顔になっていくんだよ。僕たちは、患者さんが少しでも近くで音楽を聴いて親しめるよう、部屋の中を歩き回って、患者さん一人一人のそばで演奏をしたんだ。とても大変だけど、コンサートホールに行けない人たちに音楽を届けることは大事なことだと再確認したよ。

その後駅へと向かう途中、なんとへレミアスが靴に履き替えるのを忘れて病院のスリッパのままでいたことに気づいてびっくり!!靴は無事に戻ってきて列車にもなんとか間に合ったんだけどね。

今、東松島へと到着したところです。
明日もまた、エキサイティングな長い一日になるだろうな!

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