Kanagawa-Day 6 / 神奈川にて-6日目

-From Michael, Cello

Today was one of most enjoyable and memorable days of this year’s ICEP.

We started the day at the Special Needs Education School of Yokohama National University, a school I’ve visited last summer with ICEP. We’ve already performed a lobby concert with the students last year and I remember really enjoying working with them and being inspired by the work that they do. This year we’ll once again play with the Music Sharing Song with the kids and had our first rehearsal with them. I was pleased to see again many students who I remembered from last year and was really impressed by the progress they’ve made! I enjoyed having a brief conversation with one of the young violinists who was really excited to play with us and is very much looking forward to the concert. These kids show us the incredible work that Music Sharing does throughout the year, not only through ICEP, and it’s truly heartwarming to see how much they enjoy music.

Our second stop for the day was the Misono Kodomo-no-ie orphanage in Fujisawa. I always enjoy playing for very young audiences, and this was one of the youngest audiences I remember playing for! The children were very cute and really enjoyed our playing. After each piece we played we were greeted with smiles and enthusiastic applause.

At the end of the day we had a real treat – as our first cultural experience of this ICEP we went to the Umewaka Noh Theater to have a close encounter with Noh. Our sensei first told us about some of the history and symbolism of the Noh before showing us some of the special masks that are used. We then got to try on the masks and Wenhong and I had the opportunity to try on the unique kimonos that are used in Noh performances! Then came the real highlight as the sensei taught us one of the popular songs and the dance that accompanies it. Despite having to learn about Noh in a very short amount of time I think I did much better than I expected!



僕たちはまず、去年の夏もICEPで訪問した横浜国立大学教育人間科学部附属特別支援学校を訪れた。去年、生徒たちと一緒にロビーコンサートで合奏して、とても楽しかったことや、彼らの演奏に刺激を受けたことを思い出したよ。今年も彼らと一緒にミュージック・シェアリングの歌(MIDORI Song)を合奏するんだけど、今日がその最初の練習だったんだ。去年一緒に演奏した生徒たちとまた会うことができて嬉しかったし、みんなの成長に驚かされた!僕たちと一緒に演奏するヴァイオリンの生徒と、ロビーコンサートをとても楽しみにしていると、少し話をした。子どもたちを見ていると、ICEPの活動だけでなく、ミュージック・シェアリングが年間を通じて取り組んでいる素晴らしい活動がよくわかる。生徒たちが音楽を楽しんでいる様子は、本当に心が温まる。



-From Midori, Violin

Today was an absolutely fascinating day, which ended with a brief introduction to an art form that took its current shape approximately 7 centuries ago. For our ICEP Japanese Cultural Experience, we were introduced to the art of Noh and the related theatrical form, Kyogen, in aspecial, privately held class. I was engrossed by what I understood to be one of the critical contrasting points between Kyogen, which is comedy,and Noh, which is internal drama. While Kyogen expresses outwardly, to the audience, Noh draws the audience in to experience the internal spirit and psyche of a character/actor. I found myself carrying this concept over into music, as I remember Isaac Stern telling me that at times, we, the performers, must let (make) the audience come to us.

This concept goes way beyond “expressing myself through music”. Really, music should serve as an agent to unlock our emotional and spiritual lives, and the role of the musician is to give breath and life to the notes on the page, so that mere sound can become meaningful tone, akin to a living being that can touch and question of “what do you want the listeners to get?” starts to seem pretty meager.

My morning started early, with a couple of stops before the first activity, which was a rehearsal with the students of the Instrumental Program for Special Schools for the Handicapped. We have our performance next week on Friday evening in Yokohama. They have improved quite a bit since the last time I heard them, and I am very excited about the upcoming concert






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