Learning a musical instrument can be difficult enough – something to which the out of tune guitar that sits in the corner of my living room can attest. However, it is made infinitely more difficult to do so in a language in which you aren’t fluent. But just because you are in Japan you shouldn’t let the language barrier stop you or your family from picking up an instrument and making beautiful music. Whether it be for first time learners or accomplished musicians wanting to brush up after a temporary absence, this list of some of the English language instructors around Tokyo should be able to help.
As always, this list is for information only, and Japan Info Swap does not endorse any of the schools included.
Reiko Tamura’s Music School
Tamura sensei graduated from Florida State University with a bachelors degree in Music theory and has been teaching the piano and violin for more than 30 years, including twelve years in San Francisco. Lessons can be for both children, as young as five, and adults.
- Where: 1-21-4 Asagaya Minami, Suginami-ku
- How much: Approx. 4,000 JPY for a full 30 minute lesson (adjustable depending on age and length of lesson required)
- Website: www.tamurareiko.com
JiLL Music School
JiLL Music School offers courses in guitar, ukelele, violin and flute, spread across two studios in Shibuya and Ikebukuro. There are two choices of course with your convenience in mind; a regular course and a morning course. 30 minute free trial lessons are available.
- How much:Lesson costs differ depending on the course, instrument or frequency of lessons. There is a 3,100 JPY admission charge,
- Website: www.jill-music.com
1140 Music Adademy
Most instructors at 1140MA have studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and are currently active on the Tokyo music scene. As well as one-on-one lessons you can also arrange jam sessions with other students aimed at both improving your ability and making new friends. For those interested in the production side of music they can help you record your own demos. Lessons available include guitar, bass guitar, drums, violin, piano and vocals.
- Where: Lessons are at instructors homes. For an additional travel fee of 1,000 JPY they can be held in the home of the student.
- How much: 5,000 JPY for a 60 minute lesson.
- Website: www.1140ma.com
Tokyo American Club
There are two sound-proofed music rooms at the Tokyo American Club in which you can practice, one of which houses a stand up piano. Lessons are available in piano, guitar, violin, viola and vocals, all from well established and highly accredited musicians. Some instructors offer group lessons.
- Where: 2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku
- How much: 5,000 JPY for a 30 minute lesson.
- Website: www.tokyoamericanclub.org
Kensuke Hirako teaches saxophone and jazz improvisation for all chromatic instruments, as well as offering assistance in reading musical scores. Having collected his Bachelors degree in Jazz musical performance from California State University, Hirako has worked as a session artist in both Japan and the US. All ability levels are catered for.
- Where: Lessons are taught at various music studios around the city. See website for details.
- How much: 5,000 JPY for 60 a minute lesson
- Website: http://blackfishmusic.com/lessons/saxophoneimprovisation-lessons/
Photo: flickr.com "08:365 The Learner" by Camera Eye Photography (CC BY-SA 2.0) -Modified