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Setsunan English Education Forum 2017 with Akira Tana & OTONOWA

October 19, 2017

Faculty of Foreign Studies had a privilege to welcome a jazz band Akira Tana & OTONOWA to the 13th English Education Forum titled "How to Learn Jazz and Language" on October 6, 2017. Neyagawa city International Exchange & Friendship Association [NIEFA] kindly supported this event.

The MC, Professor Sumiyoshi, opened by introducing the members of the group: Akira TANA (drums+leader), Art HIRAHARA (piano), Masaru KOGA (woodwinds), Noriyuki "Ken" OKADA (bass), Saki KONO (vocals), and the film director Sara PETTINELLA. Next, Professor Torii played a video that gave some information on the background and goal of the Otonowa (Sound Circle) Project. It showed how its members banded together to tour the region devastated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 in order to offer encouragement to the survivors. According to the video, Otonowa continues to tour the region every year, inviting local musicians at each stop to jam with them as they use traditional, well-known tunes in an attempt to heal the lingering psychological suffering brought on by the disaster.

After the video clips, the members of Otonowa, all multilingual users, shared their stories of learning language and music. In particular, they highlighted the necessity of daily practice in making progress in both disciplines. Another common point between the two that they emphasized was the importance of listening for better output.

Next, we were treated to a performance by the band. The familiar Japanese folk songs were given a jazz arrangement and were well received by the audience, who responded with heartfelt applause. After the performance, Otonawa invited some players from Setsunan's student jazz club on stage and demonstrated their teaching methods on improvisation. The band and the students continued to discuss the analogy between language and music during the public lesson, again emphasizing the importance of developing the ear and attitude to respond others in both pursuits. Following a joint performance by the band and the students, where students showed recognizable progress, the band's leader Akira Tana gave a closing remark. Thus English Education Forum came to a satisfying close.


Original article: Masahiro YOSHIMURA, Yusuke TORII
Trans.: Michael HERKE, Kazuhiro OHARAZEKI
Photo: Kazuaki GOTO
Ed.:Aiko SAITO  

OTONOWA Official HP: