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If the staff who are familiar with the local situation and study abroad will attend, this is the only way to go! I decided when I first inquired about the details and got an answer.

Piano instructor living in TokyoMizue Takahashi

If you look up plans for short-term study abroad, you will find various plans, but when you look up the timing, amount of money, accommodation facilities, teachers, etc., there are many things that do not meet your wishes, but I think it is early to give up here. , What came out was First Try's short-term study abroad plan

Q) Please tell us the reason why you used our company.


I have a piano class in Tokyo. I have been a piano teacher for about 30 years. There are many students in the classroom, from children to adults. I wanted to be able to convey music to myself and my students in a deeper way. And I traveled to Vienna last summer and visited Beethoven-Haus because the composer wanted to live and play the music that was made there.


Since I've been studying music for a long time, I had a desire to study abroad at least once, so I started considering short-term study abroad around the fall of last year. At that point, I wanted to play Beethoven's piano sonatas, so I was considering Vienna, and I consulted with my teacher, but due to various timings, Vienna gave up early and thought about Italy. However, no matter how many times I asked the study abroad plan provider about what kind of teacher's lessons I could take, I couldn't get any concrete answers (such as being a piano teacher at a music university), and even lessons in Italian. There were only vague answers about whether the local teacher could speak English and whether an interpreter could be requested. If you look up plans for short-term study abroad, you will find various plans, but when you look up the time, amount, accommodation facilities, teachers, etc., there are many things that do not meet your wishes, especially the hotel is decided for the accommodation, and the single fee is also high. You can choose the hotel yourself, but I'm not convinced that I can't deduct the price of the specified hotel plan. When I looked up the lesson teachers, I found that they were not teachers in the piano department but teachers in the music education section, so all the plans seemed to prioritize profits.

However, I think it's early to give up here, and there are many countries in Europe where music is popular, so when I searched a little wider, I found First Try's short-term study abroad plan. However, I thought that the royal road to study abroad from Japan to Europe was France, Austria, and Germany, so I did not consider London. But if you think about it, there's the Royal Academy of Music, a great hall and a great orchestra like the London Philharmonic Orchestra ... For the time being, I made an inquiry to Mr. First Try.

​​ Q) Are there any particular points you were particular about when consulting?


First of all, I asked about the time of study abroad, accommodation, teachers, etc., but everything was as desired. As for the teacher, he also sent us his past achievements and actual performance data. I was able to easily plan how many nights and hours I would take lessons from the beginning because I was given the details of the costs. And, after all, Mr. Tsukamoto is a veteran of study abroad attendants, so he was a person who could talk with confidence because he noticed things that he didn't notice. If Mr. Tsukamoto, who is familiar with the local situation and studying abroad, will attend everything as desired, this is the only way to go! It was decided when we first inquired about the details and received an answer.

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In South Kensington where Mr. Takahashi stayed, there is the Kensington Palace where the late Princess Diana spent, the Royal Albert Hall where the summer tradition "Proms" is held, and the tourists. It is a popular spot that is often visited.

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Q) How was the actual lesson?

And the first lesson of tension, finally meet with Mr. Myers! I received a kind email before departure, so I could get an idea of what the teacher was like, but he was kinder than I had imagined and was a wonderful teacher.


I brought a video camera to record the lesson, but for some reason it didn't work ... the check was unsatisfactory. I wasn't sure if I could record for a long time. I had a voice recorder as a backup, so I recorded it this time.

I think the teacher's piano is Steinway's S or O type. The keyboard is a little heavy. But it sounded good and I was easy to play. I had you listen to all movements of sonatas. The advice from the teacher is "not bad musically". However, when I looked at my performance form, he said, "I have a lot of power, and even though I'm playing hard, I can hear the power."


To tell the truth, my long-standing moyamoya was there. I was wondering if there was a more relaxed and playable way to play, but I wasn't working on anything concrete, but Dr. Myers was a weakness expert. .. This is your chance! I asked you to teach me, and in the second lesson, I will focus on exercise for weakness. Then, I received exercise materials and practiced what I could do by the second lesson. It was said that it usually takes more than 3 months to learn, so even if you don't understand everything, you can do it even if you return to Japan.


And in the last lesson, I played Beethoven's sonata slowly, conscious of weakness, and received advice on the performance. We received new suggestions and things that we hadn't noticed in a short period of time, from fingering, what we wanted to express throughout the sonata, to the accents and playing styles of the details.


Professional conversations between piano teachers flew around. After the lesson, while having a cup of tea with Mr. Myers, we talked about Japanese and English lessons, textbooks, and differences between students.

Q) What are your thoughts on this short-term study abroad program?


I would like the teachers who are learning in books today to continue to teach me. However, having a teacher who advises me from a different angle will broaden my way of thinking and feeling. Even if you can't go to London many times a year, you can still get in touch with Dr. Myers. Having met Dr. Myers and taught me how to play weakness, I feel that there are still many things I can do in the future. I'm 50 years old now, but after returning from London, I've become more hopeful about my future performances.


Now I am working on improving my form by using simple etudes, focusing on the weakness exercises I learned in London. I have the opportunity to play Beethoven's sonatas in the summer, so I would like to focus on weakness exercises until early spring and complete the sonatas for the concert. From now on, I'm thinking of trying weakness exercises even for the types of songs and composers that I wasn't very good at and avoided.


And I will definitely go back to Dr. Myers and take that wonderful lesson. For that reason, I am now strengthening my English study in addition to the piano. To be able to communicate more with the teacher. Whether you think 50 is already 50 or still 50, it's up to you, and I'll do my best to look forward to myself in the future.


Finally, thanks to Mr. Tsukamoto of the first try, I was able to have this wonderful experience! Mr. Tsukamoto is a person who can be trusted from the bottom of his heart. If you are uncertain about studying abroad, please feel free to contact First Try! I hope you will give us great support! Mr. Tsukamoto said, "Please feel free to tell me what wasn't good," but I didn't (laughs).


It was really nice to take the plunge and go to London, this study abroad has become a treasure for me. I'm really thankful to you. I will definitely return to London!

[From the editor]

Mr. Takahashi, thank you very much for your kind words! We are very happy to have enjoyed this short-term study abroad program. Mr. Myers is also looking forward to seeing Mr. Takahashi again, so please come back to London! I am really looking forward to hearing Beethoven's sonatas. We sincerely wish the success of the concert.

First try is different here!


   At our company, the staff who first consulted with the customer will support you locally, so there is no communication problem such as "I was talking to the other staff ...".


Also, you can rest assured that detailed personal information will not be shared by many staff members.

Sheet Music Over Piano
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