Mar. 07, 2018

Minato City & Suntory Hall Enjoy! Music Program
"Let's Enjoy Sounds of Voices": Participated by Approximately 1,400 Fourth Grade Students from 18 Minato City Elementary Schools

Enjoy! Music Program, a program for fourth grade Minato City elementary school students to experience the arts, was held in Suntory Hall on January 12, 2018. Approximately 1,400 fourth grade students from all 18 Minato City elementary schools gathered to get in touch with music and sing along with professional musicians.


The program started from the “Pa-Pa-Pa” duet from the opera “The Magic Flute” being included in the fourth grade music textbook. The fun and rhythmical lyric of “Pa-Pa-Pa” was enjoyed by everyone.

This program was started in 2014 presented by Suntory Hall,Minato City, Minato City’s Education Committee and Minato Sports, Community, Culture, and Health Foundation (Kiss-port Foundation), and this is its fourth event. The themes for the art programs over the years were “Music and Physical Expressions” in the first and “Music and Painting” for the second and third year. This year, the theme was renewed as “Let’s Enjoy Sounds of Voices” to simply focus on music and let children experience the sounds of the musical instruments and voices in Suntory Hall.

Aki Hasegawa
Artistic Programming Dept.,
Suntory Hall, Suntory Foundation for Arts
A scene from the prior class in the music room in a school. Soloists sing right in front of the eyes of children. Children were intrigued by voices that resonate without microphones.

Suntory Hall has been offering educational programs since its opening and currently offers programs based on three main pillars under the Enjoy! Music Program: program for the children who carry our future forward, young professionals and everyone. Amidst this, Suntory Hall became a public interest incorporated foundation in 2012 and furthering social welfare became even more important mission. The Enjoy! Music Program was born from an idea by Kazushi Ono, an internationally acclaimed conductor who is a member of the planning committee after the founding. Maestro Ono has cooperated with various schools in Europe and brought them to success and proposed that Suntory Hall could cooperate with the local elementary schools in Minato City.

One thing that needed to be fulfilled in planning this project was to offer classical music. In doing so we created a program which participants listen to various sounds of voices such as the Aria and duet from the opera “The Magic Flute” and chorus, enjoy the symbolic sounds of the organ in Suntory Hall and sing Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” along with professional musicians. It was a joy that leading musicians participated in this program joined by great conductor Mr. Ono as we believe that true talent will be understood by children. The program was created from opinions and ideas during discussion with the teachers. The idea of children also singing the “Ode to Joy (Symphony No.9)” in German together was from actual music teacher. An opinion that German may be little difficult but it would be a good challenge for the children made us decide to do it.

Children and musicians on the stage sang the “Ode to Joy”.
Everyone’s voice filled the hall beautifully.

The concept of this program is not just to appreciate art in a single event but was a program to experience art so we held a class prior to the concert at 12 schools that requested it. We dispatched graduates of the Suntory Hall Opera Academy for each the parts of soprano, alto, tenor and bass to demonstrate the different keys and sound of the voices as well as giving instructions on singing the “Symphony No. 9” during a 45-minute class.

On the day of the concert, children feverishly cheered and applauded as the orchestra entered the stage. The performers were surprised to be greeted so much and were touched. The children were so excited for the concert because of making prior communication with musicians and because they were looking forward to singing at the Suntory Hall themselves and had sense of involvement.

Singing instruction by soprano singer Yoko Yasui.
The harmony of children singing with straightened posture
and their mouth wide open were like voices of angels.
It was truly a moment to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the voices.

The program was highly evaluated and there are many feedbacks from the teachers that request the “Let’s Enjoy Sounds of Voices” to be a continued theme from the previous year and we would like to answer to that request. Suntory Hall will continue to cooperate with the local government and schools to continuously hold programs for the next generation.

Related Links
To Create Harmony with Society(CSR site)
SUNTORY HALL Enjoy! Music Program