The Japan Association for the Study of School Music Educational
Practice is an organization dedicated to the continual development of music
education in the Japanese school system by fusing theory and practice.
The purpose of this association is to assess the current music classes
in public and private schools, as well as to foster the unity and cooperation
of its members. School education, music education and educational practice
are key words that summarize the primary concerns of the association.
The Association is committed to the following activities:
1. Academic conferences of researches from related fields
2. The publication of the association’s bulletin and other academic journals
3. Miscellaneous events and meetings related to the goals of the association.
This academic society hopes to create an arena for discussion in
which its members, all who share a common interest in music education,
may examine issues concerning the teaching of music in schools.
The concept of education may be summed up in one word as “practice.”
With this in mind, the study of education should be, in essence, the study
of actual practice in classrooms. In Japan, however, this has been forgotten.
Japanese researchers of education, more often than not, assume that research
is the equivalent of reading academic journals from foreign countries.
In light of this, the need for educational universities and other related
academic departments to reassess their programs has been an increasingly
The inception of the Japan Association for the Study of School Music
Educational Practice more than 10 years ago was derived on the importance
of studying actual practice in classrooms. The organization is responsible
for the diffusion of traditional Japanese music into the school system,
as well the planning of curriculums from the elementary to the high school
level. The results of these activities are continually published in an
effort be on top of the ongoing developments in the field.
With that said, the time has come to share the fruit of our 10-year
evolution with the outside world and further develop the field of music
education by emphasizing the uniqueness of the music education at Japanese
To realize this we have been carrying out a 5-year comparative study
consisting of international exchange programs which focus on curriculums
and classroom experience. We have had exchanges with Canada, Korea, and
the U.S. so far. The purpose of this program is not necessarily to gather
new information, but to give an opportunity for those involved to see first
hand the outcome of their labor in hopes of fomenting further individualized
The idea of these exchanges is to instill an awareness in educators
that the problems they face in the classroom are common not only in other
schools but in other countries as well. These international exchanges provide
important opportunities for educators to look beyond their daily classroom
routine, and ultimately contribute to the development of the children in
We invite all who share this ideology to join our association.
In august of 1996 the Japan Association for the Study of School
Music Education was founded. This organization, comprised of university
professors, graduate students, primary and secondary school teachers, teachers
for children with special need and educational superintendents, is dedicated
to the study and development of music education in the school system. The
following explains the aims of the association’s foundation.
Bullying, truancy, the reduction to a five-day school week, selective
instruction and the need for real-life skill development are just a few
of the issues that have gained widespread debate throughout Japanese schools
in recent years. The result has been an ever-increasing need to overhaul
the education system. Moreover, these changes have made many teachers concerned
about various aspects of their career. Music teachers are no exception
to this. Many music teachers are concerned about the future of music education
and if their current music lessons are up to par. A large number of music
teachers are struggling to find answers to these questions.
The demands of the new age have required the creation of a new academic
field which concentrates on actual practice in the classroom. These demands
are the result of a change in the expectations of the school system, as
well as a new founded skepticism towards the validity of certain subjects
offered at teacher-training courses and their applicability to actual classroom
practice. In addition, the application of pedagogical ideologies as well
as methodologies taught and practiced in the schools needs to be reassessed.
In order to meet these new demands a new course in educational practice
was establish by affiliated university PhD courses in hopes of contributing
to new research in the field.
The ultimate purpose of education is to develop children to be constructive
members of society through educational practice. To accomplish this, theoretical
research must take into account and exert influence over practice. In addition,
educational practice should be based on theory while at the same time provide
new information and results to keep theoretical research constantly updated.
However, the current system seems to have fallen short by lacking to effectively
link theory and practice, with music education being no exception.
In summary, researchers and educators alike need to unite and join
forces in order to maintain a healthy balance between theory and practice,
as well as to further develop the field of educational practice in music
education. My hope is that this academic society can create an opportunity
where university professors, graduate students, primary and secondary school
teachers, teachers for children with special need and educational superintendents,
regardless of their educational institution or position, may exchange research,
experience and dialogue on how to better develop music education in the
Japanese school system. With this in mind, school education, music education
and educational practice are keywords that best sum up the concerns of
The following are pending research subjects related to the objectives
of the association:
1. The fusion of theory and practice
2. Methods for studying music classes
3. The role of music in school curriculums
4. Developing educational contents and curriculum
5. Integrated course and music education
6. The teaching of Japanese music
7. Developing teaching materials
8. Music education and problem-solving learning
9. The recognition and learning of music
10. Teaching methodology
11. Academic performance and evaluation
12. Music education for children with special need and its problematic areas
In pursuit of the objectives previously mentioned, the organization
holds national conferences annually and publishes the research results
presented at the conferences.
August 1996. 1st annual conference held at the Osaka YMCA International Culture Center
August 1997. 2nd annual national conference held at the Osaka International House
August 1998. 3rd annual national conference held at the Center of South Osaka Industrial
August 1999. 4th annual national conference held at Senzoku University
August 2000. Official name changed to Japan Association for the
Study of School Music Educational Practice
August 2000. 5th annual national conference held at the National Olympics Memorial
August 2001. 6th annual national conference held at Nara University of Education
August 2001. School Music Educational Practice 1st series, “The teaching of Japanese
music in schools” published by Ongaku no Tomo Publishing.
September 2002. Official affiliation into Science Council of Japan
May 2002. School Music Educational Practice 2nd series, “Music and its connection with other school subjects” published by Ongaku no Tomo Publishing.
August 2002. 7th annual national conference held at Nagoya University of Arts
September 2002. School Music Educational Practice 3rd series, “Raising musical expression
of children with special need” published by Ongaku no Tomo Publishing.
March 2003. School Music Educational Practice 4th series, “The mechanism of enjoyment in music classes” published by Ongaku no Tomo Publishing.
August 2003. 8th annual national conference held at the National Olympics Memorial
August 2003. School Music Educational Practice 5th series. “The developmental peculiarities
in adolescences and music education” published by Ongaku no Tomo Publishing.
August 2004. 9th annual national conference held the National Olympics Memorial Youth
May 2005. 10th anniversary memorial symposium, “How can music education at school contribute to the cultivation of children’s’ emotions?” held at Kreo Osaka West.
August 2005. 10th annual national conference held at Osaka College of Music
January 2006. Symposium on music and art school subjects “The emotional effects of music
and art subjects on school students; their role and methodology” held at
the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center
August 2006. “Music Curriculum for the 21st Century Based on the Concept of the Generating
of Music” published by Tokyo Shoseki
August 2006. 11th annual national conference held at Osaka Shoin Women’s University
August 2007. 12th annual national conference held at Kurashiki Sakuyou University
August 2008. 13th annual national conference held at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center
August 2009. 14th annual national conference held at the National
Memorial Youth Center
August 2010. 15th annual national conference held at Gifu University
August 2011. 16th annual national conference held at Hanazono University