Home > Japan, School > I demand piano!

I demand piano!

Random question of the day: I wonder if there is a connection between chuu-hi, the fruity alcoholic mix made with sho-chuu, and hi-chuu, the delicious chewy candy (with no alcohol that I am aware of.)

As I have gotten more used to my schools, I have begun asking more questions. For example, a question I have asked at all four of my schools now is: “What is my schedule going to be like starting in September, when classes begin?” I know which schools I will be going to, but I do not know whom, what, and when I will be teaching. I have been making lesson plans left and right to try and head off whatever issues may arise, but ultimately I’d like to be able to make them a little more specific. At my school yesterday (wada) the response was: We’re going to talk about it today, after you leave. You’ll know by next week. At Okidai I have a pretty set schedule already, which is good since that’s the school I’ll be at the most.

A second thing I have asked is whether or not they have a piano on the premises. I figure I should use what few talents I have in the classroom, and playing piano can be barely classified as one of the talents I have. Most of them don’t have electronic keyboards I can bring to class, but all of them have a standing piano. I have been taking about an hour out of my day in the office to play some music, and learn some new songs, such as: “Old Mac Donald has a farm…” and “Happy Birthday.” I just finalized Happy Birthday a few minutes ago. I have no idea whether I’ll be able to accompany the kids as we sing songs because the pianos there are not really movable, and I don’t know if I can bring the whole class into the music room, but never the less it’s a lot of fun. And I must say I’ve gotten so used to my electronic keyboard at home, I have completely forgotten how different it is playing on a real piano! My electronic piano is pretty high tech, it’s got weighted keys and all that so it’s not super far off, but even still there is just no comparison. I am able to hold rhythm much easier on these, the entire sound is much better, and I feel even more like an amateur when I sit there all by myself messing up on a grand piano. I may just have to come in and play the piano randomly whenever I feel like it. Maybe I can find a book of popular children’s songs in a bookstore somewhere and practice them. Music notes are pretty universal, unless they start writing them from right to left and top to bottom, which while really cool to look at would be such a damn pain in the ass. I don’t think that’s the case though.

Tomorrow in the morning I have been invited to attend and play in a volleyball…thing. Due to my lack of understanding, I am not entirely sure what I am doing, but I heard the words “volleyball” and “do you want to go?” and “I will come pick you up at 8am tomorrow.” Ever eager to both 1) play sports and 2) be picked up I agreed. Although the prospects of waking up at 7am YET AGAIN are slightly souring my overall anticipation, it should be a lot of fun, and it gets me involved with the teachers, which I am really enjoying. It’s exceedingly good for my Japanese, and I am able to pick up some more of the local flavor. For example, today it was explained to me how to use the local Oita dialect’s signature sentence ending particle: “cha” Here is what I understood: They replace most of the Japanese sentence ending particles with it. But there are some times when you use it and some times when you don’t. 頑張るちゃ! (I’m doing my best cha)

  1. August 23, 2009 at 12:50 am

    try downloading sheet music online

  2. dotbearman
    August 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    good observations, Dashiell….Glad you are enjoying all the novelty experiences…….writing about them while they are fresh in your memory is a wise thing to do. Yes,, we were always amazed at the youngsters who would stare at us and then giggle…something that would be considered rude in USA….. hope the weather is agreeable. You may not remember but my friend Jean wrote the book about women in management called ‘KIMONOS IN THE BOARDROOM’…..lots of love…foufou

  3. emoney
    August 25, 2009 at 9:42 am

    i’m pretty sure chu-hii is made from mixing fruit juice and sho-chuu…at this moment, i am having a kabosu-shochuu cocktail (can you get any more kyushu than that???) but i guess i’d call it chu-hii…hai-chuu, on the other hand… completely unrelated. let’s hang out soon!
    i have a music book with all classic kids songs music! it’s yours!
    and nice use of the ちゃ!

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