Kunitachi Music Academy Inc.

Representative director

Shigeomi Niinou

Shigeomi Niinou
"Effectively Using Music To Build Careers.
Developing People That Can Successfully Participate In Society."

Kunitachi Music Academy (KMA) is a comprehensive music school located in Setagaya, Tokyo. Since its founding in 1985, KMA has held the philosophy of “Effectively using music for a life long vocation“. Today, the number of KMA graduates exceeds 6700. From its humble beginnings as a music class in Kunitachi City, today the academy has as many as 22 departments/courses, including computer music and violin manufacturing as well as instrument performance. We try to ensure an environment where music-loving students can explore their full potential. Additionally, in recent years KMA has put emphasis on music therapy, combining music and social welfare.

Year of Birth
1933
Birthplace
Tottori
Name
Kunitachi Music Academy Inc.
Headquarters
Setagaya, Tokyo
Founded
1985
Type of business
Comprehensive music school
url
https://www.kma.co.jp/
Kunitachi Music Academy was born from a music class in Kunitachi City about 5 decades ago, with the philosophy of making music you like as a vocation, stemming from the diverse methods of instructor training and teaching pupils how to play the piano. In addition to musical performance that you expect from music schools, KMA is characterized by a wide range of departments that respond to changes in the music industry. We offer an infant training program for eurhythmics teachers, one of the first such programs introduced in Japan. Infant eurhythmics is a program for developing children's minds through music and rhythm. Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer and music educator, developed this approach toward music education, known today as eurhythmics(Greek for "rhythm"). One day, KMA founder Shigeomi Niinou saw a baby who was about four months old pleasantly moving its arms and legs on its mother's lap, reacting to the sound of a piano. He thought high sensitivity to contact with music and rhythm during infancy would play an important part in the development of the personalities, abilities, and minds of infants. This experience subsequently triggered the development of eurhythmics. We have instituted infant eurhythmics classes at adult education schools around Japan, and at the same time, focused on the training of infant eurhythmics teachers. Ours is an original curriculum based on diverse specialties, including education, music, developmental psychology, and music therapy. The expertise to develop this program opened the way for its application in other welfare-related areas. We are the first to have officially established a music therapy department, over 20 years ago.
Music therapy is divided into two categories: receptive and active music therapy. The former is intended to control the body and mind by listening to music while the latter requires movement of the body while singing or playing a musical instrument. Active music therapy is often conducted in a group. We experience communication with others through music. It can trigger and foster interpersonal relationships for those suffering from issues like depression and dementia, and the elderly who often have less social interaction. We started discussing ways of adapting expertise garnered from infant eurhythmics to the elderly to popularize it as eurhythmics for rejuvenation. The resulting program has been introduced in over 90 welfare facilities around Japan. It also allowed KMA graduates to work as music therapists or infant eurhythmics educators at such facilities. In addition to welfare facilities, our graduates also work at adult education schools.

Founded in 2017, Kunitachi Music Academy Miyagi Campus also offers curricula for vocational training for music and welfare-based jobs, similar to the main school in Tokyo. The Miyagi school uses the facilities from a renovated elementary school that had closed in 2014. The campus linka music and welfare with regional revitalization activity. Disseminating music and welfare-related information about jobs in Tohoku, with Miyagi as the base, the school is increasing the potential of attracting young people who used to move to large cities to work in the music industry. The school in Miyagi introduces farming into its curricula, in practical training difficult to experience in urban areas. Concerts are also held and local residents invited. Students enjoy school meals based on local foods. Kunitachi Music Academy Miyagi Campus aims to become a community-based music educational facility that proactively interacts with local people.

Our aim is to allow students to study, build confidence, and use what they learn for the betterment of society. One cannot always lead the life one expects, often getting into slumps or experience repeated trial and error while undergoing twists and turns of life. At KMA, we believe that one can enjoy hard work by recognizing one's own talent and personality, and stick to what you really want to do. Although we have a diverse student body, varying in age, personal history, and dreams, the study of music is a single common factor. One student enrolled at the age of 75, and another chose music as their second career after quitting a financial firm at the age of 39. One middle school student is studying hard, dreaming about success in society despite psychological disorders and truancy. From ten o'clock in the morning the child commutes one hour to our academy and dreams of a bright future, having encountered music after three years of truancy from elementary school. He reminds me of what I used to be when I refused to attend school and longed for music. At Kunitachi Music Academy, our mission is to allow minorities to acquire the opportunity to successfully participate in society all the while appreciating the beauty of music. Hopefully, our students will develop their own unique personalities, and effectively use their talents in society, while building their unique abilities and happiness.
Shigeomi Niinou
Shigeomi Niinou

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Kunitachi Music Academy Inc.

Representative director
Shigeomi Niinou