This is my 5th year playing koto and I performed more than 10 concerts. Elementary through Middle school was memorable but I had some struggles and challenges performing at the concerts. I wasn’t nervous or anything, but I usually mess up while playing. I couldn’t performed my best best. But this year in High school I performed really well. This is my first year playing koto in high school. Before going in this year, I was worried about not fitting in and I was worried about if I cannot catch up with the others because middle school level and high school level is different, but I chose koto because I love it so much <3 Well, my choice was right because I realized I am catching up with people and I am having fun. On the other hand, I feel more comfortable.
We had a concert during October called “2015 NYC Tour Benefit Concert.’ This was our first performance this year as 7 girls in 9th grade. According to our teacher, it’s been so long that they had only a group of girls performing. I think I performed really really well because I had no mistakes. I memorized ” Warabe Uta” ( the song piece ) perfectly. I think I was well prepared mentally and performing it. Everyone was on the right track and nothing went wrong. Everyone was synchronized and put a lot of emotions into the music. I was relaxed and on the beat while playing and I put a lot of mood and emotions which I think made my performance amazing. 全力出しました！
Like I said before, I think my preparation was great. I did my practice log and even if there’s only 2 videos on my practice log, I actually practiced a lot outside of school. My mom was surprised that I practice more than the time when I was in middle school. I usually look at my music while practicing at home because I can be more focused about the dynamics, piano, soprano and so on. I think these are important in music because it evokes feelings. Thus, the audience feels relaxed and they might get the message/story from a song. After our practice usually, Me, Kaori and Saya sing the melody that we like and this is how I check if I actually memorized the song. Also, if we walk altogether ( 7 girls) we all sing the song together. Having these moments outside of koto practice are important as well. This year I realized this 7 girls got closer than last year. Last year koto was a huge member about 18 people in a group. Of course, everyone knew each other but we weren’t really close. We had our communications but when we perform, something goes wrong. I reckoned this year group is really good because when we set up koto’s we all ask if they need some stands and if one person it doing the stands job the other person gives out the color pencil or the turner. Everyone was very overwhelmed and supportive. I think now we are a one big caring koto group and a koto family. I can feel the love in the air. Everyone has their smile’s on no matter what, during our practice! XD To be honest, I didn’t learn a lot as a member of a group because I do cheerleading and cheerleading is a sport about teamwork and synchronization. I knew from the start that, if someone mistakes or stuck on a melody we all need to help them by playing the melody over and over again or making the tempo slower.
In conclusion, I think this performance was really inspiring and amazing. I accomplished my mental about playing the koto and I just need to play the koto again and again when I have time. My overall challenges what memorizing the “アイヌ”の 1st row 1-4thmeasure. I think that was my hardest part to play and to memorize it. In addition, it was also challenging how I needed to remember the part that is upbeat tempo or piano. Overall, I had a great time and I cannot wait until our next concert.