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Smithsonian Folkways World Music Sessions at IU

Spent two sessions with the most enthusiastic students ever this week! As part of a one-week intensive course at IU studying world music for a Smithsonian Folkways certificate and graduate credit, I taught Japanese folk song from cultural and historical background to vocal production and basic dance. The students mastered two songs and dances: Soran Bushi (Fishermen’s Song) and Kokiriko Bushi. With Kokiriko Bushi, the students also studied the two dances which incorporates the instruments Kokiriko and Sasara. What a great group of students so motivated to learn about other cultures and musics!

"Scoop the fish"

“Scoop the fish”

"Carry the fish: left, right"

“Carry the fish: left, right”

"Row your oar"

“Row your oar”

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AsianFest at the Farmer’s Market

Great performance at the Farmer’s Market for AsianFest on Saturday, April 19th, 2014! Had the biggest audience of the day! Masatomo Yonezu on the shakuhachi, Ryan Lidster on the taiko drums, and I am on vocals. The five dancers are in my Japanese classes at Bloomington High School North. Japan Club students also helped young visitors at our table make newspaper Kabuto Samurai Helmets. Looking forward to going back next year.












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Rachel’s Cafe Open Mic

Open Mic with the IU Ethnomusicology Department at Rachel’s Cafe in Bloomington, IN, on Friday, April 18th. Masatomo Yonezu played shakuhachi, Ryan Lidster on taiko, and I am doing vocals.

I have not experienced a performance quite like this. Ethnomusicology grad students shared their love of music with the audience in the small, but packed, room. Each had a unique style and musical talent, but nothing was like ours! Can’t wait to go back!


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East Asian Pathways

View More: http://katiekillionphotography.pass.us/pathways View More: http://katiekillionphotography.pass.us/pathways

View More: http://katiekillionphotography.pass.us/pathwaysThese incredible 6th graders at University Elementary School learned to sing and dance Soran Bushi and Kokiriko Bushi. I spent several classes with them learning how to sing the songs, play the instruments, and dance the dances.

The instruments kokiriko and sasara were ordered from Japan, as well as the flower hats for my own high school students of Japanese to use and perform for the song Hanagasa Ondo.

What an awesome group of students and teachers to work with! Thanks to music teacher, Maggie Olivo, for inviting me to be the music informant this year.

Herald Times Newspaper Article

Performance video

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Teacher Award, Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Franklin Initiative

I am humbled by receiving this award. Thank you to all the parents who support their children and their education, administrators at MCCSC for supporting the Japanese and ENL programs, and my family for supporting me while I try to do it all.

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IFLTA conference presentation and food!

“One World” Japanese Store and Restaurant

What a great day! Got up early on a Saturday morning to drive to Indianapolis to present at the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association conference.  Keiko Kuriyama (IU Assistance Professor of Japanese) and I completed our presentation “Articulation of AP Japanese Curriculum: Levels  1-4 and Beyond” in the morning, so we were able to relax and enjoy other presentations and talk with Japanese teachers from around Indiana.

At the end of the day, we made our annual trip to Trader Joe’s, and I stocked up on my favorite TJ items: gluten-free waffles, La Finca wine, and cilantro dressing. By then, tired and hungry, we jotted down the street for some authentic Japanese food at “One World” Japanese grocery and restaurant. I haven’t had Ikura-don for many years! Our trip home to B-ton was long from the northern part of Indy, but we got back safely and content.

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Japanese Aesthetics of Sound and Movement

Traveled to Armherst College in Massachusetts this weekend to present at a workshop “Japanese Aesthetics of Sound and Movement” for Five Colleges Center of East Asian Studies. Had a wonderful time teaching the participants song and dance of Soran Bushi (Hokkaido); and talking about the historical background of Japanese folk song and the origins of the vocal timbre. Also had the participants using rhythm sticks to imitate the sounds of a kokiriko for the folk song called Kokiriko, and they learned the hayashi for Hanagasa Ondo. What great learners they were! Hope to be able to return again. Massachusetts was beautiful with the changing leaves, though I was a bit surprised at the below freezing temperature on Saturday morning!