Music and dance scholar Curt Sachs refers to dance as the “mother of the arts.”
The Performing Arts program examines human physical activities and expressions from sports with a focus on dance to daily actions, and explores their significance and characteristics through hands-on practice in a multifaceted and comprehensive manner.
This is the only specialized program at a four-year national university with the word “dance” in its name. Since this is a new discipline, you might even be able to break ground in a new area of performance or the discipline itself. Course graduates are already working as pioneers in a variety of different areas, including education and the arts.
This program is not a training center for professional dancers and athletes. The goal is to learn and engage in research about the history and geographical spread of dance and sports, and about their structure, philosophy and aesthetics. The program also examines the social significance and the outlook for the future, the human body’s mechanisms and the physiology of movement, and the operational characteristics of body movement including everyday actions.
Students in this program can acquire a health and physical education teaching certificate for the middle and high school levels. Courses designed to help them acquire that certificate include Track and Field, Gymnastics, Ball Sports, and Strengthening exercise/Martial Arts.
Paths after graduation include teaching as well as jobs at general corporations—with many positions in the media, transport and travel industries in recent years—as well as graduate school. Increasing numbers of students have also started careers in the arts and academic professions, including dancers participating in performances and educational activities.
The Performing Arts program covers a diverse range of research fields including the humanities, social science and natural science, with lectures, seminars and courses in practical skills. While exploring these research fields both broadly and deeply, students pursue dance from perspectives that include the body, motion, expression, communication and more.
Courses include Study of Clinical Dance, which pursues the connections between humanity and dance; Study of Dance and the Arts, which researches both theoretical and practical aspects; Dance Ethnology , which researches dance from a cultural perspective; and classes such as Humanistic Study of Sport, Principles of Physical Education, and Study of Human Movement. Courses in practical skills include Modern Dance Techniques, World Dance, Dance Performance, Practical training of Dance Expression , Creative Dance, Dance Teaching Practice, Ballet Practical Training , Japanese Dance Practical Training , and a variety of other genres.
The study of music is not limited to the acquisition of performing techniques and theoretical knowledge. To attain a truly deep understanding of music, you must grasp the fullness of the human thought and action behind the music.
The Music Expression program is one of the few specialized music programs available at a Japanese university. Students learn from the two deeply interrelated perspectives of performance and musicology.
This program emphasizes academic research into music as a subset of various types of research in humanities, sociology and natural science—as well as the practical study of musical performance—with the goal of enabling students to view living music from a state-of-the-art perspective.
When it comes to music, performance and academic pursuits are supposed to be two sides of the same coin, but current music education tends to be so specialized that students usually have to concentrate on one side or the other.
This program therefore offers a unique curriculum that differs from typical music departments and teacher training programs. It lets students select a major after they acquire a high level of core knowledge and skills in both the musicology and performance fields. Since this is one department at a university, students can also acquire deeper knowledge in other arts such as literature and fine arts, as well as education and sociology.
Graduates of this program work for private corporations or as civil servants, teachers, or in other occupations. Many students also go on to study abroad or enter graduate school. Enrollees in this program tend to have a high level of interest in specialized research as well.
First- and second-year students master basic knowledge and performing techniques, and third- and fourth-year students focus on small-class seminars and individual instruction based on their own specialties.
Courses in musicology cover Western music from medieval times to the current era, as well as traditional Japanese music and music from various other regions in Asia and around the world. Students also consider the relationship between music and culture, theory, history, aesthetics and other subjects. Since musicology courses mainly use English-language texts, students require a sufficient level of English mastery.
Students majoring in performance studies select either piano performance or vocal performance. Both are taught by teachers who are experts at their respective repertoires. Classes are designed to help students acquire the skills needed for actual performances, featuring instrumental music duets with professionals as well as opera lessons that focus on guidance from répétiteurs.