From September 24 to October 8 in 2001, the 32nd All Japan Guitar Concours was held. It is an unique comprehensive guitar concours directed by Japan Educational Guitar Association (NKG) and International Guitar Orchestra Association (IGOA). It consists of solo, ensemble, orchestra, conducting, arrangement, composition, instruction, guitar & mandarin, and manufacturing sections.
This time, we'd like to quote a writing that Dr. Hiroki Niibori, a president of NKG and IGOA contributed to the program of the concours.
Making progress in a real meaning by Hiroki Niibori     

 If your performance only move a very specified people and even yourself can't enjoy playing music, it can be said that you are not making progress in your music properly. Originally, music can move anyone regardless of age, sex, nationality or one's musical experience as a player. To make progress properly, an efficient method that brushes up, encourages and comforts you through your life is essential.
  In a Chinese great long best seller 'the Analects of Confucius' that shows the right way of life, there is a sentence like 'It is wonderful to get a "knowledge", but it is more wonderful to "like" it, and it excels anything if you can "enjoy" it'.
 How excellent educational background, technique and knowledge he has, there is no guarantee that he can move people by his music. Contrary to it, there are players who has less knowledge and experience but can move lots of people and enjoy playing music himself too.
 I believe that a genuine good player has a well-balanced knowledge and technique. Therefore, a key to make progress properly is a well-balanced study.
 Followings are tips for your well-balanced study;

(1) Don't limit a genre from the start.

 It's not good to study only the electrical guitar, only the acoustic guitar, only Bach, only the Beatles, or only a hot singer's numbers... Of course, it's no problem to be fond of a specified musician and style. But be attention not to be exclusive too much.
(2) Experience a musical instrument with 3 musical constituents. 3 musical constituents are rhythm, melody and harmony.
 Ideal musical instruments are the guitar and the piano. Through studying such musical instruments, you will learn rhythm, melody and harmony while you don't know. In case your favorite one is good at accompaniment (rhythm & chords = harmony), it is recommended to study the flute or singing which are good at melody. Then, you'll come to be able to understand music comprehensively and will find a shorter way to acquire real abilities.
(3) Good method, musical instruments, scores, and instructors are very important. In music, there are high range (leading role), middle range (supporting role) and low range (partner).
 A good method enables students to learn these roles naturally through scores and playing musical instruments. Of course, instructors and schools that teach you music using the method are also very important.
 Let's give an example of the guitars by Niibori Method. Guitars for high range are the sopranino guitar, the piccolo guitar, the soprano guitar, the alto guitar and so on. Guitars for middle range are the prime guitar. Guitars for low range are the bass guitar, the contrabass guitar, and the guitarron. Moreover, here are the cembalo guitars and guitars specially designed for the children & the infants, too. Good text books are ready by our NKG and IGOA. Guitar clubs consist of the prime guitars only will surely come to a deadlock sooner or later. At least, use the alto guitar for high range and the bass guitar for low range to keep a musical balance and brush up your musical sense.
  If you are making progress in a real meaning, you feel a sense of fulfillment like climbing a mountain through your life. If you are studying music with a narrow-mind, you'll easily think of giving it up every time you find difficulties. It's okay to lay it aside temporary, but if you are making progress properly, you will resume it again and again. The way of studying which can keep up with your life style is the real and best one.
  Our 50 years of research and the 38 years of activities by the associations (NKG & IGOA) are all to lead everyone to this right way of studying music. It was our great pleasure that Niibori Method received 'International Grandprix' from The World Scientific Council in 1995.
  Now, 24 countries in the world uses the method, and a philharmonic orchestra by the method is having performance all over the world actively to build a bridge of peace among nations through music. Everyone, this concours is a chance you join our wonderful project to make people on the earth "a world-wide family". I hope today will be the beginning of your enjoyable music life.

 This year, especially the entrees in the instruction section and the manufacturing section achieved a brilliant success. A prize-winning lesson was a guitar ensemble instruction, and the alto guitar, the prime guitar and the bass guitar were used in it. A piano lesson for four hands, and a lesson for other musical instruments with the guitar were very interesting. These were very good examples for instructors in and out of Japan.
  The orchestra section will be released by video tapes. The prize-winning performance were equal to professional's. Their performance with many potential possibilities should be worth seeing.
  The section was divided into 5 video tapes from A to E and each one costs 4,000 yen (excl. tax & postage).
  If you are interested in a large-scaled guitar orchestra with other musical instruments, video "D" including Joetsu Citizen's Orchestra is recommended. If you'd like to see lots of prize-winners' performance, video "E" must be the best selection. Performance by a guitar & mandarin orchestra is included in video "A". To use a reference material for your guitar club, video "B" including high- technique performance is most suitable. For the detailed information or more advice, feel free to ask the office of IGOA anytime.
 Also, if you are interested in take a video lesson or need the latest scores of the Niibori Guitar Orchestra, you are cordially invited to be a member of IGOA.
  For your information, the first general meeting of NKG & IGOA in 2002 will be held in January 6 in the headquarters of the Niibori Group located in Fujisawa. (Visitors are welcome)

For questions, advice & requests about Monthly Harmony,

Niibori Guitar Music Academy, Editorial Office

143-14 Fujisawa, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken,
251-0052 Japan
Phone: +81-466-23-8338 / Fax: +81-466-23-9337

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