Interview with Fumie Takahashi – NECOM’s new Music Therapist

Fumie, can you tell us about you music background in Japan

I started to learn Marimba when I was 7 years old. I had the opportunity to take a lesson from Eiichi Asabuki who was the grand master of the Japan Xylophone Association. Throughout my musical education, I was able to perform individually and as part of an ensemble in marimba concerts. I loved the idea of joining the wind ensemble and playing percussion. I had a chance to see a steel pan performance in Japan and loved the soft and mellow sounds so much that it made me want to learn to play it. I later became a member of the steel pan orchestra, The Fantastics in Kobe, Japan.

The Fantastics have performed in many events and concerts such as summer festivals, spring concerts, school concerts, and nursing homes.

How did you become a Music Therapist?

I spent some time working as part of the medical staff in a pharmacy. While there I thought I would like to help people in a different way. I made the decision to change my career and came to Australia to study Music Therapy. I studied at the University of Western Sydney for two years. I really enjoyed the challenge of the course and am interested in continuing my study in the area in the future. At the end of 2017, NECOM’s Director, Russell Bauer, attended a conference at the university where we met and he later asked if I’d be interested in being interviewed for the recently vacated position of Music Therapist in Armidale. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

What do you enjoy most about doing music therapy?

The moment when you can connect with clients through musical activities like playing instruments and singing songs! I really enjoy building a good rapport with clients and seeing their progress. Music has such a strong power for everybody.

What is the best part about working at NECOM?

NECOM has a variety of music programs for children to adults, so we are able to have the chance to listen, play and teach various types of music. There is a big community involvement in these music programs. I feel that music performance, education and music therapy are three key areas at NECOM.

The professional development that NECOM provides is beneficial for continuing to develop the musical and teaching skills of teachers and staff. I am also inspired by all of the professional musicians here.

I am so glad to start work here as a part of NECOM.

Fumie Takahashi performs The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Have you met Fumie yet? She's our brand new Music Therapist and Percussion teacher. Check her out below playing The Lion Sleeps Tonight on the steel drum. If you'd like to know more about our Music Therapy program or how you can learn percussion through NECOM, give us a call on 6788 2135.

Posted by New England Conservatorium on Wednesday, 14 February 2018