Super Global High School(SGH): The 10th SGH Global Career Lecture Meeting


The Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts (Geiko) held the 10th SGH Lecture Meeting on Global Career on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

The lecture started at 1 p.m. at the 201 hall. Ms. Yoshiko Ogawa, who is a lecturer of J.F. Oberlin University, spoke about how our students should prepare themselves to become globally acclaimed musicians. Ms. Ogawa has ample experience of travelling overseas as she was a flight attendant of Japan Airlines. Her lecture covered a variety of topics, which helped the students to become aware of the necessity for the preparation. The students thoughtfully listened to the lecture and seemed inspired by different ideas and words they heard during the lecture.

Importance of Communication and Coordination

In the beginning, Ms. Ogawa asked the students how communication could be translated into Japanese. The students showed a puzzled look but soon started to give sharp answers. Ms. Ogawa explained that the translation would be something that has the nuance of interactivity such as “dialogue.” This is because the origin of the word is “Communis,” which means “common” or “shared” in Latin, she added. She then went on to say that understanding Latin would help understand English.
According to Ms. Ogawa, in order for us to work on a global basis, we should be able to communicate subjectively, while having the ability to coordinate with other people. She said that she was truly convinced of the importance of these abilities when she was working as a flight attendant, whose work partners can change every day. We had the impression that our students as musicians may also be faced with a similar situation.

Difference between Global and International, and “Glocal”

Ms. Ogawa explained that the words “Global” and “International” are very different in sense. “Global” originates from “Globe,” while “International” is composed of “Inter” and “national”. The former advocates the idea that the world is united beyond the national borders, whereas the latter describes the state where multiple nations are concerned. She continued that, in the era of expanding globalization, it is important to bear in mind the concept of “Glocal,” a new word made of “Global” and “Local,” meaning globalization considering the characteristics and culture of the region.
During the lecture, the global strategy of McDonald’s to adjust its products to suit the culture of the host country was introduced, and cultural difference in the ways of greeting were mentioned as well; people in Europe and America acknowledge each other by extending the right hand out, which is considered to be the superior hand, while the Japanese vow to greet as showing the head (a vital body part) is considered to demonstrate trust. With these examples, Ms. Ogawa emphasized that we should have enough knowledge of our own local characteristics in the first place, which will allow us to cherish and value multicultural settings.
The lecture ended with the message that the students should aim to be musicians who has good knowledge of Japanese culture and keep their national identity so that they would be able to spread their wings to the world.

Other topics and messages covered in the lecture

  • ”The ABC rule”
    A(Atarimae- no- koto ≒ usual things), B(Baka-ni- suru≒make light of)、C(Chanto- dekiru= be able to do properly). It is important to ensure that you pay attention to usual things and do them properly by reflecting on your daily life.
  • ”A tip for successful communication”
    Get your message across. It is important to take the additional step of confirming that your message has been understood.
  • The beauties and characteristics of the Japanese
    One of the beauties of the Japanese people is that we can consider other people’s thoughts even if they are not shown or mentioned. As a flight attendant, I was often told that I should be able to understand what a customer wanted by looking at his or her back. Work determinedly, seriously, and steadily. Your efforts will be rewarded even if you don’t appeal to other people.


  • How can the students of traditional Japanese music enhance the motivation to learn English?Students of traditional Japanese music may not be able to learn or practice their specialties out of Japan. However, if they go abroad with their instruments, they will draw great attention of people there and there may be chances to acquire English naturally. If given a chance to teach overseas, they can use their language skills there.
  • What would you do if a flight accident occurred while you were on duty?
    Luckily, I have never experienced any fatal accidents. Instead, I have faced some situations where passengers on board got surprised all at once. I knew that they would panic if the cabin crews got into a flurry so I tried to stay calm. There were actually some cases where all the passengers on the plane looked at the crews in the face as if they were saying “Is this airplane ok with the turbulence that has happed right now?” We smiled to show them that everything was ok.

There were also other pointed questions from the students.

About Super Global High school:

In 2016, the Music High School Attached to the Faculty of Music of Tokyo University of the Arts (known as “Geiko”) was selected as one of the designated high schools for the Super Global High School (SGH) initiative by MEXT. Under the SGH scheme, it aims to nurture globally successful young musicians who attract audience with “the power of music”; the pupils learn from a number of world-renowned musicians who visit the high school, and study to develop their foreign language skills, while receiving support to establish a global career and collaborating with Tokyo Geidai, which was selected in 2014 for the Top Global University Project by MEXT.

For more details of Geiko’s SGH activities, please visit here.
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