Learning The Koto

I’ve wanted to learn to play the koto for years. I think it’ss such a beautiful sounding instrument. I already take lessons for violin so learning to play the koto was just a matter of saving and time. I began taking lessons in the fall of 2018 and took a break to focus on school but I’m looking at starting again soon since school is almost done for the year. Learning about the instrument was a lot of fun and it’s definitely a challenging instrument.

 

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My Amazing Koto!

 

I purchased my own koto through Chords Canada. Their customer service was great and purchasing was easy.

When learning to play the koto there will be kanji you need to know in order to read more traditional music. The music goes by string number so the sheet music uses kanji 1-10 plus three unique kanji for strings 11, 12 and 13.

 

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First page of my music book for the koto.

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the music, once you learn how to read it it’s much less complicated than it seems. When I get back into playing regularly I’ll try to post a video!

For anyone that wants to give it a try, go for it! You only live once and I recommend learning to play. It truly is so beautiful sounding.

 

 

Summer Ends And University Begins

Summer has come and gone pretty quickly but we managed to visit family and even go to the Japan Festival held in Mississauga for a short while before we got rained out. We wanted to stick around longer but since it was an outdoor event we got pretty soaked. My daughter, however, managed to find a pretty yukata she liked and loved wearing it. We still enjoyed our time there regardless of how short it was. My husband was happy to at least see some live taiko drumming for the first time.

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My little girl in her yukata and snuggling her new friend!

So I’m currently in my second week of university and it has been quite the change for my entire family. My husband’s work schedule rotates between evenings and days so he has been getting up early to see both my daughter and me off to school. I wake up crazy early to start my mornings now because not only do I have to make sure my daughter is ready for school I now have to get myself ready and out the door. It’s been pretty hectic but that’s to be expected when there is a big change.

University has been great so far! I’m enjoying my Japanese language class and my Culture and Society in East Asia class seems interesting. Japanese class is certainly fast-paced so I have to study very regularly. I found out that my university offers a Minor in Japanese Studies so I’ll definitely be looking into signing up for that. It’s been so long since I attended a school that I’m a bit nervous about writing papers but the school offers lots of help in the Writing Center. I think I’ll be visiting there often while I get the hang of academic papers and essays.

That’s it for now! I’ll be updating again soon!

Starting University

September 2018 is going to be a big change for me and my family. After spending some time throughout the past year focusing on my mental health, I finally made the plunge and applied to university! I got accepted as a Mature Student and will being studying part-time to start out. The best part is that I’ll be taking East Asian Studies!!!! I’ve been very excited to start school and very nervous.

EUu44RWB_400x400So I’ll be attending York University for my undergraduate degree. I’m positive that East Asian Studies will be my major but I’m also considering specializing in Japan. Obviously my language of choice will be Japanese. My career goals are to promote Japanese language and culture and possibly to work as a translator or interpreter. I’ve definitely got some big goals ahead of me but my family and friends definitely have my back and are there to support me 100 percent!

The biggest challenges I face are going back to school after such a long time away, learning to manage a student life and family life and keeping on track with my mental health so it doesn’t majorly interfere with my learning. Student Accessibility has been great in helping me (with my doctor’s recommendation) in setting up some accommodations to help me succeed in school.

I definitely believe people shouldn’t let anything stand in the way of pursuing their dreams. You may not do it all “as planned” but as long as you work hard and are flexible you can accomplish anything!

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Wish me luck!

Starting Over

I’ve had a love for Japanese language and culture since I was very young but living in a small town growing up made it hard for me to learn the language. I was determined to one day study and become fluent in Japanese and that want has never gone away.

At twenty-one my husband and I made the decision to move from the East Coast of Canada to Ontario where we currently live. Being so close to Toronto gave me the opportunity to attend local language classes and begin my journey to learning Japanese. I did quite well for a while, I even took a trip to Japan with my best friend however my mental health issues, parenthood and some personal losses took its toll on me and I put aside learning Japanese feeling at the time it was pointless to pursue.

After some time and taking care of myself I’ve decided to get back on track and work towards my goal of fluency. I am keeping this blog mostly for myself to write about my progress. I’ll be starting from the beginning since I’ve forgotten so much that I had already learned. Feel free to follow along! I’m going to do my best to write about my learning experience, review materials and even post about some fun local cultural events! I apologize now for any poor grammar and spelling mistakes. I swear it’s been forever since I’ve written anything and I think I suffer from mommy brain most days which means I’m usually half asleep and super forgetful.

Enjoy and good luck to fellow learners!

XO

Cheryl

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