Ongakukai / Music Festival at Japanese Kindergarten

ongakukai music festival japanese kindergarten

I can’t remember what I was doing at school when I was five years old but it sure as hell wasn’t as good as this.

Friday was the annual ongakukai, or music festival, at my school. Every class had to perform a piece – and just like for the happyokai (performance festival) and undokai (sports festival) the kids practiced every single day for about a month. On the day itself, the homeroom teachers were a mess of nerves, but the kids did them proud.

The younger nensho kids (3 years old) had to sing, use drums and dance; the middle nenchu kids (4 years old) used pretty complicated blow keyboards (melodicas); while the older nencho classes used everything they could get their hands on: huge synths, bass drums, snares, cymbals, melodicas, xylophones.

I say ‘old’ but these kids are only five and six years old. That’s ridiculously young, especially for the level of musical ability that they produced. One class performed the Jurassic Park theme and I was left basically speechless. Check out the video below. There’s no backing track or anything, it’s all done from scratch.

Once again: FIVE YEARS OLD!


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