Special Class with Jacqueline Porter

We are very excited to announce that Australian soprano Jacqueline Porter will be joining Rie’s Music World for two very Special Classes on Friday September 29 (Grand Final Eve Public Holiday)! Jacqueline appears regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, most recently in a concert performance of Massenet’s Thaïs with Sir Andrew Davis conducting. All children have this amazing instrument called the “voice”, and we will explore the incredible capabilities of this instrument with Jacqueline.

Date: Friday September 29 (Grand Final Eve Public Holiday)
Location: 23-27 Glendearg Grove, Malvern 3144 (Korean Church of Melbourne)
Class 1: 10:00am – 10:45am (Japanese)
Class 2: 11:15am – 12:00pm (English/Japanese)

Special Class is an opportunity for all children to see the best professional musicians in Australia, so there is no age restriction. Parents (and grandparents) as well as children under 18 months are free. Please click here for booking information.


Father’s Day

In Australia, Spring begins on the first day of September. When I first arrived from Japan this was very strange to me – how can it be so perfect as to coincide with the first day of the month? But then surprisingly I experienced this strange phenomenon- when the month changed so did the weather! Now I find myself unexpectedly looking forward to that “first day”.

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Father’s Day is September 3rd in Australia, so this week we made a card with a photo and a musical theme. One of the children was so proud of hers that she said “This is mine, I don’t want to give it to Daddy!”

The last composer for August was Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918). We listened to “Clair de Lune”, one of his most famous compositions. Most of the children were listening to this piece for the first time, and some of their impressions included “night song”, “haunted feelings” and “a bit scary”. I hope they can continue to enjoy music like this, with their hearts more than their heads, with freedom to believe that whatever they feel in the music is right for them.


Treasure hunt!

At the start of every class we bow and greet everyone, and I am so glad that recently all of the children are able to greet very well, standing up straight and calling with a clear voice. Greetings are very important for all of us at any age, and I hope it can become a natural skill for all of our children.


This week we went on an exciting treasure hunt, using a map created with music! We climbed a mountain, jumped through a rocky passageway and crawled through a mysterious tunnel. Finally we found the treasure – the kazoo!

This interesting instrument may seem very simple, but it does not work if you just blow into it, you have to sing! The parents also wanted to see if they could make a sound, asking to borrow the kazoo from their children (not easy in some cases!). It was a fun and very noisy classroom after that.

The composer this week was Rentaro Taki (1879 – 1903), and Patrick played the song “Flower” which was familiar to many from their school days.


Little teachers!

The weather in Melbourne at the moment reminds me of a Japanese word – “Sankanshion” – which means “3 days cold, 4 days warm”. It signals the coming of Spring, and I used to love this word when I was little. It also makes me feel more Japanese even though I am now living in Melbourne!


This week we played a game “Little Teachers”, where the children each had a turn coming out to the front and singing out an instruction to the class which everyone else had to follow. Even some children who were initially shy when they first joined the class wanted to come out to the front, and we could all feel how hard they were trying! The other children were so supportive of their “little teacher” friends, following the instructions diligently and applauding their amazing effort.

It was a wonderful moment for me to see the children work so hard and then run to their smiling mums for a proud cuddle!

This week’s composer was Luigi Boccherini (1743 – 1805).


Goats posting notes?

Our son loves his job grabbing the big stack of flyers we get every week out of the mailbox, and gets so excited when he sees the postman. Children love posting and receiving letters!

This week our theme was the “Goat’s Post”, a popular (and ridiculous) Japanese children’s song. Everyone made their own musical letter, composing their own individual songs to send in the post. When I played everyone’s songs on the piano we could hear all of the individual characters of the children reflected in the music! The parents were also surprised at how much the music mirrored their little personalities.


Next week every class will tackle the handbells – how difficult is it for a two year old child to wait patiently? We shall see.

The first composer for August was Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990).