Creating a new cultural art that connects Okinawa to the future

Graduate School of Music (Master’s Program)

Educational Philosophy, Objectives and Characteristics of Students of the Graduate School of Music Arts

Educational Philosophy and Objectives of the Graduate School of Music Arts

The Music and Arts Graduate School of the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts aims to accomplish the objectives of developing students’ outstanding professional competence in various areas of the music arts. Based on the above, and following the founding principles of the school, outstanding practical education shall be provided to students, with particular attention paid to the technical characteristics of Okinawa’s traditional performing arts, which have been inspired by the particular history, culture, and natural environment of this archipelago.

Art education based on philosophical, aesthetic and cultural reevaluations on the concept of beauty, including both Eastern and Western conceptions shall also be provided from a perspective stressing the universality of art.
Interdisciplinary studies shall be conducted to uncover the distinguishing features of traditional arts and culture with regard to the Orient, covering Pan-Asian regions from the perspectives of the structural study of music and ethnomusicology that aim to elucidate the existing diversity of performing arts in the cultural sphere of southern islands that include Okinawa as a key player.

Through our educational activities, we aim to foster human resources that include performing artists, scholars and professional leaders in art education who have a deep understanding of arts and cultures and with their refined sensitivity and rich creativity, will strive to maintain practical involvement in a wide range of endeavors in the music arts within society in the future.

Characteristics of a student admitted into this Graduate Program

This Graduate School is happy to accept highly motivated students who strive to fulfill the ideals of our educational philosophy and attain the objectives of our program, have a broad educational background, specialized knowledge in the music arts, fundamental research skills in their area of specialization, an independent work ethic, and ambition.


The Theater Arts Major consists of two specializations: Ryukyuan Classical Music which focuses on uta-sanshin (singing paired with the sanshin, a three stringed banjo-like instrument) and koto (a type of harp), and secondly Dance and Kumiodori (classical dance and traditional musical drama). In each concentration, students acquire advanced performance skills. The goals of the program include the cultivation of performers and educators who possess advanced performance skills as well as those who will create a new theatrical culture through their accomplishments in the traditional performing arts.

Theater Arts Major

Music Performance Art Major

The Music Performance Art program aspires to cultivate musicians who can play an active part in the international music world, as well as encouraging those who can contribute to the development of music culture in Okinawa. The Music Performance Art program is divided into three specializations: Vocal Music, Piano, and Wind Brass, Strings, Percussion.

Master’s Degree in Vocal Music

In addition to the foundations of vocal music acquired during undergraduate studies, the Master’s program in vocal music encourages students to develop their vocal techniques and pursue excellent stage performances. The program consists of two specialties: vocal music and opera.
Through the entire curriculum, students aim to discern the qualities of their voices and their own style of expression, thereby establishing individual repertoires. In the vocal music specialty, students learn to acquire sufficient performance skills and powers of expression for a recital, whereas students in the opera specialty aspire to develop appropriate performance skills and expression for taking a role in an entire opera, and acquire the knowledge of theories and practical techniques of stage production, all as parts of a comprehensive understanding of opera. The results of extensive study are tested at a public concert.
Students are required to succeed in a Master’s performance and to acquire sufficient credits to complete coursework. A Master’s performance is a forty- to fifty-minute recital, or an opera, in which student’s abilities as vocalists, or their abilities in singing, acting and expression as an opera performer are tested. The submission of a written analysis is also required in relation to the content of the Master’s performance.

Opera Lesson

Master’s Degree in Wind Brass, Strings, Percussion

The Master’s program in Piano is based on performance skills developed during undergraduate studies, and focuses on the comprehensive development of specialized practical technique. During the entrance examination, students are required to perform several works from different eras which should last at least forty minutes, as designated by the examiner.
The main focus of the two-year curriculum is on individual tuition in technique under an advisor. In addition, time is devoted to practical training in concerto, chamber music and vocal accompaniment, and to studies in theories of musical style, music analysis and performance technique.
Students are required to accumulate sufficient coursework credits and to present a satisfactory Master-level performance. A Master’s performance comprises a seventy to ninety-minute solo recital and submission of a written analysis of the pieces comprising the recital.

Musicology Major

In order to advance students to a higher level in theoretical and compositional studies in music and performing arts gained at the undergraduate level, the Musicology program offers two specializations: Musicology and Composition. The objective of the program is to cultivate individuals who can contribute to society as scholars, composers and in other fields of music and the performing arts.

Master’s Degree in Musicology

Disciplines within this specialization include music history, ethnomusicology, and study in dance and the performing arts. Students are expected to possess fundamental knowledge in these areas, as well as knowledge in related fields at the time of admission.
In the field of music history, students aim to study Western and Japanese music from historical, aesthetic and theoretical viewpoints. Ethnomusicology studies strive to elucidate the internal logic (text) within music in various cultures and the historical and social background (context) of those texts. Although the basic research methodology used in the field of dance and the performing arts is identical to that in ethnomusicology, the program aims to pursue the historical and aesthetic study of dance and the performing arts based on the analysis of posture and gesture.
The curriculum is designed to facilitate the acquisition of specialized knowledge and individual research methods through lectures in each area. In the fields of ethnomusicology and the study of dance and the performing arts, emphasis is placed on Okinawan as well as the other Asian regional studies.
Students in this program are required to submit a Master’s thesis and to acquire sufficient coursework credits. A Master’s thesis should include new insights and be based on an appropriate research method.

Research Presentation

Master’s Degree in Composition

The Master’s program in composition aims to develop the proficiency of students in the technique of composition, the basis being the musical foundations and composition techniques acquired at the undergraduate level. Students are encouraged to vigorously explore ready-established foundations in pursuit of their own creativity. They are also expected to adopt broad perspectives in undertaking independent study of the techniques inherited from their predecessors, but also to aspire to musical creation.
Students re-evaluate the historical course of Western music to the dawn of modern music and study the expression of both diverse and specialized modern compositions through score analysis in lectures and seminars. Based on the broad perspective formed by the two years of studies, students compose graduation works with a free choice of instrumentation, and are given chances to hear their works in rehearsal, in order for each and every student to chart their own compositional course.
Students are required to accumulate sufficient coursework credits and to present a satisfactory Master-level composition.

Students Score