Today after my classes at TUFS, I took the train from Fuchu to
Tachikawa to visit Kunitachi College of Music (国立音楽大学) and finally meet Masato Kumoi (雲井先生). The campus is tucked away in a really nice neighborhood near the Tamagawa-josui Station – very cozy! They just build a new building on campus and it is absolutely stunning!
As soon as I arrived on campus, I went to go find Kumoi Sensei’s office. Per usual, I got kind of lost and had to ask for directions. Before I could even ask where his office was, the students already knew who I was. (Quite a suprise to me!) They quickly showed me where his office was and found me a room to practice in. As they took me to the practice room, I ran into many saxophone students waiting for lessons and I tried my best to talk (in Japanese!) with all of them. They were all so friendly and kind!
I practiced for a few hours and then left to meet Kumoi Sensei. He had just finished teaching his last lesson of the day and was ready to leave for dinner. He invited two of his graduate students (Shusaku Mukaiyama and Maho Kuroda) to have dinner with us. But before we left Kunitachi, Kumoi Sensei took me to the administration office to meet all of the staff. Yet again, everyone was so nice and welcoming. I even met a professor who did his DMA at North Texas! Small world!
We then went to Kumoi Sensei’s favorite restaurant for dinner, Cucina. My first time eating Italian food in Japan! The pizza, anitpasta, and wine were all quite delicious – definitely will be back! At dinner we talked a lot about all things saxophone, my research goals, his goals for me, life at Kunitachi, upcoming concerts, Japanese saxophone festivals, etc. I tried my best to carry out the conversations in Japanese, but with my limited vocabulary I had to rely on Kumoi Sensei to translate some for me. Very lucky to have a teacher who is able to do that so easily! It was a great dinner with wonderful people! I cannot wait to begin my studies with Masato Kumoi at Kunitachi!