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ELISABETH UNIVERSITY OF MUSIC (Erizabeto Ongaku Daigaku), HIROSHIMA Faculty of Music







Street Address:

4-15 Noborimachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima 730-0016, Japan


+81 82 221 0947

Web 2:


Undergraduate program


Bachelor of Music. Four years. Studies in sacred music (Gregorian chant, organ and associated subjects, voice, musicology), performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, music education, music therapy, choral and orchestral conducting, eurhythmics, Ward method, Orff method, study of Japanese or oriental music.


Graduate programs


Master of Fine Arts. In conducting, composition, musicology, music education, performance, early music performance, sacred music. Doctor of Philosophy.

Institution Notes:

A private co-educational Jesuit music university affiliated with the Vatican's Istituto Pontifizio di Musica Sacra in Rome. Founded in 1948, it was granted its current name and status in 1963. There are two departments: a) Music Performance, and b) Cultural Music (music culture, teacher training). The university is unique to Japan in that it has a Department of Sacred Music which includes studies in Gregorian chant, pipe organ and Renaissance polyphony. Elisabeth University is one of the very few private universities in Japan to offer a doctoral program. Facilities include an extensive music library, a large music auditorium, a recital hall, more than 40 rooms for teaching, research and practice, over 170 pianos, four harpsichords, eight pipe organs, early Western instruments, Japanese traditional instruments, and a group of Orff instruments. It is the only university to offer classical guitar as a major study. Extracurricular activities include liturgical music, madrigal singing, French and German art song, a full brass orchestra, flute orchestra, and the like. There is a second campus at Saijo in east Hiroshima. A special fund has been established to provide scholarships for international students entering the graduate division of the university. An extension centre offers music programs to interested members of the community as well as to graduates who wish to take single lessons from an international tutor. There are exchange agreements with universities in Italy, Belgium, Serbia, Australia, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam as well as with Trinity College in UK.

Country Notes:

MUSIC FOR SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN. The Japanese education system is structured as follows: • elementary school (sho-gakko), six years. • junior high school (chu-gakko), three years. • senior high school (koto-gakko), three years. Music is a compulsory subject in elementary and junior high schools, with a course of study detailing methods, activities and materials issued by the Ministry of Education. In elementary schools music is a required subject, taught as an independent subject either by the class teacher or by a specialist music teacher, but classroom teachers are required to take it as part of an integrated arts subject. Music as a separate subject is taught at junior high schools and is available as an elective subject at senior high schools. School ensemble groups (brass bands, choirs, pop music groups and the like) take place in club sessions after school. PROFESSIONAL MUSIC PROGRAMS. Most professional music courses are taken at Music Universities (Ongaku Daigaku) or multi-department Universities (Daigaku) where, apart from general university entrance subjects, entry is subject to audition and a comprehensive aural test. Students are expected to have some competence in piano playing no matter what their main instrument may be. A Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree is gained at the end of a four-year course. The option is available for students to obtain a school music teaching licence from all tertiary music institutions in Japan. Most tertiary courses deal with Western music, but for certification as school music teachers students are required to take studies in Japanese traditional and folk music as well. Hence, for those wishing to obtain the licence to teach in a school, the music program must include solfège, vocal and instrumental ensemble (choir, instrumental ensemble, piano accompanying), conducting, music theory, composition and arrangement, Western music history and Japanese traditional and folk music. The education program includes principles of education, educational psychology, adolescent psychology, moral education, music teaching methodology and supervised teaching practice. Certain universities, (Kyoiku Daigaku, or 'Education Universities'), have four-year courses solely for the training of teachers leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts/Education (with a particular specialisation) together with the Teacher's Licence. In these music is usually available as a specialist teaching subject, preparing students to teach music at elementary schools and junior high schools. All such universities have pre-school, elementary and secondary schools attached for teaching practice purposes; many also have attached schools for handicapped children. Lifelong learning programs for adults are popular in many university music programs. Institutions training pre-school teachers and general classroom teachers for elementary schools require students to take basic courses in music, but such institutions are not included in the listing. To enable teachers to obtain positions as heads of schools a Master's degree is now required. HIGHER DEGREES IN MUSIC. In 2004 all National Universities became incorporated entities, with the result that all national universities cease to exist as such. Currently these universities offer Master’s degrees which, in the area of music, are most frequently in Education (Music), in Music or in Fine Arts. All are of two years' duration and may be awarded following thesis and examination. Doctor's degrees (PhD or EdD) in Music or Music Education may be awarded following a further three years of advanced study and research. A doctoral program involving co-operation between several national universities has been organised. The degree is awarded by the Tokyo Gakugei University. Participating universities are Chiba University, Saitama University, Yokohama Kokuritsu University, Hyogo University of Education, Joetsu University of Education, Okayama University and Naruto University of Education. JUNIOR COLLEGES. For students wishing to obtain a qualification in a shorter time than the four-year undergraduate degree program, a course at one of the 38 private two-year post-secondary junior colleges (Tanki Daigaku) with music departments or within the national university system in the island of Hokkaido enables them to obtain a Graduation Certificate. Again the teacher certification option is available. These junior colleges have not been included. SCHOLARSHIPS. In order to promote increased friendship and understanding between Japan and other countries around the world, the Association of International Education, Japan (AIEJ) offers a number of scholarships each year as part of its ‘Short-term Student Exchange Promotion Program (Inbound)’ for which exchange students from universities with exchange agreements with Japanese institutions may apply. DOCUMENTATION CENTRE OF MODERN JAPANESE MUSIC (Nippon Kindai Ongakukan). This Centre provides information on modern Japanese music. 1-8-14 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041, Japan.

Last Updated:

September 2019