Message from New Zealandニュージーランドからのメッセージ




Hello, I am Anri. I go to Hauraki Plains College with my best partner, Aya. I cannot believe I have to leave here soon. Looking back at my memories, I’ve gone through so many happy things surrounded by a lot of kind people during my experience of studying abroad. I appreciate my host family, friends and teachers at this school for giving me a lot of love and many good opportunities.:) People in New Zealand are so friendly and I like their style. When they have a conversation, they open their hearts to each other. I feel like it is such fun.:) I would like to write about what I’ve learned in New Zealand in this essay.
I am taking math, English, Maori, music and ESOL. Let me talk about my favorite subject, music. I love the class because many students have the spirit of making something purely for pleasure and I can do some creative activities here. Students work on interesting tasks. For example, some students form a music band and compose original songs with the members. Composing a song and writing its lyrics from the beginning as a band group was such a fresh experience for me. I sometimes have performances and record our songs using a computer and a full-scale machine. I was surprised when I came here for the first time because what the students were doing looked like what real musicians and recording engineers do. I learned many things in this class.
One of the things I’ve learned from this class is that it is very important to have fun when we acquire something. This is quite sudden, but I have a question for you. When you hear the word “studying”, what do you imagine? Do you feel excited, interested or do you have a negative impression? I used to choose the latter one. However, my point of the view has changed from the music class. This class told me studying should be fun and that learning things in that way will come back as a benefit someday.
Making a song together as a team, my bandmates and I sometimes had a slump. It had been decided what the piano part was going to be, but we could not start making the sounds for the other instruments. We had some talking time for the song but could not find a fundamental solution and repeated similar discussions for the song during the whole week in class. We noticed that we needed a new way to solve the problem. However, no one knew where to start. I felt that we were wasting our time. The performance day was getting closer! At the same time, I was frustrated about two things in my heart. One thing was that our song did not improve at all and the other was the language barrier which I had. If I had understood their whole conversation like a kiwi student, I would have understood what my bandmates were thinking better and could have given them more of a hand. I thought this many times. I did not want to finish this class, making an excuse that I had no choice but to be a bystander since I was a “foreigner.” I wanted to change something with my band members. I realized I needed to take an action by myself.
I decided to make music and write musical scores for my bandmates on a weekend. Although I had some experiences from choir and piano, it was my first time to make music scores for instruments other than the piano. To make the song, I researched information about the trumpet and the alto saxophone on the Internet. Then I learned something new. These instruments are called transposing instruments and their music scores and piano’s music scores are different. I checked how different a music score of those instruments are from that of the piano. When I was composing a music score and getting the knowledge which I had not previously known, a thought occurred to me. “Isn’t this the meaning of studying? Studying means trying to find what is needed and using the knowledge for our own goal?” Thinking in that way, it seemed to me that studying means to learn something exciting.
Also when I got ideas from what I learned, that knowledge was reflected in the song. I thought I would like to know more about music in order to play pleasurable music while making a harmony and arranging the song with my bandmates. That feeling also told me that studying is interesting and fun. Moreover, I felt one more happiness. When I gave the music score to my bandmates at school, they seemed very glad. They received it with smiles and started practicing it immediately. From that day on, we spent our music classes effectively for our performance. I also got a chance to teach my band members how to play the melody, playing the piano. They understood me very well.

I never expected that I would be involved in music like this. My bandmates supported me a lot. Music meant a lot to me and this experience taught me how important it is to take an action by myself. I will never forget these things. I’ve come to love music more in New Zealand.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to my family in Japan. I thank them for supporting me studying abroad from far away. Their warm words and the stuff they sent from Japan cheered me up. While I am here, our homeroom teacher and our agent here have been organizing many things for us. Also, they visited and encouraged us. I thank all the people who have supported me. I appreciate their help.